The Daily Mail has updated their original story with another piece confirming Shahid Kahn as the mystery buyer. What do we know about Kahn?
I have to admit that I'm pretty in the dark about him. I vaguely remember this 60 minutes bio piece about him, from almost a year ago. It goes a little bit in depth into his story.
I don't know a lot of Jaguars fans, but the ones who've texted me this morning have all been pretty positive about his short time in ownership of their club. The idea of showing the Red Zone channel on a video screen at the game strikes me as brilliant. I contacted Alfie Crow who runs the Jaguars site, Big Cat Country, for SB Nation and he had this to say:
Khan has reinvigorated the Jaguars fan base, especially the younger crowed (20-35 range) that grew up with the franchise. Before he purchased the Jaguars, they kind of stagnated as far as doing things that got people excited on and off the field. The Jaguars were tied for the worst record in the NFL last season, but fans are still excited going forward because of the energy Khan has brought. He's a very progressive owner who seems to be ahead of the curve on things like utilizing analytical analysis of the game/players, knowing how to connect with the fans and bringing in people who know how to connect with fans. He's shown he's willing to spend money if it's necessary, as shown by his near $30 million commitment to improving the stadium in Jacksonville, which includes the biggest scoreboards in an open air stadium in the world.
That frankly has me quite excited. Especially the parts about the analytics. I come from an analytic background and think that there are competitive advantages a team like Fulham can have by being on the forefront of them. I also am intrigued by the recently announced plans to pump $63M into improvements for the stadium the Jaguars use, Everbank Field. That stadium was built in 1995, so if he's willing to pump money into it; it's a good sign for the Cottage.
Finally there's the sticky issue, which is London. It's no secret that the NFL want to increase it's popularity outside the US. While it's domestic TV contracts dwarf all other sports, the foreign rights are non existent. The Jaguars have already committed to playing one home game for the next four years in London. Having an EPL club to cross market with will be a huge advantage for building a London fan base. Especially if he's viewed as being a good owner versus the other NFL owners that have joined the EPL. I don't personally think the Jags are going to move to London anytime soon (I don't even know if it would be possible before the CBA expires in 2020). But I could see a scenario where the Jags end up playing two games a year there (one "home", one "away"), for the foreseeable future.
All in all, I think this is probably a good thing for the club, and I'm excited to see where it goes.