MLS ‘really close’ to approving Beckham club
CHICAGO: David Beckham will have to wait a little longer to get final approval from Major League Soccer for his planned expansion franchise in Miami, league commissioner Don Garber said on Wednesday.
“We are getting really, really, close,” Garber said after an owners meeting Wednesday in Chicago.
MLS owners moved to give preliminary approval and continue with the process of awarding Beckham’s group a team for 2020. But the final vote won’t come until later in the summer.
“We’re not announcing MLS Miami today,” Garber said. “But I am confident that we’ll be able to do that sometime, perhaps by the end of the summer. We do have some things that we need to work through.”
Garber said Todd Boehly, an investment banker and part owner of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, would be the majority owner of the Miami MLS club, not Beckham.
“David needed a financial partner and he got that with Todd,” Garber said.
“Our board said we are ready to go. David has got a few things to finalise. We hope to be in Miami in several weeks time to celebrate with David and his partners.”
Garber said owners likely will vote to approve the deal and end a saga of more than 3 1/2 years during which Beckham has struggled to find a stadium site and secure the land for a venue to house the team his signing with the league in 2007 allowed him to buy at a discounted rate of US$25 million (RM107 million).
Beckham’s group presented the latest details of their privately funded US$300 million Overtown stadium project.
Wednesday’s decision extends the saga of Beckham’s quest to start an MLS team in Miami even more after failing to find a waterside venue, then having plans for a location near the Miami Marlins’ baseball park fall through.
The Miami Herald reported some owners are not happy that Beckham’s co-investors are able to benefit from Beckham’s reduced MLS club entry fee at a time when MLS is asking US$150 million from new investor groups. AFP