If those pushing the NFL-team-in-London idea needed any more incentive, than Shad Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars gave it to them. Not just a game in London once a year for the next four, but now also an owner of an English Premier League club, in London, Fulham.
Each person can read the signs anyway he wants. Khan said this after purchasing the club – I am a longtime soccer fan and will join other NFL owners in the Barclays Premier League. Be assured, however, that my plans for the Jaguars are unaffected and unchanged.
First of all, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham operate as two entities. Obviously, there would be some practices, some synergies we’d like to take advantage of. And the Jaguars will be playing one home game here for the next four years. So, we are the home team for London. So, there is some commonality there.
However, not everyone is convinced that this is one huge plan to make London his base of operations. There’s plenty of reason to believe that having two teams, each on one side of the Atlantic make Khan into a much more “global” or “international” kind of sports mogul, instead of concentrating all of his assets in one city.
When you believe that, it means Khan is less likely to actually move the Jags to London thanks to him purchasing Fulham. He has more than $30 million committed or already spent on stadium and facility upgrades. He is an international sports franchise owner at the moment. Moving the Jags to London won’t change that.
Obviously, the lack of success presents by the Jags in recent years, both on the field and as a team that manages to “sell” itself to its fans, has everyone in doubts. From the moment Khan became the owner, moving has been on the discussion table. Los Angeles being the most mentioned name, but London is becoming more and more of an issue.
So will he or won’t he? At the moment, this one is years away, and possibly depends on how financially lucrative Khan can turn the Jags in Florida to. If he fails in turning the fortunes of the franchise around. If he fails, the Los Angeles and London option will obviously be back on the table again.