UK & World News

  • 5 February 2014, 21:13

Beckham: Star To Kick Off Miami MLS Franchise

David Beckham has taken up the option to buy a new Major League Soccer franchise in Miami.

Speaking at a news conference at the Perez Arts Museum, Beckham said he felt the city was "ready for soccer" after a previous attempt at establishing a franchise failed.

He said: "For me I wanted to create a team that we can start from scratch. I wanted to create a team that can be very personal.

"It's a big decision but it's a very personal one, I wanted to make it my own team.

"We are very excited about this project. Miami is a very vibrant city, a city with a lot of passion.

"I know this city is ready for soccer, I know it's going to be successful.

"We are going to make a soccer club that is going to be loved by millions of people - we plan on bringing a team that is not just for Miami but is a global team."

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez also attended the press conference.

The league has discussed placing its next two expansion teams in Miami and Atlanta.

Expansion in Miami is contingent on securing a financing plan and location for a new stadium.

The former England captain, who played in the MLS for Los Angeles Galaxy, has scouted possible sites and is seeking investors to assist with start-up costs such as stadium construction and player acquisitions.

His group is in talks with Miami local government officials, but he has insisted no public money would be needed.

The group is thought to include artist manager Simon Fuller and NBA star LeBron James.

Beckham said he would not be making an approach to his former manager at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, to coach his team.

He said: "He is a great manager and gave me the chance to play for my boyhood dream club, but unfortunately he has retired so we won't pull him out of retirement, I think he is enjoying that."

The 38=year-old was given an option to acquire an MLS franchise at a discounted rate of $25m. The stadium remains the key issue now with the preferred choice a 25,000-seater stadium on the waterfront.

The Miami Fusion franchise played in Fort Lauderdale from 1998 to 2001, but folded because of poor attendances.

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