On July 13, 2013, British daily Telegraph reported that Pakistani-born American automobile tycon and the first Muslim owner of Jacksonville Jaguars, Shahid Khan, 62, became the new owner of Barclays Premier League club Fulham Football Club. This purchase will make Shahid Khan the sixth American owner in the Premier League. Since 1997, Fulham was owned by Egyptian-born British billionaire Mohamed Abdel Moneim Al-Fayed.
In December 2011, Shahid Khan bought Jaguars NFL for $760 million. However, he refused to disclose how much he paid to acquire 100% ownweship of Fulham PC.
Shahid Khan’s bid to purchase Jaguars was fiercely opposed by pro-Israel lobbyists like Brigette Gabriel (ACT for America) and radio-talk host Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh posed a question to his listeners: “I wonder if Khan has any friends who are terrorist”.
Mohamed Al-Fayed became a celebrity after his son Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Fayed (Dodi Fayed) along with his girlfriend Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. Al-Fayed had accused the British Establishment for murdering his son Dodi al Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales, by staging a car crash in Paris. He said that Daina was pregnant with Dodi’s baby and they’re about to announced their engagement. Naturally, the Windsor House with Jewish family roots could not bear the thought of a Muslim prince among them. Al-Fayed is a former owner of London’s most prestigious store, Harrods, which he sold to Qatari ruling family for $3 billion in 2010.
Al-Fayed is a great fan of Afro-American p0p singer Michael Jackson. To show his love, he erected a statue of Jackson outside Craven Cottage, home of Fulham FC in London. Al-Fayed claimed Jackson ‘loved Fulham’ and told Cottagers fans they could ‘go to hell’ if they did not like the statue when it was unveiled in 2011.
More than 1,000 Fulham fans have already signed a petition to the new owner to rename the Riverside Stand the Mohamed Al Fayed Stand.
In 1967, at the age of 16, Khan left his native Pakistan for the United States and opportunity to study engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He began working for Flex-N-Gate in 1970, while still an engineering student.
Following his graduation from the University of Illinois in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, Khan continued to work at Flex-N-Gate until 1978, when he left the company to start a new venture in designing and manufacturing innovative lightweight, continuous metal bumper systems, with no seams to corrode or rust. Today, nearly two-thirds of all North American pick-up trucks and sport utilities have bumper systems based on Khan’s designs and are manufactured and supplied by a Flex-N-Gate company.
Khan returned to purchase Flex-N-Gate in 1980, building it into a global leader that today employs more than 16,000 people at 52 manufacturing and nine product development and engineering facilities throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Spain.