A spokesman for American tycoon Shahid Khan says the Jacksonville Jaguars owner has bought Premier League club Fulham.
Jim Woodcock told The Associated Press news agency on Friday that the deal to buy the London club from Mohamed Al Fayed had been completed.
The sale comes with Khan’s Jaguars preparing to play NFL regular season games in London.
The Jaguars have a deal to play one home game in London for four consecutive seasons starting in October at Wembley Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers.
Khan becomes the sixth American owner of a Premier League team.
It was revealed on Wednesday that Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed was on the verge of selling the Barclays Premier League club after investing £200m over 16 years in establishing the team in the top flight.
And Khan, a Pakistan-born billionaire car parts manufacturer who bought the Jaguars in December 2011, has the deep pockets necessary for a deal to be done with 84-year-old Al-Fayed.
Khan has already shown his liking for London by signing a contract for the Jaguars, who do not sell out all their home games in Florida, to play one NFL match per season for the next four years at Wembley stadium.
Khan, 62, is the first non-American to own a NFL club and sees the global sports picture. He describes London as ‘the missing piece’ in the growth of his NFL team. Buying Fulham for a price in excess of £150m would allow him the opportunity to promote both his sports brands to maximum effect in London.
Al Fayed has conducted negotiations with great secrecy from his London office in Park Lane, with Fulham’s club executive knowing little or nothing about the imminent change of ownership – even after Khan’s interest was made public by Sportsmail on Wednesday.
The Jaguars boss has conducted parallel negotiations with Al Fayed’s advisors and the Premier League to ensure the change of ownership can go through as quickly as possible.
Khan was ranked by Forbes last year among the world’s richest 500 people with an estimated wealth of £1.7bn, putting him somewhere between Newcastle’s Mike Ashley and Arsenal’s Stan Kroenke in Premier League terms. His arrival is likely to provide Fulham with a lot more spending power.
Al Fayed has wanted his club to be self-sustaining for the past three seasons, meaning outlay on players has been minimal. Khan has just committed to spending £45m on improvements to the EverBank Field stadium in Jacksonville which will include the world’s largest video screens, more than 300ft long, above each end zone.
The Jaguars committing one of their home games to Wembley for four years points to the Jacksonville club eventually becoming a London NFL franchise.