Beckham MLS Franchise Making Progress; English FA Defends Staff Cull

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Garber speaking at Soccerex on Wednesday (Getty)
(WFI) David Beckham’s Major League Soccer franchise is very close to coming to fruition now he has found a site for the stadium, according to the league’s commissioner Don Garber.

Garber was speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester about the former England international’s long mooted plans to start up his own club in the Miami region.

Beckham has previously expressed his wish to field a side in the 2018 season, but that has been hampered by struggles to find a suitable home for the proposed franchise.

But Garber confirmed that that was no longer an issue. “They are making a lot of progress,” he said. “David has been part of our world for six years. He is very smart, very focused, loves our country, loves our league and wants to own a team.

“He has had a lot of fits and starts in trying to build a stadium. You have got to have the right building. We have got to create that new story. David is making progress more so than ever before, a site at the former Orange Bowl and adjacent to where the Marlins [baseball team] play.”

Garber also spoke about the discussions to see a competitive match between a team from the Premier League and the MLS, which he added was now “as competitive” as England’s top tier.

“I would love to find a way that we could play our cup champion and our league champion against an FA Cup and league champion in a tournament and play it in New York City every year,” he said.

“If not every year, then every four years.”

MLS commissioner Don Garber, David Beckham and Mayor Carlos Gimenez at the 2014 launch of his plans for a Miami franchise (Getty)

English FA Funding Plans

The FA’s chief executive Martin Glenn has defended the organisation’s decision to make 100 staff redundant in order to further fund grassroots football in England.

Glenn, who took over as chief executive earlier this summer, insisted on the final day of the Soccerex convention that the cull was necessary as they seek to spend money more effectively.

“I could smell going into the place that it was very ‘silo-ed’, people didn’t talk to one other, a lot of duplication,” he said.

“We’re brutally spending less money on backroom staff and more on getting people playing football.”

Soccerex’s Power of Three

With the 2015 Global Convention coming to a close, Soccerex organisers were already looking forward to a trio of events in 2016, beginning with an Americas Forum in Mexico City in May.

That will be followed by the Asian Forum in Jordan, which has been hosted in the Dead Sea region for the past two years.

Later in the year a Soccerex Seminar will make its debut in Accra, Ghana.

Soccerex chief executive Duncan Revie told Insider: “It’s great isn’t it? From Manchester to Accra!”

Reported in Manchester by Christian Radnedge

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