Former England captain David Beckham is ready to exercise an option to own a north American Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise in Miami.
Beckham, who formerly played for MLS team LA Galaxy between 2007-12, will pay a discounted rate of $25 million to start an MLS expansion franchise. His business partner Simon Fuller will also reportedly be a significant shareholder, according to the Associated Press.
“We know that Miami is one of the most passionate soccer markets in north America. We have met with David Beckham regarding ownership of an expansion team, and we look forward to David one day owning an MLS club,” MLS executive vice-president Dan Courtemanche told the AP.
The 38-year-old, who still requires final approval from the League to operate the franchise in Miami, is attempting to raise significant investment to fund the running costs, which will eventually include the construction of a new stadium.
MLS is set to expand from 19 to 24 teams by 2020, and Beckham’s franchise could be playing in three years’ time. He opted for Miami as the location for his franchise after considering Montreal, San Diego and Orlando.