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FA to sell Wembley for £800m and open door to NFL franchise

By Robert Jones

The FA are ready to sell Wembley Stadium in an astonishing £800m deal.

Billionaire American Shahid Khan, owner of Fulham and NFL franchise Jacksonville Jaguars, has tabled an offer believed to be over £500m up front for the headquarters of English football in a deal that would see the national teams go on the road.

The England team would still stage the majority of their home games at the stadium but a large portion of their annual schedule, particularly during the autumn, would be moved elsewhere.

It is suggested that the FA will use the windfall to revitalise the grassroots game with the governing body flushed with the financial capacity to pay for hundreds of new 3G and 4G pitches as well as other new facilities.

An FA spokesman said: "We can confirm the FA Board has received an offer for Wembley from Shahid Khan."

Khan, who is worth upwards of £5.2bn, has been a long-time proponent of a UK-based NFL team and this move would be the expected precursor to a franchise making the move across the pond sometime in the future.

The Jaguars have played one regular season game in London every year since 2013 but should this deal be closed and a switch here comes to fruition then they would take up residency at the stadium between September and January.

During that timeframe the England football team would have to move home matches elsewhere.

The move will be considered a huge blow to Tottenham's hopes of housing a permanent NFL team in the future while Chelsea's plans to use Wembley as a temporary home could be affected.

Belfast Telegraph

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