By Ridge Mahoney and Paul Kennedy
According to figures released Tuesday, former England and Galaxy midfielder David Beckham banked enough compensation last year to pay for his discounted stake in an MLS team.
His company, Footwork Productions, reported he received a salary of 14.1 million pounds ($22.7 million) from the company. Adding in the $4 million salary paid by the Galaxy in 2012 --- his last season in MLS -- increases the figure to $26.7 million, which would cover the $25 million expansion fee that was written into his contract with MLS.
Multiple outlets have reported that Beckham has engaged in discussions regarding an MLS expansion team in Miami. Bolivian businessman Marcelo Claure, whose bid to buy into the league via a partnership with Spanish club Barcelona fell apart in 2009, has met with Beckham to discuss a possible partnership.
Prior to the MLS All-Star Game July 31, Commissioner Don Garberannounced the Board of Governors voted to increase the league’s membership to 24 teams by 2020. Miami and Orlando are two of the frontrunners to join MLS in the next few years, which would mark a return to the state MLS abandoned after the 2001 season when it contracted the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion during a downsizing from 12 to 10 teams.
In May, MLS announced it had accepted a joint bid -- expansion price $100 million --- from the New York Yankees and the consortium that owns Premier League club Manchester City to operate an expansion team in New York City starting with the 2015 season. NYCFC would increase league membership to 20 teams. Beckham’s ownership clause in his contract barred him from investing in a New York City team.
EXECUTIVE HIRINGS.Steve Livingstone, who spent the last eight years in business development, sales and marketing for the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars, has been hired by Sunshine Soccer Group as the first club president of the NASL Jacksonville expansion club.
The Scottish-born Livingstone, who was the team president and general manager of the Scottish Claymores in the NFL Europe League, will head up the NASL club's business development and commercial operations, will work with Sunshine Soccer Group president Dario Sala, who will also oversee the club's soccer and technical operations as the team's general manager.
-- Former D.C. United executive Fred Matthes has joined USL PRO expansion team Sacramento Republic FC as vice president of ticket sales and service. Assisting Matthes will be Chris Nasser as director of ticket sales. Nasser previously worked for both the Oakland Athletics and Triple-A Sacramento River Cats.
Republic FC also hired Brent Sasaki as vice president of corporate partnerships. Sasaki comes to Republic FC after working as the director of business development for corporate partnerships at the NBA Sacramento Kings.
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