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Report: Beckham lobbying PSG owners to help fund MLS Miami

David Beckham makes his first appearance in the PSG squad for their French Ligue 1 match against Olympique Marseille at the Parc des Princes


David Beckham figures to have a good list of potential investors ready to join forces with him on his new MLS expansion venture in Miami, but it hasn’t taken long to identify one of the deeper-pocketed options of the bunch.

According to French outlet Le Parisien, Beckham has approached owners of Paris St. Germain to help with funding of the new MLS expansion team, which is expected to begin play in 2017.

The connection between Beckham and PSG is not a surprising one given the fact he ended his playing career there, and reportedly established strong bonds with the club’s Qatar-based ownership group, which is one of the richest groups in world soccer.

With Bolivian-born billionaire Marcelo Claure already on board as one of Beckham’s partners, adding the Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) group, PSG’s owners, to the Miami expansion bid would certainly give the group the financial muscle to compete with any team in MLS, including the likes of New York City FC and Toronto FC.

Though QSI has yet to commit to actually helping Beckham, if the British superstar can convince QSI to buy in, it would be a major step towards helping the Miami expansion team be a force when it begins play in 2017.

What do you think of this development? See PSG owners being the missing piece to help put Miami MLS over the top?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. You have to give it up to Garber.. He has bypassed the “stand in your way” US ownership groups (Kraft) to bring in newer credible money to fund his vision. Working with the NFL in some cities to further his brand,, The NBA must be wondering whats going on… no wonder Stern stepped down.. he’s getting outplayed

      • You gotta see that within a decade this league won’t be losing money anymore. That’s why the big boys are signing on.. the losses are going to be smaller from here out.. Are the Falcons a good group to hitch your wagon to? Maybe not,.. but it worked in Seattle and when and if the whole LA Galaxy sports complex, bringing NFL back to LA gets sorted those kind of attendance numbers are gong to make the MLS money.. SS stadia are great but you have to take every city one by one Some deserve – and might manage bigger venues if the support is there

  2. Whitecaps and other fancy markets like chicago should.recruit a foreign rich owner who likes soccer or NOt in order to get a waterfront stadium. Is there land in vancity, chicago, for a waterfront stadium?
    What about land in downtown dallas, denver,LA, columbus, boston (waterfronstadium).

  3. I take this to mean Beckham needs big bucks for that waterfront land and stadium construction. Claure may be a billionaire but I doubt he wants to pour hundreds of millions into an MLS club.

  4. If beckham gets this done with PSG owners, Miami will be loaded with lots of money right but Is he asking for a loan or for them to join the ownership group. ( team Inter Miami)
    I would just put them on the ownership group as well and that would be amazing for Miami, mucho money and more money.
    However? I gotta wonder if other MLS owners are going to emulate what NYCFC has done and MLS should encourage, if it could be done. Obviously galaxy, sounders and red bull can do it on their own but other fancy markets like vancouver, houston, chicago, dc, boston and even orlando should lobby rich ownership groups from around the world in order to take MLS to a global power house.
    For example, I dont know enough about NY Cosmos ownership group but isnt their ownership group loaded with gold and money πŸ˜‰ and imagine if Cosmos would still unite powers with ManU owners and do something crazy and join MLS.
    In other news, Indy 11 are looking into making a SSS downtown but denying a MLS move.

  5. A couple things about this interest me – at least a little bit….

    1). It shows how there is a big difference between being a wealthy athlete and having the money to burn to really run a pro sports team. Beckham has made a lot of money, but he’s not rich enough to really run a pro team….unless he wants a consistent loser, and that would be bad for his brand.

    2). It’s a good move for PSG just for the sake of financial fair play in Europe. PSG is going to flirt with getting FFP punishments. But, if they can take three of their worst-performing contracts and loan them to Beckham FC, then they can probably get back into FFP compliance. Man City will do the same thing with NYCFC. It’s not even a bad thing for MLS. We’ll still be getting really good players into the league….they’ll just be massively overpaid. And who cares if DPs are overpaid since there is no salary cap on DPs.

  6. I really don’t see why that’s needed. How much money do they think they need? The fee is a joke at $25mm. On ongoing basis, the most they might need realistically is about $20mm a year for their 3 DP’s. Getting DP’s that require more than $7mm a year will only improve the results very marginally if at all. And this assumes no additional revenues beyond the league’s average, whereas my guess they will be above average if they bring in DP’s at $6-7mm a year level.

