Mohamed al-Fayed agrees sale of Fulham to Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shalid Khan

 

Mohamed al-Fayed's 16-year association with Fulham come to an end tonight after the Egyptian agreed a deal for the sale of the club to Shahid Khan.

The 84-year-old former Harrods owner has transformed the west Londoners from a third-tier outfit to an established Premier League side since taking over in 1997.

Sustained reports this week suggested Fayed would now sell the club and the Cottagers have tonight confirmed a deal has been struck with Khan, billionaire owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“My time of serving as the custodian of Fulham Football Club would one day come to an end, and I feel that time has now arrived,” Fayed said in a statement.

“The time is right because I have found a very good man in Shahid Khan to accept the responsibility and privilege that I have enjoyed at Fulham since 1997.

”Fulham will be in very good hands with Shahid, whose success in business and passion for sport is very evident.

“I ask everyone who loves Fulham and our Craven Cottage home to welcome Shahid as he begins his journey as the next guardian of Fulham Football Club.”

Khan is worth £1.9billion, according to Forbes, making him the 490th richest man in the world.

Born in Pakistan, the 62-year-old moved to the United States aged 16 for college and secured an engineering degree from the University of Illinois.

Khan went onto create an auto parts empire and such riches allowed him to buy NFL franchise Jacksonville Jaguars, who will play one regular season game a season at Wembley for the next four years.

He said: “I was recently very fortunate to have been introduced to Mohamed al-Fayed, a man I respect and admire immensely for what he has accomplished in his life and - above all - what he has given others.

”Today, he is giving me the privilege and responsibility of serving as the next custodian of Fulham Football Club.

“I am extremely honoured to accept and want to thank him, on behalf of everyone who loves Fulham, for 16 years of exceptional service to the club.

”Mr al-Fayed rescued the club in its hour of need and has led it to a sustained place within the Premier League.

“Fulham is the perfect club at the perfect time for me.

”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 programmes as fundamentally important elements of Fulham's future.“

Khan has big boots to fill, with Fayed leaving an extremely popular figure after transforming the club on and off the field.

Fulham reached the Europa League final three years ago and last season finished 12th in the league under the guidance of Martin Jol.

Off the field, the club is effectively debt-free after Fayed converted previous loans into equity earlier this year.

Training facilities have improved markedly and Craven Cottage has been revamped, with planning permission in place to redevelop the Riverside Stand and increase the stadium's capacity to 30,000.

Such is his popularity that more than 1,000 Fulham fans have already signed a petition to rename the Riverside Stand the Mohamed al-Fayed Stand.

Fayed: ”Now is the right time for me to retire and spend time playing football with my grandchildren.

“I am sad but proud of our achievements. I am very grateful to Fulham's fans, the most incredible fans in the world.

"They have given me their support and affection whenever they have seen me at home games.

“I would never let them down. I have passed the club to a talented, honest and highly capable man who respects Fulham and its traditions. He is a great sportsman.”

PA

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering