The Football Association has received an offer to sell Wembley Stadium.
The offer has been made by Fulham owner Shahid Khan, the American business who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team.
It is claimed to total as much as £800million, although the FA has not disclosed any details.
FA statement: "We can confirm that The FA has received an offer to buy Wembley Stadium."
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) April 26, 2018
Khan is understood to have offered around £500m to purchase the national stadium and under the deal the FA would retain the rights to Club Wembley, its debenture and hospitality business, understood to be worth around £300m.
“We would strive to be the best possible steward for a venue that is iconic,” Khan said in a statement.
“Wembley would return to private ownership and The Football Association would be able to focus on its core mission of developing players.
“I trust many if not most of you are also supporters of the England national teams, so I hope you welcome the potential of this becoming a reality.”
The stadium’s current owner, the Football Association, says the huge windfall could be pumped into grassroots football, but many fans are uneasy at the thought of their national stadium being privately owned.
NFL executive vice-president Mark Waller said having stadium options in London has been “critical to the NFL”.
His statement added: “The potential purchase of Wembley Stadium is a further powerful sign of their commitment to the UK and their vision to help us grow the sport.
“This new relationship would allow for even greater flexibility in scheduling future NFL games in London.”
FA chief executive Martin Glenn is said to have been in discussions with Khan for some months, although the full proposal was only put to the board of English football’s governing body on Thursday.
It is thought the sale could not only see more NFL matches played at Wembley, but also open the door to a permanent franchise based in London.
The FA has owned the stadium since its construction was completed in 2007.
Take a look at the social media reaction from the football world on the next page.
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