    • You act like spending $20 million per year on DPs is nothing. Claure might be able to handle that level of spending, but he would probably be losing a lot of money to do so.

      Meanwhile the Qataris seem to like setting money on fire to watch it burn.

    • they are building a brand new stadium in downtown Miami. that alone is going to cost them a lot. the three DPs are going to cost more than $20M a year, I would say.

      TFC just committed to almost $20M a year for two players. Miami is going to have to get players even bigger than Bradley or Defoe. for example, Ronaldo’s name is being thrown around as the type of player Miami will have to get. remember, this is 2017 we are talking about. but CR will easily command $10M+ per season. Ronaldinho and Drogba were already demanding close to that themselves, so Ronaldo will not be cheap. then they still have to get 2 more big name DPs. i think Miami has to plan to spend around $30-$35M per year in DPs alone.

      that is a ton of up front costs. Claure, Beckham, and Fuller are rich, but they also have investments elsewhere. so adding in another massive cash injection from OSI makes perfect sense. also, you figure they bought the team for $25M and with such an impressive investment group, stadium, and roster, they immediately turn that $25M valuation into a hundreds of million dollar valuation.

      • Agree – Very good points. The DP salaries aren’t exactly up-front costs and would be at least partially be paid through operating income. But if Miami intends to pay transfer fees in order to staff an exciting initial roster, this would probably require funding a decent initial war-chest, which would certainly add to the already considerable initial capital budget

        As you mentioned, it does seem likely that the three existing partners aren’t going to put much more of their own equity at stake than they already have… probably Claure has agreed to assume the risks associated with funding additional capital infusions during the interim before they install the long-term ownership team.

        Still, you have to ask… what do any of the three really bring to the table from the perspective of this particular project. If I’m QSI, and I know that there is no specialized sports management expertise or available capital pool that would exceed mine, I would wonder whether this is the best option among similar investments. Would they perhaps be better off buying an existing non-flagship MLS franchise, with operations and infrastructure in place, and spend their resources on improving it? Why be a second-round investor in what promises to be a very expensive fresh build in a town where the league has already failed (and pro sports generally do poorly)?

        I guess the point is that logically (for me), the maximum anybody should pay to invest in this project should be benchmarked by the cost of buying an existing franchise, which would be the alternative entry strategy. But the valuations for most teams is really not all that high… Not enough to really cover the start-up costs of the Miami team as they are being described. Seems like that would be a hurdle to any fundraise — you’d be betting a lot on your ability to sell an upside that has proven elusive.

        But whatever… it’s Beckham. He’ll have the money in a few hours.

      • to make sure we are on the same page, Net Operating Income, to me, is the difference of Above the Line and Below the Line. Above the line deals with revenue and costs associated with games, merchandise, etc. basically anything you can drive revenue from and the costs associated with generating that revenue.

        below the line is always costs. generally it consists of sales, marketing, R&D, and G&A expenses. in other words, it’s all your OpEx stuff. leaving NOI as Revenue – (Costs + OpEx). so DP salaries will absolutely affect operating income.

        but like you said, they’ll have to come up with any potential transfer fees which is a true CapEx item. any costs associated to stadium construction will fall into that as well. so i agree that is a true “up front” cost.

        they’ll have all the first year salaries, not to mention all the costs associated with the entire staff (FO, coaches, medical, etc.) and youth program costs. again, you are right that those items are more OpEx things and will always be there, first year or 100th year in.

        i guess what i was trying to say was with all those CapEx “up front” costs, it makes sense to bring in OSI to help out. your 3rd paragraph brings up an interesting point. my best guess? because it’s Beckham, Miami, and a chance to build something big. i don’t see OSI being able to copy Man City’s ownership and buy an MLS team to brand as an extension of the PSG family. PSG isn’t nearly as popular. i’m not saying it wouldn’t work at all, i just don’t think it would have been nearly as successful. so they figure why not jump on board with Becks?

        on your point, absolutely. when you look at NYCFC being bought for $100M and a stadium that will cost $300M+, you wonder if they should have just thrown money at another MLS owner instead who already has everything in place. especially with Forbes saying LA, for example, has a total valuation of $170M (did that number include stadium/property value?). my guess is City still found that it would be a good investment through a lot of market research. but we’ll see.

        for OSI, i think it makes good sense. that $25M is the kicker. all these parties split the cost of $25M and could, theoretically, immediately turn around and sell it for $70M+. yes, it’s more complicated than that but at least the starting point is already a nice ROI for them at the basic level.

