Wembley sale tops agenda for crucial FA Council meeting

FA chairman Greg Clarke has written to members of the governing body’s council ahead of a critical meeting which could shape the future of Wembley stadium.

The bulk of the letter is made up of answers to 23 key questions related to US billionaire Shahid Khan’s £900m offer for the national stadium.

A number of senior members of the 127-strong FA Council are opposed to the sale to the Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner – and the issue tops the agenda at the meeting at Wembley on May 29.

In his letter, Clarke said: “It’s important that any decision we make is collaborative and for the good of English football as a whole.

“Everyone on The FA board and council has the interests of English football at their heart and together I am sure we will make the right decision for the game.”

He also stressed that talks with Khan are at “a very early stage” and it will be the “autumn before any decisions need to be made”.

Clarke explains the Q&A was prepared by the executive team working on the possible sale and it reveals details of the offer.

They make it clear Khan has been talking to the FA about basing his NFL team at Wembley full-time for several years but has only seriously discussed buying the stadium more recently.

His offer of £600m cash plus letting the FA keep the Club Wembley hospitality business, worth approximately £300m, was not his first offer but it is the first the FA board has decided to formally consider.

The letter stresses Khan’s bid “was not directly solicited” by the FA and it is not a “distressed sale” because the governing body is on target to repay the debts it accrued during the venue’s troubled £789m redevelopment.

The governing body says its “number one challenge” is the poor state of facilities across the country and a windfall from Wembley would enable the FA to make “the single biggest investment into grassroots football by any sporting body in the world”.

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