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    Bainbridge NCFC

    Kyle Bainbridge: Should Wembley Stadium be sold to Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan?

    In the last week, football fans in England were outraged at the prospect of Wembley Stadium being sold to Fulham FC & Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan for a cost of £600m up front rising to over £1bn.

    Khan is thought to have had this bid lined up for months and has stated he expects the deal to be completed in the next six weeks.

    Swansea City boss Carlos Carvalhal was quoted in saying that Wembley is as much of a monument in England as Big Ben and the thought of it being sold off is something he disagrees with.

    But where does this leave English Football?

    Since the news emerged of the bid, the FA have made a statement aiming to justify the sale of our national stadium suggesting that £600m from this sale would be pumped into grassroots football which would allow up to 1,500 new pitches being created, and new drainage systems and floodlights to be introduced.

    For years, people have been demonstrating the need for money to be given to grassroots football to help our young footballers improve.

    In 2015, the Premier League was given TV rights of up to £5.14bn until 2019, then from the 2019-20 season are given £4.464bn with more game coverage.

    Considering this amount of money being pumped into the top level of English football, grassroots are yet to see any of that money so it's not hard to understand why there are skeptical fans out there wondering if the money from Wembley being sold would actually be pumped into our Grassroots system which is in desperate need of new funding.

    The old Wembley was demolished between the 2002-03 season with the new Wembley being opened in 2007. During these four years with no national stadium, playoffs and cup finals were played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

    The England national team, meanwhile, played their friendlies and qualifiers at grounds all over the country from Villa Park to Old Trafford.

    Ticket prices and travel to Wembley have left some fans unable to attend matches feeling that England should re-travel the country.

    Travelling the country would allow more fans to attend matches locally without having to pay excessive travel fees and in some cases accommodation costs which may be needed especially if a match was to be played on a weeknight, as most matches during qualifiers are.

    England could experiment with the idea of playing away from Wembley with the introduction of the UEFA Nations League as well as having friendlies across England while keeping qualifying games at Wembley.

    During the first couple of years after Wembley was re-opened, many people were quick to criticise the playing surface as unsuitable due to concerts and NFL games being played on the ground.

    Considering the potential buyer owns an NFL team in the shape of the Jacksonville Jaguars, could eventually, over the coming years, transform this into an NFL arena?

    Indeed, would playoffs and cup finals remain at Wembley? And will grassroots football see any of that money if it was sold?

    Do you as a football fan agree with this decision?

    Share your thoughts about this opinion article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.





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