NFL Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shahid Khan is "understood to be the NFL owner negotiating to buy" EPL side Fulham, according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Fulham Owner Mohamed Al-Fayed "was on the verge of selling the Premier League club" after investing £200M over the last 16 years in "establishing them in the top flight." And Khan, a billionaire car parts manufacturer who bought the Jaguars in Dec. '11, "is set to complete the deal with 84-year-old Fayed by the end of this week." Khan, a 62-year-old Pakistani who is the first non-American to own a NFL club, "sees the global sports picture." And he "describes the English capital as 'the missing piece' in the growth of his NFL team." So buying Fulham for a price in excess of £150M ($224M) would "allow him the opportunity to promote both sports brands to maximum effect in London." Al Fayed "has conducted negotiations with great secrecy from his London office in Park Lane," with the Fulham club execs "knowing little or nothing about the imminent change of ownership" (DAILY MAIL, 7/10). YAHOO SPORTS' Frank Schwab wrote "if you want to connect dots, Fulham being based in London surely raises some eyebrows." The Jaguars are "already testing out London, it seems." Khan buying a "well established and popular" Premier League club in London "certainly doesn't seem to be a completely random decision by a smart businessman" (YAHOO SPORTS, 7/10).
Welsh Football League Barry Town United AFC's bid to be allowed into the Welsh League "has failed after the Football Association of Wales refused to discuss a reprieve," according to the BBC. A special council meeting "was called in Caersws to discuss Barry and Llanelli's bid to have their full FAW membership restored." The FAW stated that they "had called a meeting they were not allowed to call under their own standing orders." Councillors voted that they "could not hear the case of either club." Barry Town withdrew from the league in May, but supporters "formed a new club and sought to stay in the league" (BBC, 7/9).
Edinburgh, Scotland shoe salesman Bob Jamieson "has teamed up in a bid" to buy Scottish Premier League Heart of Midlothian "with one of the men associated with a failed effort to take over" Scottish Second Division Rangers last summer, according to Stuart Bathgate of the SCOTSMAN. Jamieson, who runs Kex Shoes Ltd., has joined forces with Club 9 Sports Co-Founder Jon Pritchett, who "was one of the key players" in American businessman Bill Miller’s attempt to take control at Ibrox. Jamieson, a former sponsor of Hearts, was "involved in previous offers to buy the club both in 1999, when Chris Robinson was in control, and in 2011, when Vladimir Romanov first put it on the market." Jamieson and Pritchett "plan to move Hearts away from Tynecastle to an as-yet-unspecified site on the outskirts of Edinburgh." Hearts administrators BDO "have named Friday as the deadline for offers to buy Hearts." Business sources "poured doubt on initial claims" that the Jamieson-Pritchett offer would be for £5M ($7.5M). Analysts suggest that such a sum "would most likely include an amount designed to bridge a funding gap" for the first three years -- possibly as much as £3M ($4.4M) (SCOTSMAN, 7/10).
Scottish Second Division side Rangers investor Kieran Prior has reacted with “dismay and horror” to the latest shakeup in the Ibrox boardroom, according to Gary Ralston of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. James Easdale was appointed a non-exec director on Tuesday, just hours after former Chair Malcolm Murray and Non-Exec Dir Phil Cartmell left the board. Prior is "also deeply concerned at the departure of Cartmell, the placeman of brokers Cenkos, who have now been replaced by 'boutique investment bank' Strand Hanson." Prior: "Unassuming fans might think it a non-event but the presence of Cenkos would have assured investors both present and future" (DAILY RECORD, 7/10).
La Liga side Athletic Bilbao's new stadium, the San Mames Barria, is set to open in mid-September, but until then the club will play its home matches at Anoeta, the stadium of rival club Real Sociedad. Athletic Bilbao will begin the season on the road but is scheduled to host Osasuna in the second week of matches, with that match scheduled to "take place at the Anoeta" (INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL, 7/10). ... Williams Advanced Engineering has been awarded a grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Energy Entrepreneurs Fund to develop flywheel-based energy storage systems for use in grid stabilization (Williams). ... A fan group of Scottish Premier League club Celtic has "reacted with fury" to the new Scottish Premier Football League's decision to move its first league game of the season to a 5:15pm kickoff on a Saturday. The Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters’ Clubs "are adamant switching the start of the champions’ campaign" to suit TV is a slap in the face for season-ticket holders (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 7/10).