Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan is set to purchase Wembley Stadium in London, England, which naturally has sent Jaguars fans in a state of panic. Almost everyone took this as a sign that it sealed the Jaguars fate in moving to England, but based on Khan’s statement via the Fulham Football Club website, the English soccer club he owns, that’s not the case.
“It was revealed today that I have made an offer to purchase Wembley Stadium from The Football Association. To everyone in the Fulham Family, I wanted you to be among the first to hear the news, directly from me, and share a bit of background,” Khan said via Fulham’s website.
“As you likely know, in addition to the privilege of serving as Chairman of Fulham Football Club, I am also owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League in the U.S. The Jaguars have played regular season home games at Wembley Stadium in each of the past five NFL seasons and will continue to do so at least through the 2020 season. The games the Jaguars play at Wembley are essential to the financial stability of the Jaguars in Jacksonville, which is one of the smallest markets in the NFL. If my ownership interests were to include Wembley Stadium, it would protect the Jaguars’ position in London at a time when other NFL teams are understandably becoming more interested in this great city. And the stronger the Jaguars are in London, the more stable and promising the Jaguars’ future will be in Jacksonville.”
The London series has always been kind of a crutch for the Jaguars while the city of Jacksonville kind of catches up, so adding another massive revenue stream and in the sense double-dipping on NFL income would seem to just be a smart business decision.
Update from Shad Khan via the Jaguars official website:
For the FA, it would mean Wembley Stadium returning to private ownership, permitting the FA to direct its full attention to its mandate to develop talent and serve the game with the vast resources it would realize from the sale. For the Jaguars, it would deliver another – and very significant – asset and local revenue source that would further strengthen our investment in London, which as everyone knows is crucial to the Jaguars’ continued sustainability in Jacksonville. In every respect, the Jaguars’ standing in London would be improved and dramatically enhanced if we are fortunate to be approved as the new owner and steward of Wembley Stadium, and that’s good news for the Jaguars and all of Jacksonville.
Today’s news changes none of what we envision for the long-term promise for the Jaguars here in Jax, and it changes nothing as to the goals we have for your downtown. If anything, today’s news is the embodiment of the ethos we adopted several years ago of being proud, bold and committed.
Again, calm down.