Fulham owner Shahid Khan has withdrawn his offer to buy Wembley Stadium from the FA after not receiving sufficient support from the English game’s governing body.
While the Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner remains open to revisiting a purchase of the stadium, the home of English football will now remain under the control of the FA.
In a statement on Wednesday, FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the organisation respected his decision.
Shortly after the announcement, Khan released his own statement:
“I’ve been clear publicly as well as in my correspondence with the FA Council that it would require a proper partnership, with the full and enthusiastic commitment of all involved, to maximise the benefits to the FA and game of football by way of 100 per cent private ownership of Wembley Stadium.
“At this moment, following last week’s FA Council hearing, it appears there is no definitive mandate to sell Wembley and my current proposal, subsequently, would earn the backing of only a slim majority of the FA Council, well short of the conclusive margin that the FA Chairman has required.
“The intent of my efforts was, and is, to do right by everyone in a manner that strengthens the English game and brings people together, not divides them.
“Unfortunately, given where we are today, I’ve concluded that the outcome of a vote next week would be far from sufficient in expressing the broad support favoured by the FA Chairman to sell Wembley Stadium.
“Until a time when it is evident there is an unmistakable directive from the FA to explore and close a sale, I am respectfully withdrawing my offer to purchase Wembley Stadium.
“I cannot rule out revisiting the opportunity at another time when perhaps the Football Association family is unified in its views on the opportunity.
“What is certain is seeing a proposal of this magnitude come to fruition would necessitate an extraordinary partnership, one capable of doing remarkable things for all of our respective constituents well into the future.
“That would require the partners getting off to a strong and promising start, and with opinions clearly split, that is not possible at this time.
“The journey was not without its rewards, as I have strengthened standing relationships while making new friends along the way. Wembley Stadium is indeed a national treasure, one I would care for and respect for generations.
“I recognise the passion many people have for Wembley and what it means to English football, and will be willing to re-engage with the FA on this matter under proper circumstances.
“In the meantime, I thank the FA for its consideration and as it continues to deliberate the potential of private ownership of Wembley Stadium, I trust it will own and operate Wembley in a manner that will provide exceptional service to players, guests and the development of football in England.”