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SBD Global/December 17, 2012/International Football

Man City Denies Speculation It Will Purchase MLS Franchise In N.Y.

Man City is "close to being awarded a Major League Soccer expansion franchise" in Queens, N.Y., for a record $100M, according to Scott Soshnick of BLOOMBERG. Man City would be called the New York City Football Club, and has contacted David Beckham about a role. Man City will "explore other leagues around the world, seeking a way to expand its brand." Man City will "pay more than two times the previous record for an MLS team." MLS spokesperson Dan Courtemanche said that the league has "held discussions with a number of possible ownership groups and that no expansion agreement has been completed." MLS Commissioner Don Garber said last month the league was “at the finish line” in negotiations with N.Y. City officials on the league’s plan to build a 25,000-seat home for a new team based in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, east of Manhattan. Garber said the league was talking to a “wide variety” of potential owners, declining to name them (BLOOMBERG, 12/15).

MAN CITY DENIES REPORT: In London, Neil Rowlands reported Man City has "rejected talk they are in discussions" to buy an MLS team based in N.Y. Man City officials have "distanced themselves from the talk." In a statement, Man City said, "Manchester City are not buying an MLS club" (MIRROR, 12/15). In Manchester, Mike Keegan reported Man City has "knocked down reports" that they are close to paying $100M to create an MLS team and hiring Beckham for a role (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 12/15).
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