Billionaire Shahid Khan Completes Deal for Premier League's Fulham

Shahid KhanAccording to a source familiar, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan completed his purchase of the soccer club Fulham.

Shahid Khan becomes the 6th American to buy into the highest level of European soccer, subsequent in the footsteps of fellow multi-team-owning billionaires like Stanley Kroenke, John Henry, & Malcolm Glazer. The purchase price wasn’t immediately known, but it’s for 100% of the team, debt-free.

The Daily Mail first reported Shahid Khan was negotiating to buy the British Premier League squad earlier this week. The selling proprietor is fellow billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed, who acquired control of Fulham during 1997.

Shahid Khan said, “Fulham is the perfect club at the perfect time for me. My priority is to make sure the club & Craven Cottage each have a viable & sustainable Premier League future that fans of present & future generations can be proud of. We’ll manage the club’s operational and financial affairs with prudence & care, with youth development & community programs as fundamentally vital elements of Fulham’s future.”

Billionaire Shahid Khan The move could make strategic sense for him, who is already trying to leverage the overseas market in favor of the Jaguars. He committed the American football team to play one NFL home game in London for every of the next 4 years. However, it is unlikely that Shahid Khan could bank on many cross-sport synergies. Such as, Craven Cottage, the Fulham stadium, has a capacity of only thirty thousand far less than Wembley, the NFL’s present London stadium site.

Back in March, Shahid Khan told Forbes: “[American] Football is about as popular as it can be in the US. The advantage, the expansion & growth lies overseas… Eventually I think all thirty two clubs, their goal is to grow the game overseas & London is the reasonable place to do it.”

He will have to evade the pitfalls of other NFL proprietors getting into European soccer. Unlike nearly all American sports leagues that have severe salary caps, the Premier League is a free-for-all. Proprietors who are not willing to shell out millions of dollars per year to acquire top talent are often reviled, though such efforts would origin losses. Just ask Kroenke, proprietor of the St. Louis Rams & other U.S. sports properties, who has been under fire from fans still since he bought majority control of the Arsenal club.
Dealer Shahid Khan for premier league's fulhamFulham finished firmly in the middle of the pack last season, twelfths with eleven wins, ten draws, and eleven losses. However, Fulham already has a built in American fan base Shahid Khan can potentially leverage. Former U.S. soccer star Brian McBride & current national team stand out Clint Dempsey both had turns with the team.

Shahid Khan made his two point nine dollar billion fortune building auto parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate into the giant three point nine billion sales company it’s today. The Pakistan-born Khan came to the U.S. for the 1st time at age sixteen for college & earned an engineering degree from the University of Illinois.

Fayed, holder of the famed Hotel Ritz in Paris has an estimated net worth of one point four billion. In 2010 the London-based Egyptian sold Harrods to Qatar Holding for a reported two point four billion. He is since shifted his attention to online sell, buying U.K.-based discount fashion website Cocosa in 2011.

Fayed said, “Now is the right time for me to retire & use time playing football with my grandchildren. I’m sad but proud of our achievements. I’m very grateful to Fulham’s fans, many of incredible fans in the world. They have given me their support & love whenever they have observed me at home games. I would not at all let them down.”
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