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Wembley maintenance bill set to rise as new investment proposal surfaces

Maintenance costs for Wembley Stadium are reportedly set to reach €100m (£88m/$114m) over the course of the next 10 years, with the English Football Association eyeing new ways to fund grassroots initiatives following the collapse of a deal to sell the venue to US businessman Shahid Khan.

The Telegraph reports that the FA Council was told earlier this month that stadium work over the next six years would cost €72m, yet the sum is now set to rise to around €100m over the next decade.

Khan dropped his takeover bid for Wembley last week, stating that his offer had proved more divisive than expected. Khan’s offer was worth £600m in cash and £300m in future revenue from Wembley’s hospitality business.

The Telegraph notes that the FA was keen to ensure that running costs would be transferred to Khan, who owns Premier League football club Fulham and NFL American football franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars, without losing the core income.

The newspaper adds that “immediate work” is set to be carried out on Wembley’s roof, pitch and cabling as the FA seeks to make sure that the stadium remains one of the world’s top venues.

The sale of the stadium would have allowed the FA to invest heavily in grassroots football but following last week’s collapse, the organisation is discussing with stakeholders the best course of action.

In other news, a new property-focused exchange known as IPSX Group has proposed the £600m listing of Wembley to the FA. According to Sky News, IPSX Group founder and chairman Anthony Gahan has contacted FA advisors to propose a flotation of the stadium.

IPSX Group is hoping to go live later this year, with Sky News reporting that it is in the process of receiving full authorisation from the City regulator.

Gahan told Sky News that IPSX Group is considering adding other football stadia to its exchange. “Wembley’s unique circumstances would, however, seem to represent a huge win all round to deliver value with utmost flexibility for the FA to invest in grassroots football, retain Wembley’s independence and offer an attractive investment opportunity, not least of which would include England fans,” he said.

As Sky News notes, IPSX Group hopes to offer owners of commercial real estate assets a new “avenue of liquidity”, through which they can list exchange traded properties – companies which own single buildings.