SBD/July 11, 2013/Franchises

Jaguars Quiet Regarding Reports Shad Khan Is Looking To Buy EPL's Fulham FC

If Khan purchases Fulham, it could lead to extra promotion of the Jaguars in the U.K.
The Jaguars yesterday would not comment on a U.K. report that team Owner Shad Khan is “on the cusp of purchasing” EPL club Fulham FC for an estimated $224M, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. The London Daily Mail yesterday first reported that Khan “could complete negotiations” to acquire Fulham from Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed as soon as tomorrow. The acquisition would “further expand Khan’s footprint on Europe in general and on London in particular.” The purchase reportedly “could be completed in time for the club’s season opener Aug. 17 at Sunderland” (JACKSONVILLE.com, 7/10). In London, Jack de Menezes noted Al Fayed “has been at the helm of the club since he purchased it” for US$9.44M in ‘97, and he “loaned them the money as he oversaw a rise from the fourth tier of English football to the Premier League.” Al Fayed last year converted his $302M “worth of loans into equity,” meaning Fulham is “essentially debt free in an attempt to make the club more attractive to any potential investors, and also to comply with UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play rules.” The club “also gained planning permission to redevelop the Riverside Stand to take the maximum capacity up to 30,000, and remove another stumbling block that any new owners might encounter.” Still, much to “the frustration of manager Martin Jol, Fayed has reduced his spending at the club over the last 18 months” (INDEPENDENT.co.uk, 7/10).

HAVING MORE OF A PRESENCE IN LONDON: YAHOO SPORTS’ Frank Schwab wrote Khan “buying a well-established and popular Premier League soccer club in London doesn't seem to be a random decision by a smart businessman.” Having a presence in the London soccer scene “wouldn't be a bad thing for Khan if he plans to heavily promote the Jaguars there.” The NFL “seems set on becoming more international,” and the Jaguars “appear to be as good of a candidate as any to be that international team.” Khan's interest in buying a London soccer team “probably won't quell those concerns in Jacksonville” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/10).
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