Spurs opposed to Khan’s Wembley takeover bid

Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has stated his opposition to the Premier League football club’s temporary home of Wembley Stadium being sold to US businessman Shahid Khan, with an update due on the status of the London outfit’s delayed new facility.

Levy’s stance was detailed as minutes of a meeting held last week with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust were released yesterday (Monday). Tottenham has been playing home games at Wembley whilst work has been taking place on its new stadium, and it also has an interest in the national stadium’s status as a host venue for NFL American football games.

Tottenham holds a 10-year deal with the NFL to host at least two regular season games per year at its new stadium. The contract was due to commence this year, but was postponed due to the ongoing delays in delivering the venue.

Khan owns NFL franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars, along with Premier League club Fulham, and there have been suggestions that he may seek to move the Jaguars to Wembley, where it has played an annual game for a number of years.

The English Football Association (FA) last week said a “healthy discussion” was staged over Khan’s takeover offer for Wembley Stadium ahead of a special meeting scheduled for October 24 that will vote on the proposal.

Khan’s offer is worth £600m (€673.6m/$786.2m) in cash and £300m in future revenue from Wembley’s hospitality business. He submitted an offer for Wembley back in April, and negotiations have since been held over the terms of the deal.

Last week’s Supporters’ Trust meeting saw Levy questioned on the potential sale of Wembley to Khan and what this would mean for Tottenham’s NFL deal going forward. The minutes stated: “Daniel Levy said it wouldn’t but he was against the sale of Wembley regardless.

“He felt any London franchise was a long way off but the NFL still had the International Series so there was ample opportunity for Spurs. Daniel Levy wanted to point out that the second pitch wasn’t solely an NFL pitch. It was a multi-purpose pitch that was suitable for NFL.”

In August, Tottenham confirmed that the new stadium would not open on September 15 as originally planned for the Premier League match against Liverpool due to issues relating to the ground’s critical safety systems.

The Premier League game against Burnley on December 15 has since been reported as a possible new target for the opening game and Spurs’ executive director Donna-Maria Cullen stated at last week’s meeting that in terms of a timeline “the next communication would be an update and would be issued in the next two to three weeks”.

Levy also provided an update on the search for a naming rights partner for the new stadium, adding that this contract was still under discussion and that “any sleeve sponsorship may compromise the value of the naming rights deal, so the naming rights would come first”.

Image: Philip Halling