Shahid Khan has vowed to take Fulham to the “next level” following his takeover of the club.
Khan’s buy-out ended Mohamed Al Fayed’s 16-year reign as Fulham owner, during which the club were transformed from a struggling bottom-division side to an established Premier League outfit.
And the Pakistan-born billionaire paid tribute to Al Fayed, who has insisted “the time is right” to stand aside.
“I think it [what Al Fayed has done] is incredible,” said Khan.
“He rescued Fulham and had a great vision which he’s shared with me. I think it’s very, very important to all the Fulham fans.
“It’s a very special place. This is the perfect club for me at a perfect time. It’s the passing of the baton – taking it to the next level.”
The 62-year-old Khan, who moved to the United States aged 16, made his fortune selling car parts and has owned NFL side Jacksonville Jaguars since 2011.
Al Fayed confirmed on Friday evening that he had sold the club, with the financial details remaining confidential.
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to be chairman of Fulham Football Club for 16 memorable years,” said the 84-year-old.
“The time is right because I have found a very good man in Shahid Khan to accept the responsibility and privilege that I have enjoyed at Fulham since 1997.
“Fulham will be in very good hands with Shahid, whose success in business and passion for sport is very evident.
“I ask everyone who loves Fulham and our Craven Cottage home to welcome Shahid as he begins his journey as the next guardian of Fulham Football Club.”