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Wembley deal set for key FA vote

The English Football Association (FA) has reportedly agreed the terms of the sale of Wembley stadium to US billionaire Shahid Khan ahead of a key meeting on the matter tomorrow (Thursday).

Khan, who owns English Premier League football club Fulham and NFL American football team the Jacksonville Jaguars, in April submitted an offer for the London venue which is said to be worth in the region of £600m (€672m/$789m).

Negotiations have since been held over the terms of a deal and the Financial Times newspaper today reported that the remaining sticking points have been overcome allowing an outline deal to be put to the 10-member FA board for approval tomorrow.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn and chairman Greg Clarke are said to be seeking unanimous backing from the board in order to move the offer on to the next stage. However, the FT said that there remain questions over whether the board’s three national game representatives, which represent the amateur side of the sport, will back the offer.

In the wake of Khan’s initial proposal, Glenn said the deal could enable the FA to spend more than £1bn on community-focused initiatives. Glenn said that the offer would enable the FA to “unleash an unprecedented amount of investment into community football”.

Sky News reported that the outline deal to be voted on tomorrow includes a clause that would allow the FA to buy back Wembley for as little as £100m if the stadium was downgraded as a host venue by UEFA, European football’s governing body.

The concessions agreed to by Khan, whose Jaguars team hold a multi-year deal to play NFL games at Wembley, are also said to include a profit-share arrangement if he sold Wembley on for a profit.

The FT also added that the FA would continue to have representation on the stadium’s board; hold a veto over sponsorship of Wembley; step-in rights to take back operational control if it is not adhering to certain standards under Khan’s stewardship; preventing the new owner from being able to use the stadium as collateral for a loan; and a guaranteed hosting agreement for major domestic and international football matches.

 Image: Kolforn