Beckham wins the lottery: Qatar buy his new club for $100 million!
The English star continues to lead as the image of the project, but as AS has learned, is only minimally involved. With him, the Miami MLS club and PSG will have direct links.
David Beckham’a project to form a team in Miami, may change hands in terms of ownership, but the face of it will remain the English ex-player.
Paris Saint Germain and his old friendship with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Al Thani Bi Tamin are keys to the project. The emir is the founder of Qatar Sports Investment and the group became the new owner of the team with Beckham's name on it, which is aiming for an inaugural 2018 season in Major League Soccer.
According to information that AS has accessed, Beckham could sell the rights to the franchise for 100 million dollars. In his contract with LA Galaxy he paid 25 million dollars for the possibility of having a team. At this time Beckham has already funded 75 million dollars in the project and is still keeping a small part as an investor.
While Miami Beckham United, the company behind the franchise, struggled to find a site for the stadium in Miami, investors are still to be confirmed for the financing of the construction in the Overtown neighbourhood.
Beckham's partners so far in the project include Simon Fuller, creator of American Idol and Marcelo Claure, current CEO of Sprint and they are looking at finding further investors.
It makes sense that Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) are looking to position their brand in a captive market like the United States. They already have a television chain specialising in football, Bein Sports (Bein Media Group). An official of the station told AS that he could not give any further information on the story as the negotiations were ongoing.
With World Cup Qatar 2022 being much criticised and questioned, by the way it was appointed - corrupt votes, FIFA investigations, and a barrage of complaints from construction workers of whom at least 1,200 deaths have been caused due to the terrible conditions - the best way for QSI to clean up their image is to create a football team in the high profiled US. This could open the door to further Arab capital for the development of football.
New investors should at least provide 300 million dollars for the stadium construction and the operating costs of salaries for players and coaches.
What is most clear at this stage, with lots of rumours around, is that this story will not go away soon. And with other high profile figures such as Will Ferrell due to launch competing teams, the MLS could be quite an interesting story over the coming months.