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Sale of Wembley Stadium to NFL Franchise Owner

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Post by dyrewolfe Fri 27 Apr 2018, 1:37 pm

So, the FA in their greed wisdom have decided to sell Wembley Stadium...before they've even finished paying for it. Presumably getting rid of their outstanding debts was part of the attraction.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/43910691


According to the FA's latest financial results, it still owes £113m to public bodies such as Sport England, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, plus the London Development Agency, which helped pay to build the stadium, which cost £757m and opened in 2007.

In January, the FA said it would finish paying for the ground by the end of 2024.

The new owner, a Mr Shahid Khan is a US billionaire, who already bought Fulham from Mohammed El Fayed and who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team.

The deal, thought to be worth £900m will see him pay £600m for the stadium and £300 for the hospitality club. Apparently the FA will continue to run both, but for how long and how much football will continue to be played there?


"Under this arrangement the FA retains the right, the revenue, and that is really the most positive part of Wembley for the FA. So they will be retaining it and obviously we want it to be there."


There are a few things in the article I found worrying. The fact that he thinks the stadium already needs "upgrading" and that he plans for a permanent NFL franchise (the Jaguars presumably) to be based there.


"I think they have to understand the value and the attraction for myself," Khan added.

"We'll leave the tradition and the stadium itself. Even though this is a new stadium, it does need upgrades.


The 67-year-old added that the deal would lead to "more meaningful discussions" over a permanent NFL franchise in London. Wembley has been hosting NFL games each autumn since 2007.


"Until now, NFL doesn't have a stadium solution or have a home," Khan said. "And it can't work with a Premier League club, because of the schedule. It does work very well with Wembley, so I think it makes it closer."

I also find it particularly galling that he is only paying £600m for the stadium...which cost over £750m to build and that the extra value is perceived to come from an associated business (the hospitality club).

The FA have said that they plan to use money from the sale to invest heavily in grassroots football. Call me an old sceptic but I'd be surprised if much of that money trickles down that far.


So, I'm annoyed its being sold, essentially on the cheap. I'm also annoyed its being sold to a foreign owner who wants to make changes to the stadium as well as use it to host his pet NFL team.

Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal sums up my feelings perfectly:


Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal, who guided Sheffield Wednesday to the 2016 Championship play-off final: "I think they are monuments and we can't sell them in my opinion. If you sell Wembley you can sell Big Ben and Buckingham Palace? We can't sell monuments, it is culture, and you can't sell culture."
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Post by BamBam Fri 27 Apr 2018, 1:49 pm

The FA didn't own Wembley / the site up until 1999, no one seemed overly fussed then


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Post by Guest Fri 27 Apr 2018, 3:24 pm

If it means England playing up and down the country then great. Anything else regarding the matter doesn't bother me.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 27 Apr 2018, 4:13 pm

I suppose the FA will be giving themselves huge bonuses and then taking a tour of the Caribbean for research purposes.
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Post by Ent Fri 27 Apr 2018, 6:25 pm

It's a big opportunity for the fa.

Their turnover is impressive but the profit they make to reinvest in the game is quite small (a few million per year).

£600 million up front, £300 million more, lose the debt and the money spent maintaining the debt.

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Post by dyrewolfe Sun 29 Apr 2018, 10:42 am

BamBam wrote:The FA didn't own Wembley / the site up until 1999, no one seemed overly fussed then


The old stadium wasn't owned by an American billionaire who used it as a home for his NLF team, with licence to "upgrade" it as he saw fit. picard

FreekShow wrote:
If it means England playing up and down the country then great. Anything else regarding the matter doesn't bother me.

But you're still going to be annoyed if England end up playing at the Emirates, the Olympic Stadium, Stamford Bridge, whatever Tottenham's new ground ends up being called, right? Making England a travelling circus isn't going to improve your chances of seeing them all that much.

And for that we are handing control of our national stadium to a man who wants to turn it from the iconic home of English football, into a NFL stadium.

Ent wrote:
It's a big opportunity for the fa.

Their turnover is impressive but the profit they make to reinvest in the game is quite small (a few million per year).

£600 million up front, £300 million more, lose the debt and the money spent maintaining the debt.

Those are all BIG ifs. Remember this is the FA we are talking about. A bunch of incompetent clowns who would have been handed their P45s a long time ago in most other organisations. Like I said - great if it happens...but I won't hold my breath...
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Post by Ent Sun 29 Apr 2018, 10:57 am

Don't really see the problem with it being used for nfl.

It's a short season (6/7 home games if you don't make the play offs). Doesn't run near the end of the season when it is used for finals/play offs.

People loved it when England were playing at old Trafford, stadium of light etc during Wembley refurb.

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Post by Guest Sun 29 Apr 2018, 12:54 pm

It stopped being the iconic home the day they demolished the old Wembley and the Twin Towers. It's just steel and cement on the old ground. Wembley is just a name now.

It's an awful "football stadium" as well. Be good to see England back on the road again.




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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Sun 29 Apr 2018, 1:22 pm

Seems a cheap and tacky tactic to make money. England on the road was Poopie for too long, and it’s dragging Wembley further into insignificance.

Comes to something when it’s more important for an NFL side in England to own a ground than the FA. I don’t much enjoy being in a rented stadium

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Post by compelling and rich Mon 14 May 2018, 11:04 am

FreekShow wrote:It stopped being the iconic home the day they demolished the old Wembley and the Twin Towers. It's just steel and cement on the old ground. Wembley is just a name now.

It's an awful "football stadium" as well. Be good to see England back on the road again.




seen a few people say its a poor stadium. been a few times and every where you seat you get a fantastic view. as a fan not sure what else you need. it is too corporate but thats football these days. its all about the money. wembleys biggest fault is its in the middle of a sh!t hole with nothing around it and a pain to get in and out.

the old stadium was awful. get behind the goal and see nothing at all. nostalgia was the only thing going for it

i dont see this as being a big issue, there will be clauses in the contract for the sale (such as still having the cup finals there) and the rest of the time its empty.

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Post by SecretFly Fri 07 Sep 2018, 12:57 pm

Strange that a bill is so close to being paid off - in corporate terms 2024 is very soon indeed.  Then they could have started making nice profit on hiring out the thing without the big repayments people taking all the profits.

Now they sell for a relatively cheap 600M and the billionaire owner will take all profits not related to FA football games?  You just know he's going to drop a big promoter scheme in there to keep that joint busy for most of a calendar year.... might even get Elton John out of retirement to do an in-residence few years! "an ihseem t myu l....yu lie like anndlein wind"

Anyway, perhaps the FA argument is that they don't want extra-curricular headaches - so be it...but it also might be that FA execs got nice little private inducements to make long term profit thinking (and the FA lives a long time!) redundant. It's possible.

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Post by SecretFly Fri 07 Sep 2018, 12:57 pm

...is the new owner going to roof it, I wonder?

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