By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
It has been reported in the media that Wembley Stadium, the iconic home of English football in North London, UK, is up for sale.
It appears that the English Football Association (FA) is in advanced talks with American billionaire, Shahid Khan, to sell the Stadium for £600 million, which is less than the £757 million it cost to build!
Not only are football fans in uproar about this, but it is also said that the UK Culture Secretary, Matt Hancock, MP, is “furious”. After all, Wembley Stadium is the home of English football, a game which the English invented.
Shahid Khan not only owns the English football club, Fulham, but also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise in the States.
If the sale goes ahead, and it seems that the Culture Secretary is powerless to stop it from doing so, the FA say that they will put the money into ‘grass roots’ football, by providing thousands of all-weather pitches around the country.
It seems that Khan wants the Stadium to establish it as the home of his NFL team, providing it with its long-desired bridgehead into Europe.
Richard Williams, writing in the English newspaper ‘The Guardian’ on 30 April 2018, remarked as follows:
“It is absolutely right to want to improve facilities for amateurs and young players around the country. But with the amount of money sloshing into and sluicing out of the game each year, there must be cleverer ways of paying for it by selling your birthright for a mess of pottage. Esau regretted his bargain, and so will the FA.”
Interesting times as always, when sport, money and politics clash!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’