Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Kahn became the latest NFL owner to expand his portfolio of sports assets with the purchase of the Fulham FC soccer team in the English Premier League. The moustached car parts billionaire was born in Pakistan, but moved to the US when he was 16 and really lived out the American dream turning a $50,000 small business loan in a $2.5 billion empire.
He tried and failed to buy the Rams in 2010, but was able to acquire the Jaguars the following year. He spent $760 million on the team and became the first ethnic minority to ever own an NFL franchise. His outlay for Fulham is reportedly around $250-300 million.
Khan, an american citizen, seems to be making a play in England with both of his franchises now. He agree to have the Jaguars play one home game in London for each of the next 3 seasons and there's been speculation that if the NFL were to move to a team to London, the Jags would be first in line.
Khan is the 3rd NFL owner to add an EPL team to his sports portfolio. Malcolm Glazer owns both the Buccaneers and Manchester United while Stan Kroenke owns the St. Louis Rams and Arsenal. John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, also owns Liverpool.
Meanwhile, NFL owners like Robert Kraft of the Patriots owns the MLS side New England Revolution.
It's certainly interesting to see several NFL owners expanding their empires both overseas and here at home and certainly makes me wonder if Jeff Lurie will ever have that ambition. That said, I don't think any of us mind that his full attention and fortune are focused on the Philadelphia Eagles.
Finally, I was reading the report on this sale on the BBC website and I got a kick out of some of their understanding of American football. Specifically this paragraph.
Khan bought Jacksonville Jaguars in December 2011, but they struggled last season, finishing bottom of AFC South with two wins from 14 matches.
The Jags, like all NFL teams, play 16 "matches" of course.