Beckham not ready to confirm Miami choice

David Beckham may not yet be ready to confirm Miami as the home for his MLS franchise, but he sarcastically ruled Sir Alex Ferguson out as his first managerial appointment.

British footballer David Beckham

Speaking at the launch of his new book 'David Beckham' via a global book signing on Facebook, Beckham side-stepped questions about recent reports that he has made a final decision to base his MLS team in Miami.

Press Association Sport understands that is the case, however, with Beckham set to take up a discounted 25million US dollars (£15.5million) agreement to launch a team out of Florida.

The MLS would still have to confirm any deal before Beckham would get the green light to launch a new team.

Beckham has an agreement to become a franchise owner after a clause was written into his playing contract when he first signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.

That clause has kicked in following his retirement as a player in the summer, but while Beckham said Miami was on the list of cities he has considered over the past 12 months, he did not confirm it was his final choice.

"It (owning a franchise) is something that I was very interested in when I signed a contract with the LA Galaxy six or seven years ago," Beckham said.

"My manager got a clause in my contract at the time to enable me to have a franchise at the end of my playing career and now I have obviously stopped playing.

"A year ago I had a look around. Miami was one of the places, but we have looked at others too.

"It is exciting. I am passionate about staying in football.

"Being an owner of a team is something that I'm passionate about."

Should a deal be pushed through it is understood Beckham will sell on the club to potential investors for almost triple the price he paid in a bid to obtain the start-up costs needed to run a franchise.

One of the first decisions the 38-year-old would have to make is appointing a new manager, although he jokingly ended any slim hope of his former Manchester United boss Ferguson being handed that role.

Beckham came in for some criticism from Ferguson in his recently-released autobiography, with Beckham sarcastically saying the Scot had been his first choice until then.

"It's funny, he was one of the first names I was going to call up to be manager. I'm not so sure now," he said.

"All joking aside I wouldn't want to be negative about Sir Alex.

"He gave me the chance to live my dream."

Beckham faces strong opposition if he is to set up a team in Miami - where the MLS has been absent since the Miami Fusion folded in 2001 due to poor attendances.

More than 12 investors from around the world have already registered their interest in starting up a team in a competition that is due to grow from 19 to 24 clubs by 2020.

Manchester City, in partnership with the New York Yankees, are due to launch their expansion team New York City FC from next year.

The two clubs paid 100million US dollars for the franchise - more than four times what Beckham would be required to pay.

Beckham won back-to-back MLS titles before he left LA Galaxy last December, and during his six years in California repeatedly voiced his desire to grow the game in the US market.

"It's going to get better and bigger," he said.

"Since I moved there 11 to 12 teams have come into the league.

"I have seen stadiums built. I have seen the excitement of the people talking about soccer or football."



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