The English football’s governing body, the Football Association (FA), has reached an agreement to sell Wembley Stadium to the Pakistani-American billionaire Shahid Khan for £600 million.
Despite the agreement reached with Mr. Khan, who is the current owner of both the English Premier League (EPL) football club Fulham and the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL), there are still doubts that the deal will be brought to an end, as it remains unclear whether the agreement will be finalised by getting the necessary votes of the FA board.
According to media reports, the terms for the national stadium’s sale have been agreed over the last few days. However, the deal can only be completed in case it gets the approval of the ten-member board of the Football Association, which is set to meet on September 27th to discuss the acquisition proposal. Reportedly, Martin Glenn, the Chief Executive Officer of the FA, and Greg Clarke, the Association’s Chairman, will seek to get the committee’s unanimous support.
According to the Financial Times, The Football Association has agreed to sell Wembley to Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan for £600m.
— Bolarinwa Olajide (@iambolar) September 26, 2018
A number of restrictions are expected to be included in the deal, such as a ban on the ground’s naming rights. As Casino Guardian reported at the beginning of September, the FA will have the power to reject sponsorship agreements with gambling operators and other businesses in order to prevent them from being associated with Wembley Stadium.
As previously revealed, in case that the deal is completed, gambling companies will be banned as sponsors from the arena known as the home of the English football under special conditions unveiled by the country’s Government.
Gambling Sponsors to Be Banned from Wembley Stadium
The Pakistani-American billionaire made a bid to acquire Wembley Stadium in April 2018. The offer amounted to £600 million.
The information that gambling sponsors will probably be banned from being present on the stadium emerged at the beginning of September. It follows the decision of the FA itself to end its sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes in June 2017, after the Association was criticised for having a betting company as a sponsor and at the same time suspending professional football players and other football officials from making bets on football matches.
Considering the fact that gambling sponsorships in the English football have been under a lot of criticism lately, the restrictions expected to be imposed on the presence of gambling companies’ brands make sense. It would surely be unwise for the iconic football ground to be associated with gambling, especially at a time when the number of problem gamblers in the UK constantly increases.
Other restrictions for the new owner will be set, too. Any new owner, be it Mr. Khan or not, will have to guarantee that they show respect for the stadium’s heritage and guarantee that Wembley is preserved as the national stadium, which will continue to host all major sporting events and key FA competitions. As far as Mr. Khan is concerned, the additional terms of the sale would prevent him from bringing the branding of the Jacksonville Jaguars into Wembley Stadium – a move which he has been planning, according to rumours.