Wembley Stadium would be allowed to return to the ownership of The FA for just £100m if the new owner allows it to be downgraded as a host football venue by UEFA.
The Football Association and Shahid Khan have supposedly agreed to a £600m purchase of the stadium, however it is yet to be confirmed by either party. A full board meeting is set to take place on Thursday, where the deal will be discussed at length.
Khan is the current owner of the Jacksonville Jaguar’s American Football team, and there has been rumours that he is keen to bring a franchise to London.
It is thought that this buyback agreement has been put into place to placate those against the sale. It is also thought that The FA would keep representation on the stadium’s board, they would also have a veto over sponsorship, a guaranteed staging agreement that major domestic and international fixtures are played there, and the step-in rights to take back operational control should it not be kept to certain standards.
The majority of proceeds would go towards grassroots football, but insiders aren’t sure whether members of the amateur game’s board would agree, despite the windfall.
There are fears that a crisis over the sport’s governance could be sparked following the sale after Greg Clarke, the FA chairman, Martin Glenn, the governing body’s chief executive, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England and the Greater London Authority have all endorsed and supported the sale. A source claims that those endorsing the purchase are “the guys who stand to benefit the most from a sale”.