FA bosses have agreed the terms of a £600million sale of Wembley stadium to the US billionaire and Fulham owner Shahid Khan ahead of a crunch meeting of the English game’s governing body on Thursday.
The FA and Khan, who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, have been locked in detailed negotiations about the controversial offloading of the stadium since the talks were first revealed by the Standard in April.
But most of the outstanding sticking points have been resolved in recent days allowing an outline deal to be put before the 10-member FA board for approval, according to sources.
However, it is understood that representatives of the grassroots amateur game on the board have yet to indicate whether they will back the sale of the sport’s ‘family silver’ to a foreign buyer despite assurances about the stadium’s future built into the agreement.
The Football Association (FA) are investigating corruption claims surrounding Shahid Khan's £600m Wembley Stadium bid.
The sale has been approved by the FA board, and on Thursday chief executive Martin Glenn will present it to the organisation's council.
But a potentially major obstacle has emerged, with Fulham’s former assistant director of football Craig Kline claiming that there was 'systemic corruption' in the voting process that saw Khan's bid appoved.
Kline has contacted the FA, and tweeted on Monday: "Dear FA Council (+relevant police, MPs, regulators, press etc). I have key evidence of systemic corruption relevant to the Wembley vote which I'd like to submit. Please request this info from me."
Kline was sacked by Fulham last November, but claims to still be close friends with Khan's son Tony. Fulham have refuted Kline's claims, while the FA issued the following statement yesterday: "We have recently been contacted by Craig Kline who has made a series of allegations about Fulham FC. We are currently in the process of reviewing these allegations.
The Football Association Council has had a "healthy discussion" about the proposed £600m sale of Wembley Stadium.
The 127-member body met on Thursday to hear a presentation from FA executives about why they back the sale of the stadium to Fulham owner Shahid Khan.
Among the issues discussed was ensuring there are protections in place "to ensure Wembley's status as the national stadium".
The FA Council is set to vote on the proposed sale on 24 October.
A senior FA source had earlier told BBC Sport the board believes the odds are slightly against the purchase being sanctioned given the strong objections of some councillors to the home of English football being sold off.
The council, which includes representatives of the Premier League, Football League and county FAs and is often referred to as the parliament of English football, has no powers to formally stop the deal.
Fulham owner Shahid Khan has withdrawn his offer to buy London's Wembley Stadium, England's governing Football Association announced Wednesday.
The FA, Wembley's current owners, had come under fire from many within English football for their plans to sell Wembley despite Khan offering to buy the stadium for £600 million.
And while senior FA figures were happy for the sale to go through that lack of support from the wider game appeared crucial to the decision of Khan, who had planned to base the Jacksonville Jaguars, his NFL franchise at Wembley, to pull out.
"Shahid Khan has informed us today that he will be withdrawing his offer to buy the stadium –- and we fully respect his decision," said FA chief executive Martin Glenn in a statement.
"Mr Khan believed that his offer to buy Wembley Stadium would release funds to help improve community football facilities in England and that it would be well received by all football stakeholders."
Glenn, however, added: "At a recent meeting with Mr Khan he expressed to us that, without stronger support from within the game, his offer is being seen as more divisive than it was anticipated to be and has decided to withdraw his proposal."