      • Agree and very well said. Makes you wonder how Beckham really sees this. It would seem thus far that the plan for the next 6+ months is to make certain that the deep discount to the franchise fee is substantially monetized – though perhaps not entirely – prior to Miami playing its first game. As you’ve stated, Beckham and his partners could lock in a super return and pull back or even exit their position (not clear what his obligation is, if any, although I would imagine Beckham would share the interests of the league and any potential buyer in arranging a tactful withdrawal from involvement).

        That would have to be tempting — making a heavy duty return like that for a year or two’s work would probably give him some satisfaction and validation in his new post-playing identity. But I don’t think Beckham sees himself as Jay-Z and the role of “shrewd business mercenary” probably doesn’t really align with his brand … Curious to see what the long-term balance of his personal and financial engagement is, and to what extent he is willing to willing to expose his own brand to the considerable and unfamiliar business risks of the Miami project once the biggest chunk of the upside has been claimed.

      • agree with you on all points. honestly, just the business side of this makes it so interesting and worth following. this whole thing will make a great Sports MBA case study. it’s such a unique situation.

      • So true. I would imagine the most challenging part of constructing the case study might be limiting the scope… it is fascinating through so many lenses — finance, marketing, company and industry strategy… Perhaps the most interesting angle might involve recalling the initial $250 million all-in contract value that was quoted at the time of his signing with the Galaxy (but never detailed to any meaningful degree). I would love to see the internal valuations that drove the initial deal compared with the reality that has only now started to approach its true “maturity”. So much I would love to know. Although I guess we both would agree that the best of the story may still lie around the corner…

        Anyway, thanks for a thought-provoking conversation. Very cool and look forward to revisiting.

      • Ali – hahahaha yeah true, it would be a very extensive case study if they didn’t limit the scope. you as well, hopefully we’ll be able to answer a few more of our questions sooner rather than later.

  7. smart decision on his part. Claure is already filthy rich, but why not add more money? especially when the stadium will be privately funded and how much money they will have to spend in their first year. they’ll need as much money to use as possible.

  8. Not to nit pick, but it’s Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) that became PSG’s major shareholder shortly after Platini and Sarkozy met with Qatar’s crown prince…a couple of weeks before the World Cup vote.

    Guess who Sarkozy’s favorite team is?
    Guess what company Platini’s son now works for?
    Guess who owns broadcast rights to the French League and UEFA tournaments?

    QIA’s investments come with string attached, and given the fact that migrant workers continue to die at an alarming rate on Qatar’s construction projects (after being put on notice as far back as November 2011), I’d rather watch our little league fumble along without an infusion of Qatari cash.

      • Yes perhaps you’re right. I don’t want to belong in a place where, as MLS Fan so eloquently put it, “As long as we’re the ones benefiting from it, slavery and blood money are not that bad.”

        FYI, over 380 migrant workers from Nepal have died in Qatar’s labor camps in the last two years…that’s 2 years following FIFA’s commitment to work with the ITUC to get Qatar to improve working conditions.

        You should check out what the UN, Amnesty International, and the ITUC have been screaming about for the last 2 years. You might learn something.

      • Actually, yes. The Gulf States and the Saudis fund the Salifists in Syria.This is on the public record. I expect your question was a joke.

    • Investing in a MLS team is and will always be a bigger investment than any European team because the capital to start an MLS franchise is small compared to that require to buy an Average European club and Most European teams have reached their limits when it comes to local revenue. If MLS can get to the level of an average NFL team, those European teams will become our farm teams

  9. Rich guys strong arming local council boards and municipalities in South Florida to get sweetheart stadium deals and infrastructure projects green lighted.

  10. If beckham gets this done with PSG owners, Miami will be loaded with lots of money right but Is he asking for a loan or for them to join the ownership group. ( team Inter Miami)
    I would just put them on the ownership group as well and that would be amazing for Miami, mucho money and more money.
    However? I gotta wonder if other MLS owners are going to emulate what NYCFC has done and MLS should encourage, if it could be done. Obviously galaxy, sounders and red bull can do it on their own but other fancy markets like vancouver, houston, chicago, dc, boston and even orlando should lobby rich ownership groups from around the world in order to take MLS to a global power house.
    For example, I dont know enough about NY Cosmos ownership group but isnt their ownership group loaded with gold and money πŸ˜‰ and imagine if Cosmos would still unite powers with ManU owners and do something crazy and join MLS.
    In other news, Indy 11 are looking into making a SSS downtown but denying a MLS move.

