LONDON (AP) – Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan bought Premier League club Fulham on Friday, becoming the sixth American owner in England s top league.
The deal between previous owner Mohamed Al Fayed and Khan for the sale of the London club was completed on Friday and approved by the Premier League. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
“Fulham is the perfect club at the perfect time for me,” Khan said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. “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 programs as fundamentally important elements of Fulham s future.”
Al Fayed, an Egyptian businessman, has owned Fulham since 1997 and is leaving the club debt-free as it prepares for a 13th Premier League season.
“He is giving me the privilege and responsibility of serving as the next custodian of Fulham Football club,” Khan said. “I am extremely honored 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.”
Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Sunderland are also owned by Americans.
The sale comes with Khan s Jaguars preparing to play NFL regular season games in London.
The Jaguars have a deal to play one home game in London for four consecutive seasons starting in October at Wembley Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers.
Khan, who owns Flex-N-Gate Corporation, a leading American automotive supplier, moved to the U.S from his native Pakistan as a 16-year-old in 1967.
“By his hard work, vision and determination, Shahid Khan has become a living embodiment of the American success story,” Al Fayed said. “His achievements speak for themselves. I met him twice prior to our successful transaction this week and have been very favorably impressed.”
The 84-year-old Al Fayed said he is retiring to spend time playing football with his grandchildren.