Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan's sports empire is spreading overseas.
Khan is officially the new owner of Fulham F.C. of the English Premier League. The press release announcing the move Friday said Khan assumes 100 percent ownership of the club. A formal announcement is scheduled in London on Saturday. News of the possible ownership transfer leaked out Wednesday.
"Fulham is the perfect club at the perfect time for me," Khan said in a statement. "I want to be clear, I do not view myself so much as the owner of Fulham, but a custodian of the club on behalf of its fans. My priority is to ensure the club and Craven Cottage each have a viable and sustainable Premier League future that fans of present and future generations can be proud of. We will manage the club's financial and operational affairs with prudence and care, with youth development and community programs as fundamentally important elements of Fulham's future."
Khan committed to play a "major role" in growing the NFL brand in London after committing the Jaguars to playing overseas once a year for the next four seasons. (Starting in October against the San Francisco 49ers.)
Khan has steadfastly addressed his strong commitment to the city of Jacksonville, and he has backed that up by investing significant financial resources on the team's stadium. Still, this adventure into London shows a desire to grow his revenue and potentially grow the Jaguars' name overseas. It's not fair to Jaguars fans, but the move will only increase speculation about the team someday moving overseas, too. London papers already are suggesting as much.
Khan addressed the issue in an email to Jaguars season-ticket holders.
"Fulham and the Jaguars each have a great responsibility," he wrote, via The Florida Times-Union. "Both deserve nothing less than a 100 percent commitment from ownership. In short, our pledge to you -- a Jaguars franchise that is proud, bold and committed -- remains unchanged."Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.