  11. Im not sure why this is needed. Just last week someone was here telling me they have some ultra rich Bolivian guy as part of the leadership group. If he didn’t have the funding needed for this team why has he already been promised one? Consider me skeptical about this

    • Just because he doesn’t want to be the sole investor, doesn’t mean he can’t fund it. Really, Beckham would be foolish not to bring people in. Taking 100% of the equity risk for something that he has zero experience in doing would be foolish and probably involve him taking pretty serious exposure

      Plus the league, the city, and everybody he has to get permission and/or buy-in from to get the operations up will probably feel a lot better with a few extra deep-pocketed equity investors involved.

      I do agree that it seems a bit surprising that his investor group isn’t a little more concrete at this point. Presumably he wanted to at least be able to offer up a host city before approaching his primary targets. Still, I’m curious what Beckham’s view is with regard to his long-term position in this is. More and more it seems that he wants to get his own capital out as quickly as possible, perhaps leaving a 10% or smaller interest for which he will provide the club with some marketing and access to his brand. This is pretty much the position Magic Johnson likes to take, and his is one of the very few records of success among former star athletes getting into ownership.

      • Claure did touch on the whole investment group thing last week. basically he said they wanted to wait and make the announcement officially before moving forward with finalizing the ownership group. he said they have received interest from quite a few investors who want to come on board. made it seem this was part of the plan from the beginning.

  12. does anyone else think that Beckham FC will instantly become the Highest Paying Big Market Club as soon it enters the league? I think they’ll outmuscle NYCFC, RBNY, TFC, and LA on High profile signings easily.

      • Should i sign in Paris and pay 70% income tax or Miami and pay 0%…?

        Of course there are a lot of other considerations but thats one thing that will make an MLS move a bit more appealing!

      • Well, 70% vs. 0% is misleading. There’s no STATE income tax in Florida, but there still is federal income tax. Less than 70%, yes, but still sizable.

      • LMAO.

        Well, first off, I would absolutely sign at Paris because of ONE thing… Champions League football. CONCACAF is light years away from EVER competing with UEFA, so that one right there, that will do it for me.

      • Ask Lebron how hard it is to say to to living in Miami or the whole Miami heat roster! People take pay cuts left and right to stay in places Miami, LA, NY …. Or ask Michael Bradley what he’d choose between level of competition and quality of life

    • They were always going to be big. Beckham’s not an idiot. You don’t mess with Miami unless you are going to bring in elite talent.

    • …..I would have to strongly disagree with you.

      Manchester City owner (Sheik Mansour) has a net worth is around $15 – $31 billion, with his family being the worlds second richest royal family – he has access to an oil fortune worth $400 billion – $1 Trillion = endless money. + Plus Yankee Money

      I don’t think anyone will have more money then NYCFC.

      The only team that can “compete” in terms of money is TFC with $40 billion – from two owners “Bell and Rogers”

  13. I would love to have Qatar money in MLS, but it seems like Beckham is not that close to finalizing a stadium or a plan. The announcement the other day gave us very little information. It was quite a silly press conference.

    • it is news because it goes to show how beckham is putting together the various pieces in place that will put this team in a position to potentially compete immediately in MLS…and set them up to be a force in the league for years to come…say what you want about beckham, but he is a winner and a very smart person…and he seems to be doing a nice job of cobbling together a winning franchise in Miami…that’s it, I have added my two cents…as you were.

    • “How is this news…” LOL I believe you, like many, have forgotten what news is in this age of punditry and self-important bloggers.

      This is actually news.

    • Let me pull up the news…and you can tell me how this is LESS news than these on

      Flappy Birds is finished
      Richard Petty says Danica won’t win
      Young female smokers have increased risk of cancer

      Mull that last one over those of you that think this isn’t breaking news.

      • I wanted to repled to your comments
        but decided not to,
        then decided to after seeing your name
        so I am commenting
        not about your comment but your name
        but since I’m at it
        this is a soccer site
        News about Beckham is covered in all media
        It’s why he got a team for $25mil.

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