The Football Association has announced it has received an offer to buy Wembley.
The London Evening Standard reported on Thursday that Fulham owner Shahid Khan, who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, had put in a £500million bid to buy the national stadium.
The total bid value is reportedly £800million, with £300million for Club Wembley and the hospitality business.
The FA said in a statement: “We can confirm that the FA has received an offer to buy Wembley Stadium.”
Khan says his offer to would be a “victory for everyone”.
Now there is the spectre of Wembley changing hands.
An outline agreement between Khan and FA chief executive Martin Glenn is said to already be in place, with the Fulham chairman confirming his intention to buy the national stadium in a statement released to Press Association Sport.
“I’ve enjoyed a rewarding relationship with The Football Association for years and my more recent exchanges and time spent with Martin Glenn have served to further strengthen a connection with the FA that made it natural and ultimately possible for both parties to consider this transaction,” he said.
“An agreement would result in Wembley Stadium returning to private ownership, permitting the FA to fully focus on its core mission, which includes the development of talent and serving the game from grassroots to the men’s and women’s national teams, all with the benefit of long-term funding made possible by this transaction.
“Working with Martin and his team has been a pleasure and clearly productive.
“Should we be fortunate to close on the purchase, it’s important to stress that the spirit and essence of Wembley would be unchanged.
Wembley is a special place, beloved in London and known throughout the world.
“I understand the responsibility and accountability that would be ours to accept, and at all times we will be guided so the stadium and Wembley brand are both protected and enhanced.
“Always know that Wembley will be home to England’s national teams and, under our stewardship, continue to be a destination for top global football matches and championships, as well as major events such as NFL football games and concerts.
“We will take excellent care of Wembley Stadium in every respect, and at all times be good citizens and neighbours here in London and beyond.”
Khan added: “If my ownership interests were to include Wembley Stadium, it would enhance the Jaguars’ position in London. And the stronger the Jaguars are in London, the more stable and promising the Jaguars’ future will be in Jacksonville.
“I am grateful for all of my experiences and investments in London, and am privileged to have this opportunity with the FA to forge an agreement that I am certain will be a victory for everyone.”
Bayern Munich take on Real Madrid in the second semi-final of this year’s Champions League, with fans hoping the match will produce the same excitement as Liverpool’s thrilling 5-2 win over Roma last night.
The fixture between the German and Spanish giants has produced some memorable moments in the competition in previous years but none more so than the quickest Champions League goal of all time.
Going into their 2007 round of 16 second leg against Fabio Capello’s Real Madrid, the Germans couldn’t afford to lose the game, having been defeated 3-2 by the Spanish giants in a electrifying first leg at the Bernabeu. Interestingly, Munich had yet to score inside the first quarter-hour of any of their 2006/07 Champions League games. That soon changed as striker Roy Makaay etched his name into the competition’s history books with the quickest goal the tournament has ever seen.
Madrid kicked off and almost immediately left-back Roberto Carlos miss-controlled a pass, allowing Hasan Salihamidzic to pounce, and square the ball to Makaay who slotted past ‘keeper Iker Casillas after just 10.12 seconds.
Bayern went on to win the game 2-1, which saw them advance to the quarterfinals on away goals, with the tie level 4-4 on aggregate. The Germans would go no further in the competition however as AC Milan defeated the Bundesliga side 4-2 over two legs. The Italians would eventually go on to win the competition with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the final.
After retiring, Makaay worked as a youth coach at Feyenoord and later took a specialist-attacking role with the senior side. A European Golden Boot winner while at Deportivo La Coruña in 2002/03, Makaay struck 103 goals for Bayern in his career.
Valencia’s Jonas netted the second fastest Champions League goal, in 10.96 seconds, in 3-1 win against Leverkusen in 2011.
Octo Finissimo Automatic A Third World Record for Bulgari
Bulgari is once again the spotlight, proudly presenting its third successive world record.
The Octo Finissimo Automatic is the slimmest ultra-thin self-winding watch on the market to date.
After introducing its Tourbillon in 2014 and the Minute Repeater in 2016, the Maison unveils its new creation featuring a total thickness of just 5.15mm, while its self-winding movement is just 2.23mm thick for a 40mm diameter.
The iconic Octo is once again pushing the boundaries of watchmaking feasibility.
Legendary former Al Ahly coach Manuel Jose is concerned that Egyptian youth are losing their passion for football due to the ongoing stadium ban that has been in place for domestic competitions for most of the past six years.
A stadium riot in Port Said in February 2012 during a game between Al Ahly and Al Masry left 74 people dead and fans have been unable to attend games regularly ever since. A partial lifting of the ban was announced two months ago but it only allowed 300 fans into league games.
Jose, who was in Dubai last week for the launch of the Wadi Degla Football Academy, of which he is the technical advisor, is hoping to create a new generation of young players that have a different mentality and possess burning passion for the sport.
While Mohamed Salah has been an unrivaled inspirational figure for all Egyptians, Jose notes that there are few young role models in football for the upcoming generation to look up to.
“We want these kids to be modern type of football players,” the Portuguese retired coach said at the academy launch at Al Wasl Club.
“Egypt nowadays has a problem. The government is trying to open the stadium doors to the fans.
“These days, kids don’t go to the stadiums with their parents. And that means that this passion for football will start to die. We have to produce new players with a different mentality.
“We need the stadiums to open their doors, put politics to one side, and allow people to go watch matches live. These days kids only watch football on TV.
“The golden generation in Egyptian football has gone. I won with these players, Egypt won with these players, and now the only famous stars are Mohamed Salah, and in Egypt, Abdallah El Said, more or less.
“[Mahmoud] Trezeguet is young, Ramadan Sobhi, they are young. What do you want more? Hadary? Hadary is in the museum now with Ramses II,” he said of the 45-year-old veteran goalkeeper.
“What do these kids see? A match on TV. I can’t see a live football match for 15 minutes in a stadium. On TV they watch Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City or PSG or Bayern Munich. The big stars only.
“I’ll give you an example. Write this. Championships finished in Egypt in March, at the end of last month. The next time you can watch another championship is in seven months, in October. It’s unbelievable.”
Wadi Degla is the first club from Egypt to bring an academy to the UAE. Operations will start at two locations — JSS International School in Dubai and Ajyal Sports Centre in Sharjah.