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MPs to investigate Wembley Stadium offer

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MPs are to investigate the proposed £600m sale of Wembley Stadium to American football tycoon Shahid Khan.

Mr Khan, the billionaire owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team as well as Fulham Football Club, was revealed last week to have made an offer.

Now the digital, culture, media and sport select committee plans to hold a one-off evidence session on the future of Wembley on 18 July.
It is inviting witnesses including sports minister Tracey Crouch as well as representatives from the Football Association, the current owner of the stadium, and Sport England.
Damian Collins, chair of the committee, said: “Wembley is the home of English football, built in part using public money.
“There should be some public scrutiny of any decision to sell the stadium and how proceeds from this could be invested to benefit the long-term future of the game.”
Mr Collins said MPs wanted to understand the details of the FA’s proposals in relation to the possible sale as well as hearing from critics.
They plan to look at the potential risks and benefits of the deal, how the proceeds would be used, and the impact on the future of English football.

Some in the game have been won over by talk of the sale generating £500m to be invested in grassroots sport but there has been controversy over the idea that it would mean the national team having to play some home fixtures away from the historic north London venue.
That is because a deal is likely to see the creation of the first NFL franchise outside the US, meaning England’s autumn internationals taking place across the country rather than at Wembley.
A stadium was first erected on the site in 1923 and was reopened in 2007 after a £757m rebuild.
It has already hosted some NFL games and has been a temporary base for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur during the current season as their new stadium is completed.

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Mr Khan has sought to assuage fears about Wembley’s future in his hands, saying: “English football is sacred and that’s the priority.”
He said he expected showpiece events such as the FA Cup and League Cup finals to continue to take place there.

Source: SKY