It was revealed today that I have made an offer to purchase Wembley Stadium from The Football Association. To everyone in the Fulham Family, I wanted you to be among the first to hear the news, directly from me, and share a bit of background.
As you likely know, in addition to the privilege of serving as Chairman of Fulham Football Club, I am also owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League in the U.S. The Jaguars have played regular season home games at Wembley Stadium in each of the past five NFL seasons and will continue to do so at least through the 2020 season. The games the Jaguars play at Wembley are essential to the financial stability of the Jaguars in Jacksonville, which is one of the smallest markets in the NFL. If my ownership interests were to include Wembley Stadium, it would protect the Jaguars’ position in London at a time when other NFL teams are understandably becoming more interested in this great city. And the stronger the Jaguars are in London, the more stable and promising the Jaguars’ future will be in Jacksonville.
As important, Wembley Stadium would return to private ownership and The Football Association would be able to focus on its core mission of developing players with the best player developers and facilities anywhere in the game, thanks in part to the vast financial benefit that would result from the transaction. I trust many if not most of you are also supporters of the England national teams, so I hope you welcome the potential of this becoming a reality. Always know Wembley would be home to the England national teams, and that we would strive every day of the year to be the best possible steward for a venue that is iconic and beloved here and throughout the world.
No matter what the outcome of our offer may be, I want to emphatically state to you that none of this will have any effect on my commitment to your Club.
To be clear, this venture is 100 per cent independent of my investment in and operation of Fulham Football Club, Motspur Park and Craven Cottage. No less attention will be paid to developing players and fielding a squad that will win with frequency and always make you proud. It will have no impact on Craven Cottage as the home of FFC. And this is imperative to know, and I encourage you to spread the word – absolutely nothing changes in our plans to redevelop the Riverside Stand.
I hope you will support my effort in this endeavour, and I know you’re with me in wishing our First Team the very best tomorrow night against Sunderland as we take aim at promotion in the final two weekends of the season. I have submitted programme notes for tomorrow’s match that reflect upon our magical campaign and the opportunity ahead, and I’ll have them posted online here at fulhamfc.com in advance of kick-off.
In case you don’t get a chance to read the notes, let me take this opportunity to thank you for all you’ve done to make this a record-breaking season at Fulham Football Club. Come On You Whites!