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Volume 6 No. 212


David Beckham said that the prospect of owning a Major League Soccer team in Miami was "exciting" after he was urged to help bring a new franchise to Miami at a meeting with key political leaders on Saturday, according to Simon Evans of REUTERS. Beckham, accompanied by Bolivian-born billionaire Marcelo Claure, who wants to team up with him in owning a new franchise, "visited two potential stadiums." Bekcham also met with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who "handed him the keys to the county." Beckham "sounded positive about the chances of taking his step into club ownership in Miami." Beckahm said, "I think bringing an MLS team here to South Florida would be... it's exciting. I think Miami fans are very passionate about their sports and very passionate about winning and of course, it would have to be success, but it's definitely exciting." Claure, owner of Bolivian club Bolivar, is a member of the board of trustees of Florida Int'l University and has "previously promoted the idea" of an MLS team playing at the school's 20,000-seat stadium. Beckham "also met with representatives of a fan group which has been campaigning for a team to come to the city" (REUTERS, 6/2).

TAKING THE TOUR: The BBC reported Beckham also visited NFL Miami Dolphins' Sun Life stadium, which holds around 75,000 fans. Miami-Dade Sports Commission Exec Dir Jose Sotolongo was among those who met with Beckham and said that "there was plenty of support for a top-flight team in Miami." Sotolongo: "We know that our community can support not only the international soccer (friendlies) that have been coming to Miami for a while now, but that it would support an MLS franchise" (BBC, 6/2). The PA reported "no firm agreements are in place" for Beckham to buy an expansion franchise, and that "other cities are also being considered." Beckham "retains a strong affinity for the game" in the U.S. Florida does not currently have a team in MLS, after both the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the Miami Fusion "were cut from the league" in '01 as part of a restructuring exercise (PA, 6/2).

Scottish Premier League club Dundee Saturday vowed to press on with plans to bring on board the U.S.-backed consortium "which will have a major stake in the running of the Dens Park club," according to Euan McArthur of the SCOTSMAN. Dens Dirs Bill Colvin, Steve Martin and Ian Crichton "all resigned early last week" after the DFC Supporters Society, which owns 51% of the club's shares, thwarted the controversial £1.5M ($2.2M) investment from Keyes Capital, "which has brought civil war to the Dark Blues." On Friday, "two of the three supporters' representatives performed a U-turn and instead agreed to give the thumbs-up to the proposal," which is being led by U.S. businessman John Nelms. Nelms recently revealed he would put up front an initial £650,000 ($986,830) "to help maintain the current squad as well as attract new players in their quest for a quick-fire return to the SPL." Supporters Society Dir Maurice Kidd said, "It's the same bid that was originally on the table although there are conditions that we still have to agree. There's still a wee bit of negotiations to be done but generally the bid is as it was in it's original form" (SCOTSMAN, 6/2).

Former Rangers CEO Charles Green "has claimed that it may take 10 years for Rangers to get rid of" former Owner Craig Whyte, according to the SCOTSMAN. Whyte "is threatening to take the club to court over his claim that he still has rights over Ibrox assets." Green: "We might be fighting Whyte for the next 10 years, it's mind blowing. But the reality is Rangers is secure and it's moving forward" (SCOTSMAN, 6/1). Green feels the appointment of Walter Smith as non-exec chairman "is a massive step in the right direction as Rangers attempt to bring some much-needed stability to the club," according to Duncan & McCarthy of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Green: "It is a fantastic thing. I got Walter to join the board before I left. I had asked him twice beforehand and he is now where I believe is his rightful place." Smith hinted that "when Rangers are back on an even keel he will bow out from the chairman's role." Smith: "I don't particularly see myself as a long-term chairman, in the sense that I would always think the job would be for someone who has far more business acumen. I certainly don't see myself in the position for a long, long time" (DAILY RECORD, 6/1).  

Newly promoted Bundesliga side Eintracht Braunschweig "has recorded an enormous run on tickets for its first season back in the top flight after 28 years," according to the SID. Club Managing Dir Soeren Oliver Voigt said, "Due to the promotion, we could sell 35,000 to 40,000 tickets for each home game." The problem is that the club's home ground, Eintracht Stadion, has only a capacity of 23,540. Voigt rejected thoughts about a possible new stadium. Voigt said that if the club is able to establish itself in the Bundesliga, it will "specify thoughts about the construction of a new stadium" (SID, 5/31).