SBD/Issue 244/Franchises

Beckham Reportedly Interested In Investing In Montreal Impact

Beckham Exploring The Possibility Of Buying
Montreal Impact At End Of His Playing Career
MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham is "exploring the possibility of buying" the USL Montreal Impact "at the end of his playing career," according to Matt Hughes of the LONDON TIMES. The Galaxy and Beckham's reps "have been approached by a third party acting for" Impact Owner Joey Saputo, who is "spearheading the Montreal club's attempts to win an MLS franchise in 2012." Saputo confirmed yesterday that he "had held talks with a potential investor two months ago, but refused to confirm an identity." Saputo: "I can say yes, we were approached about two months ago, but I can't say by whom." Hughes notes Beckham's contract with the Galaxy "contains a clause enabling him to own or co-own an MLS team from 2012." Beckham: "I have the right to own an MLS franchise, which I will action immediately after I have stopped playing" (LONDON TIMES, 9/9). 19 Entertainment spokesperson Simon Oliveira, whose company manages Beckham, on Montreal's CKAC-AM said that "'it's too soon to speculate' on an eventual deal, and that 'we are certainly looking at more than one option' in regards to acquiring an MLS team." Meanwhile, a source close to Saputo said, "I'm not sure how well this would translate (in Quebec), but this story has certainly got people talking." The source added that Saputo "isn't actively soliciting partners for the MLS venture" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/9). MLS Senior VP/Marketing & Communications Dan Courtemanche said while the league has "recently had preliminary discussions with the Saputo family about future MLS expansion into Montreal, we have not had any discussions with David Beckham or his representatives regarding ownership of an expansion team in Montreal" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/8).

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