sport

Al Fayed ready to sell Fulham

Sky sources understand that Mohamed Al Fayed is in advanced talks to sell Fulham

Al Fayed has begun the process of ending his 16-year ownership of the club and has held discussions with at least one interested buyer.

Shahid Khan, the boss of NFL franchise Jacksonville Jaguars, is reported to be among the potential purchasers.

Sky Sports News contacted Craven Cottage and Al Fayed's representatives for an official response but both declined to comment, and there has been no word either from the Jaguars.

Al Fayed converted outstanding loans to the club into equity in January, leaving them effectively debt-free, while a second successive profit was reported for the year ending June 2012.

Fulham have become an established Premier League club under the 84-year-old's ownership, and the forthcoming season will be their 13th straight season in the division.

Football finance expert David Buik told Sky Sports News he believes it needs someone with vision and foresight to take the club to the next level.

"The new owner has got be very innovative, have a very broad vision of how he's going to make something of it," he said.

"I believe it can be done. It's a fabulous area in London, it can cope with an awful lot more spectators and we can make an awful lot of more of the brand. But it needs vision, foresight - and very deep pockets.

"If you have been going to Craven Cottage for 16 years, as I have, and been biting your nails waiting for them to get to 40 points, that's not what he wants them for.

"Unless Mr Fayed falls out with Mr Khan these negotiations could be done by the end of the week.

"There's nothing particularily outstanding because the debt has been paid off. The key to the deal is the conversation with Hammersmith and Fulham council. They will want to know, 'What can you do for us, what can you do for the community?'"