MLS commissioner Don Garber at Leaders in Football (WFI)

(WFI) Don Garber says he would love to see David Beckham owning an MLS club one day.

“David has been a great, great ambassador for our league and people like him, people love watching him, ESPN Sports Center loves showing his highlights,” the MLS commissioner told reporters at Leaders in Football held at
Chelsea FC.

“He does have an opportunity to be an owner of a team in time. We’ll continue to talk to him, when he’s ready to retire, about that opportunity.

“That discussion really isn’t relevant until he retires.”

Beckham’s current contract with LA Galaxy runs until 2014 and Garber said he would “love” to have the Englishman join the MLS set-up in any position.

“We would love to have a continued relationship with David in any capacity that he and his family would like” he commented.

“He has the opportunity to be part of an ownership group. My guess is he’s probably going to pursue that.”

AC Milan Talks of Challenges for Italian Football

Umberto Gandini, organising director of AC Milan, says the economic problems in Italy have had a knock-on effect on football.

Gandini spoke to delegates about the future of his club over the next 10 years but said the main challenge facing Italian football at the moment was people not being able to spend extra money on going to see games.

“The Italian supporters cannot afford to go to the stadium,” he said. “Now they choose to see the game at home which is nicer and they don’t go to the stadium. They [stadia] have become more empty than they were.

“The critical point we have now in Italy is going to be how we bring the people back to the stadium without the opportunity many other countries have which is a major event which can push people back into stadiums – this is a challenge.”

Italy is currently facing an economic crisis amid financial problems for the whole European economy, and Gandini said that investment was needed over the coming years for the market to grow.

“The most important point is how to address the consequences of the crisis we are living in our countries. The problem facing us now is our fans cannot afford to come to games because they have other priorities” he said.

“When the government is cutting measures and reducing opportunities, then you don’t see the opportunities grow.”

NFL Team Ink Wembley Deal

The Jacksonville Jaguars will play the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in October 2013. The NFL regular season game was announced by Jaguars owner Shad Khan in the morning session of the conference.

“This is a unique and important opportunity for the Jaguars franchise, as well as for our fans and community,” Khan said.

“We can’t wait to see our global vision for the Jaguars become reality next season.”

The Jaguars now have a deal to play one home game in London for four consecutive seasons beginning in 2013, and will face the 49ers on October 27, 2013.

Espelund Holds No Grudge Against IFAB’s British Votes

UEFA Executive Committee member Karen

Espelund says she does not object to the four votes held by the British home nations on the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Espelund was speaking on a panel about governance when the organisation which decides on the laws of the game was brought up. Each of Britain’s four member associations control four votes while FIFA also has four votes.

“Football is a huge success because we don’t jump on every good idea” she said. “We are a little conservative and I think that’s wise.”

“In this aspect I’m not critical of the British having this position because it is the heritage of football in a way. I’m not critical because Europe is a voice and British is taking this voice.”

Earlier this year Michel Platini said while he did not object to the British having four votes, he did object to Sepp Blatter controlling all four of FIFA’s votes. Espelund said however that it was functioning fine without intervention.

“It can always be questioned but I’m not critical. We want to preserve this game and develop it on a good football basis, and IFAB has proven that it is functioning” she added.

By INSIDER’s Christian Radnedge

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