May 16, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT
Long ago, David Beckham knew he would remain in the game at a high-level past his days of performance on the field. I mean, really, what else was the guy going to do? Crafts, maybe? Build a really kick-ass iTunes library?
The one-time England captain even had the foresight, for instance, to sew that MLS ownership option clause into his original league contract back in 2007.
So, might Thursday’s newsy announcement expedite Beckham’s second spin of the Major League Soccer wheel, only this time from a corner office rather than while taking corner kicks? That is, will Brand Beckham soon be an MLS owner, sidling up to league commish Don Garber (pictured, with the former Galaxy midfielder) and the suited ones quite soon?
Perhaps today’s events walk us one step closer. But in all honesty, that eventuality still has the feel of “years” more than “months.”
I talked to MLS vice president of communications Dan Courtemanche on Thursday. He reiterated that MLS remains committed to getting a second club up and running in New York. Any and all discussions on Beckham remain quite preliminary, he assured me.
And by the sound of it, even “preliminary” might be stretching it.
So much for the breathless reports out of England in December that Beckham was on a fast track for MLS ownership in South Florida.
That’s not to say negotiations for Miami or somewhere else could not begin this summer. That original clause gave Beckham the option of buying an MLS franchise for $25 million, a pretty dandy little bargain now. The price tag for New York has long been around $100 million, for instance. (Beckham’s option does not include New York.)
And while market value for Miami, Orlando or Minnesota or wherever would surely be less than NYC2, perhaps by half, $25 million is a heck of a price just the same.
The issue is that these things take time. Major League Soccer’s board of directors would want to see a complete ownership plan and a stadium plan (already in place, at least in part, in some of the leading markets). And then there are the complexities of timing; when does it makes sense to add No. 21 – always keeping in mind that New York as No. 20 cannot happen before 2015 at earliest?
Looks like 2016 at very earliest – and once you start piecing things together, even that looks like a stretch.
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