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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map