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SBD Global/May 28, 2013/Franchises

MLS's N.Y. Franchise Deal Puts Beckham's Plans To Buy Franchise On Hold

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David Beckham’s plans to buy a Major League Soccer franchise "have been put on hold" by Man City’s move into the U.S. football market with New York City FC, according to Mark Ogden of the London TELEGRAPH. The former England captain "retains an option to secure ownership of an MLS team as part of the deal which took him" to the L.A. Galaxy in '07. Although Man City Owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan was forced to pay $100M for the license to run New York City FC, Beckham's agreement enables him to "buy an expansion team" for just $25M. But despite Beckham having investigated the possibility of setting up a team in Miami, MLS Commissioner Don Garber admits that Man City’s deal for the N.Y. franchise "has left the American league with no plans to add further teams to the competition." Garber said, "We’ve got some work to do on our next couple of teams. We’re pretty focused on taking a deep breath after this [New York] announcement and have got to figure out how to manage David’s interests and figure out what kind of expansion would still make sense for us." Despite the obstacles that must be overcome in order for Beckham and the MLS to work together, Garber insisted that Beckham "remains a crucial figure in American soccer." Garber: "David was great for us. Everything we asked David to do off the field, he did" (TELEGRAPH, 5/24).
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