What Shad Khan's Wembley deal means for England, Tottenham, Chelsea, Fulham
The news that Shad Khan, the billionaire owner of Fulham and the Jacksonville Jaguars, has put in a bid to buy Wembley from the Football Association caused a real stir when it broke on Thursday.
As well as having big implications for the NFL's planned expansion across the Atlantic, there are potential knock-on effects for the England national team, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Khan's own club, Fulham.
ESPN FC's Tottenham and Chelsea correspondents, Dan Kilpatrick and Liam Twomey, look at what the proposed £800 million deal could mean for those teams.
Deciding whether to sell Wembley is a complicated equation for the FA, but the potential benefits to the England national team are much easier to see.
The presence of an NFL franchise at the home of English football would necessitate England playing their autumn international matches elsewhere, but this should be seen as a liberation rather than a burden.
Rather than being tethered to one home by the FA's need to recoup the cost of the new Wembley's construction, England could take their games to other parts of the country -- as they did from 2000 to 2007, when the new stadium was being built -- and give everyone a chance to reconnect with the national side.
Moreover, the FA's plan to build 1,500 new artificial pitches across England with the proceeds of the deal would be a huge boost to grassroots participation that should, in the long term, trickle up to benefit the senior team. -- DK
Spurs will have played their final league game at the national stadium by the time Khan hopes to conclude the deal and, although another year at Wembley remains the club's contingency plan if their 61,500-seater new home hits unexpected delays, they do not expect to be back next season.
However, Khan's bid is a potential blow to Spurs' hopes of sharing their £850m new stadium, which has been custom-built for football and American football, with a permanent NFL franchise in the future.
The club has agreed a 10-year deal with the NFL, starting in October 2018, to host at least two games per year at the north London stadium and Spurs' chairman Daniel Levy, the project's brainchild, has previously told ESPN that the club had hoped an NFL London franchise would eventually make its permanent home there.
"Clearly we wouldn't both be putting all this into this stadium if there wasn't the prospect of one day a team eventually coming to London," Levy said in September 2016. "But there are certainly no guarantees that A) a team comes to London, and B) they have to use our stadium. We're all putting the effort in in the hopes that they will do it."
Given Khan's London connections, the Jaguars were always considered the most likely team to relocate across the pond but Spurs' could now face future competition to house an NFL team from the billionaire's redeveloped Wembley. -- DK
Wembley is Chelsea's preferred choice for a temporary home while Stamford Bridge is redeveloped, so news of Khan's bid for the stadium will have been greeted with great interest by Roman Abramovich and his project team.
Talks with the Football Association over the possibility of succeeding Tottenham as tenants have not been smooth, and as part of their due diligence Chelsea have also looked at Twickenham and the London Stadium, though neither are considered particularly feasible.
There is also Craven Cottage, the home of Khan's other big English football investment, but its significantly smaller capacity (25,700 compared to 41,631) and the likely opposition of Fulham supporters makes it a less than ideal solution.
Khan's public assertion this week that Chelsea would be welcome at Wembley is a positive start to discussions. Just as with previous negotiations with the FA, however, the key question remains what price they would have to pay. -- LT
At the moment, the deal should not mean a great deal for Fulham. Khan is reported to be committed to his plans to regenerate the club with an expansion of their training ground and a revamp of Craven Cottage, and the billionaire is thought to have no plans to relocate the Cottagers to Wembley.
Khan has ploughed money into the club since buying them and his designs on Wembley suggest he is committed to London sport for the long-term, which should excite the Fulham fans. -- LT