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Shad Khan withdraws bid to buy Wembley Stadium

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Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan is shutting down his efforts to buy Wembley Stadium.

Khan and the Football Association announced Wednesday that the Jacksonville Jaguars owner has withdrawn his unsolicited offer to purchase the London stadium.

"Unfortunately, given where we are today, I've concluded that the outcome of a vote next week would be far from sufficient in expressing the broad support favored by the FA Chairman to sell Wembley Stadium," Khan said in a statement. "Until a time when it is evident there is an unmistakable directive from the FA to explore and close a sale, I am respectfully withdrawing my offer to purchase Wembley Stadium."

Khan, who is principal owner of Fulham F.C. as well as the Jags, proposed purchasing the stadium earlier this year, an effort he argued would free up funds to allow the FA to allocate elsewhere.

"... At a recent meeting with Mr. Khan he expressed to us that, without stronger support from within the game, his offer is being seen as more divisive than it was anticipated to be and has decided to withdraw his proposal," FA chief executive Martin Glenn said in a statement. "Wembley Stadium is an iconic venue that is revered around world and it will continue to thrive under the ownership and direction of The FA."

The dalliance with buying the stadium was viewed by many as the next step in Khan potentially moving the Jags permanently to London -- a change he has repeatedly denied.

Wednesday news should pump the breaks further on any talks about a team moving its home base across the pond. Here is Khan's complete statement on his decision:

I've been clear publicly as well as in my correspondence with the FA Council that it would require a proper partnership, with the full and enthusiastic commitment of all involved, to maximize the benefits to the FA and game of football by way of 100 percent private ownership of Wembley Stadium. At this moment, following last week's FA Council hearing, it appears there is no definitive mandate to sell Wembley and my current proposal, subsequently, would earn the backing of only a slim majority of the FA Council, well short of the conclusive margin that the FA Chairman has required.

The intent of my efforts was, and is, to do right by everyone in a manner that strengthens the English game and brings people together, not divides them. Unfortunately, given where we are today, I've concluded that the outcome of a vote next week would be far from sufficient in expressing the broad support favored by the FA Chairman to sell Wembley Stadium. Until a time when it is evident there is an unmistakable directive from the FA to explore and close a sale, I am respectfully withdrawing my offer to purchase Wembley Stadium.

I cannot rule out revisiting the opportunity at another time when perhaps the Football Association family is unified in its views on the opportunity. What is certain is seeing a proposal of this magnitude come to fruition would necessitate an extraordinary partnership, one capable of doing remarkable things for all of our respective constituents well into the future. That would require the partners getting off to a strong and promising start, and with opinions clearly split, that is not possible at this time.

The journey was not without its rewards, as I have strengthened standing relationships while making new friends along the way. Wembley Stadium is indeed a national treasure, one I would care for and respect for generations. I recognize the passion many people have for Wembley and what it means to English football, and will be willing to re-engage with the FA on this matter under proper circumstances. In the meantime, I thank the FA for its consideration and as it continues to deliberate the potential of private ownership of Wembley Stadium, I trust it will own and operate Wembley in a manner that will provide exceptional service to players, guests and the development of football in England.

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