David Beckham in talks over MLS ownership

Beckham in talks over MLS ownership



22:50 GMT, 15 December 2012

David Beckham is in talks to become
the owner of a Major League Soccer club in the United States and is
expected to buy a controlling interest in a team based in New York,
Miami or Los Angeles.

But contrary to reports from the US
that Beckham will be part of deal involving Manchester City buying an
MLS franchise in New York, sources close to the former England captain
told Inside Sport: 'That's not really a partnership he'd envisage.'

Talks: David Beckham

Talks: David Beckham

Beckham, 37, is a lifelong Manchester United fan who played for the Old Trafford club for 10 years before moving to Real Madrid and then LA Galaxy. In his final match for Galaxy earlier this month, he helped them to win the MLS Cup. He is considering his next move and may play for one last club for a short period before turning his attention to club ownership in the US.

Sources say Beckham is likely to buy a controlling stake in an MLS team in partnership with Simon Fuller, the entertainment entrepreneur whose company, XIX Entertainment, represents Beckham.

City have denied reports that owner Sheik Mansour is close to sealing a $100million deal to buy a New York-based MLS 'partner club' for City in Queens, east of Manhattan.'Manchester City are not buying an MLS club,' said a statement.

The idea that City might explore buying overseas clubs or working in partnership with them is far from fanciful. Two years ago, the club's then chief executive, Garry Cook, held 'very preliminary discussions' with MLS commissioner Don Garber over a possible tie-up that could fit into City's 'international expansion'.

Cook's replacement, Ferran Soriano, formerly with Barcelona, previously held talks with the MLS about a Barcelona-owned MLS club, and has written supportively about big clubs having 'franchise' partners in other leagues.

Ticket touts were prevented from making a killing on the summer's Olympics after a major police clampdown but they are having a last hurrah for 2012 by reselling seats for tonight's BBC Sports Personality of the Year show at up to 10 times face value.

The BBC sold around 13,000 tickets to members of the public at 50 each for the glitzy bash at ExCel in east London, where Bradley Wiggins is hot favourite to pick up the main award.

A BBC spokeswoman said that ticket terms and conditions prohibited reselling. But it is not illegal to resell tickets for such events.

Ticket brokers on Seatwave, Viagogo and eBay were among those advertising tickets at massively inflated prices.

At Seatwave, a pair of tickets worth 100 at face value were being offered for a total 1,197.65, including a 179.64 booking fee, 4.94 handling charge and 15.06 insurance.

Viagogo had tickets for 240 each plus 72 booking fee per pair plus 4.95 shipping, while eBay had a variety of seats from 180 each.

The future of the New York Marathon – the world's largest – is uncertain after entry registration for the 2013 event, due to open on Wednesday, was indefinitely suspended. This came as race organisers continue talks with insurers over the circumstances in which the 2012 event was called off in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

The race was cancelled not because it was impossible to stage but because it was deemed inappropriate. This may affect any insurance payout and, with entrants claiming refunds, the organisers' ability to plan for next year has been severely hit.