New Fulham FC owner and Jacksonville Jaguars NFL owner Shahid Khan has been talking to the media the day after he took control of the west London Premier League football club.
Speaking to Sky Sports News today, he wouldn’t rule out a move to London for Jacksonville but the great news is that he continues to underline his commitment to community involvement.
Khan sent an email out to the season ticket holders of Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of his Fulham FC purchase where he underlined “…the great responsibilities to communities…” that both of his clubs have.
Anyone in community sport will know the great work and far reach of work that Fulham FC in the Community have and we look forward to seeing flag football and NFL being part of their work going forward under the new club ownership.
Khan will fly out to Costa Rica to meet Fulham manager Martin Jol and his team who are there on a pre-season trip – Fulham’s striker Bryan Ruiz is Costa Rican.
Craven Cottage is not so unfamiliar to Khan though as, according to the Fulham FC official Twitter feed, he attended the 2006/07 Premier League match between Fulham and Liverpool on 5th May 2007 which Fulham won 1-0 thanks to a 69th minute winner from Clint Dempsey…the American national team captain.
Interview on Sky Sports News
Sky Sports News: What are your feelings about taking over Fulham FC?
Shahid Khan: It’s an absolutely incredible feeling. It’s a great day, I think, for me and, hopefully, for the Fulham fans.
Sky Sports News: What are your aims at this club?
Shahid Khan: My aims are to continue the tradition and really to have a very sustainable club moving forward.
Sky Sports News: Why Fulham?
Shahid Khan: It’s a very special place and a perfect club for me at a perfect time.
Sky Sports News: You are a reported billionaire, how much did you pay for Fulham FC?
Shahid Khan: That is highly confidential.
Sky Sports News: What long-term investment opportunities do you see at Fulham?
Shahid Khan: Mr al-Fayed did an incredible job here over the past 16 years, building it to where it is and this is a passing of the baton, taking it to the next level.
There has been a plan to build a riverside development and I think that’s absolutely vital. This is a special historic place that needs the investment and our goal would be to redevelop it and have it moving forward.
Sky Sports News: What were the negotiations with Mr. al-Fayed like?
Shahid Khan: I really enjoyed getting to know him – he is a wonderful guy and very much to the point. This (takeover) is something about which I contacted him recently and it came to a conclusion very quickly, very amiably, it’s good for him, good for us and most importantly, great for the Fulham fans.
It’s incredible, he rescued Fulham and has a great vision – he shared that with me. To him, to me, to all the Fulham fans, it is very important that we move forward.
Sky Sports News: What can Fulham expect from you?
Shahid Khan: There’s a great leadership here at Fulham and my goal is to sustain that and also really support the business. I have a lot to learn, but I will be supporting them.
Sky Sports News: Will you make funds to buy players available to Fulham FC?
Shahid Khan: It’s very difficult to be specific, I am not a micro manager – I don’t plan on being involved day-to-day, but I do plan on giving them the support, financial or otherwise to be successful on the pitch.
Sky Sports News: Will you be keeping the statue of Michael Jackson here?
Shahid Khan: I’ve been an owner less than a day. We have to respect history but also move forward. I am going to reflect on it, listen to the fans, and then really decide.
Sky Sports News: What impact will this here in Fulham have on your ownership of Jacksonville Jaguars? Will you base them here in London?
Shahid Khan: These are two distinct clubs that will operate differently and independently, yet there is a huge amount of synergy and our goal will be to take advantage of that.
Sky Sports News: Will Jacksonville Jaguars become the first British NFL franchise?
Shahid Khan: Right now, we are committed to playing a game in London each year for the next four years.
Sky Sports News: Do you aim for Fulham to be able to compete with teams like Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea?
Shahid Khan: Right now that would be wonderful, but we have to make sure it’s consistently sustainable.
Sky Sports News: What are your emotions like right now?
Shahid Khan: It has absolutely been incredible; it is something I will remember forever.
- New Fulham owner Shahid Khan sends classy newsletter to fans of Jacksonville Jaguars regarding Fulham (101greatgoals.com)
- Fulham bought by US billionaire (bbc.co.uk)