England's Football Association's plans to sell Wembley Stadium and invest around £600 million into grassroots facilities and projects were in tatters on Wednesday after potential purchaser, American Shahid Khan, withdrew his offer.
According to the FA's official site, Khan met with the association recently and came to the conclusion that he'd need stronger support from the game of soccer and that his bid was being viewed as more divisive than had been anticipated.
Owning the stadium would give the Jags and Khan the flexibility to continue to play a game (or maybe more) annually at the venue, which accounts for about 12 percent of the franchise's annual income.
Khan had offered £600m for the national stadium, with the FA retaining the Club Wembley hospitality rights, which it valued at £250m to £300m.
'At this moment, following last week's FA Council hearing, it appears there is no definitive mandate to sell Wembley and my current proposal, subsequently, would earn the backing of only a slim majority of the FA Council, well short of the conclusive margin that the FA Chairman has required.
"Mr Khan believed 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".
"The intent of my efforts was, and is, to do right by everyone in a manner that strengthens the English game and brings people together, not divides them", added Khan, who had also suggested his National Football League franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars could increase the number of games they play at Wembley.
"We fully respect his decision", said the FA.
That division was cited by Khan as his key reason for withdrawing the offer.
"I can not rule out revisiting the opportunity at another time", Khan said in the statement.
The journey was not without its rewards, as I have strengthened standing relationships while making new friends along the way.
Even with English soccer on a high after the men's national team reached its first World Cup semifinal in 28 years in July, the FA leadership failed to build support for selling a stadium with one of the world's most recognisable sporting brands.
In January, the FA said they would finally finish paying for Wembley by the end of 2024, 17 years after the new 90,000-seater stadium was opened at a cost of £757m.
Khan is a Pakistan-born American citizen who made his fortune through Flex-N-Gate auto bumper firm in the United States.