Shaun Harvey, chief executive of the English Football League, has said that clubs should benefit from any sale of London’s Wembley Stadium.
Last month it emerged that US billionaire Shahid Khan, owner of NFL American football team the Jacksonville Jaguars, had submitted a significant bid to by the national stadium from the English Football Association. The offer could be worth up to £1bn (€1.1bn/$1.4bn) in total.
The EFL oversees the three divisions below the top-tier Premier League. Harvey has said that the FA should distribute any money generated to the EFL’s 72 clubs, along with the 20 Premier League teams.
“Under the current distribution mechanism the professional game is entitled to 50 percent of the proceeds after central costs have been met,” Harvey told UK newspaper The Times. “… Any move away from this principle will only be achieved if we can be satisfied that the money will be properly utilised for the benefit of the game as a whole in England, including at our clubs.
“The 72 clubs of the EFL along with those in the Premier League already do a tremendous amount of work through their community schemes at a grassroots level. The creation of a fund to develop facilities for the expansion of this work along with training of young players within each club’s academy would be an ideal use of any funds, as would seeing the money used to improve stadium facilities for fans.”
Khan’s Jaguars currently have a multi-year deal in place to play games in London and he believes purchasing Wembley would prove beneficial for all parties, with the FA to be provided with significant funds that could be invested in grassroots football.