Beckham hopes to buy his own football team in US

Jan 20, 2012

Big-thinking Becks talks about captaining the Olympic side and buying an MLS franchise

FORMER England and Manchester United midfielder David Beckham doesn't just want to play for Britain in the London Olympics - he hopes to be the skipper. "I would love to captain Team GB at the Olympics," he told a news conference in Los Angeles yesterday.

And there's more to come from big-thinking Becks. Having taken the decision to stay in the States with LA Galaxy, he says that once his new two-year contract is over he might buy a Major League Soccer team himself.

Beckham's new contract was dependent on Galaxy's owners agreeing to help him become a franchise owner, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

"He made it very clear to us we have to sort this through, that he's going to exercise his option to be an owner in Major League Soccer," said Tim Leiweke, chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment, the LA-based company that owns the Galaxy. Said Beckham: "I have the option of owning a franchise, and that excites me."

The fee to buy into the MLS with a new club is $40 million, says Businessweek, and it is estimated that Beckham earned that much in 2010 alone, while his net worth is closer to $300 million.

In the shorter term, Beckham, who will be 37 when the London Games kick off in July, has a clause in his new Galaxy contract allowing him to compete in the Olympic football competition if required by Team GB coach Stuart Pearce.

"I have never played in the Olympics," said Beckham, "and I know how exciting it is for our nation to have the Olympics in the East End of London, especially for me growing up in the East End."

Pressed on whether he had been sounded out by Pearce, a former England team-mate, Beckham replied: "I've had conversations with Stuart but being selected is not even decided yet. If I am fit, healthy and in form, then hopefully I will be in the team."

According to The Sun, Beckham will probably be called on by Pearce, not just to put bums on seats but also because of the timing. The fact that Beckham will be mid-season with LA Galaxy in the American MLS league vastly improves his chances of being match-fit, Pearce seems to be suggesting.

Beckham also gave more details yesterday of why he decided to remain with the Galaxy rather than take up the lucrative £160,000-a-week deal proposed by Paris Saint Germain. As the Los Angeles Times reports, Beckham and wife Victoria decided they and their four children enjoyed the California lifestyle too much to let it go.

"Me and Victoria talked about it many times," said Beckham. "Our older son was a big part of it. He's 12 years old and he needs some stability in his schooling... We knew the first day we arrived… that this could be a place where we would spend many years and I wasn't wrong."

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