David Beckham admits using Manchester United links to help launch Inter Miami
Last Updated: 17/03/19 4:30pm
David Beckham has revealed he has been using his Manchester United links to help him launch his MLS team Inter Miami next year.
The former England captain enjoyed 13 hugely successful seasons at Old Trafford, and admits he has been using all that experience, and his contacts, in his new role as Inter Miami president.
The Manchester United legend also revealed his new MLS side may forge links with Salford City, the National League side he jointly owns with other members of United's 'Class of 92' in Ryan Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes.
Speaking to reporters on the day the team revealed a plan to play their first two seasons at their proposed £45m training complex, Beckham revealed he has been tapping up one his old bosses for advice on how to run a club.
"Ever since I made the arrangement that I was going to be able to buy a franchise once I finished playing, I've been speaking to people like David Gill," he said, referring to the clause in his Los Angeles Galaxy contract that gave him a discount on setting up an MLS team.
"He is someone who has a huge amount of experience at Manchester United, so I've been asking him about the job he did there (as chief executive).
"But there are also other clubs and football people I've been around over my career and been able to gain experience from.
"I also have some great partners here in Miami, who understand the US market. It's a different world from the European leagues but it's catching up really quickly."
Building a state-of-the-art academy, complete with an 18,000-seat stadium, is perhaps the part of the Inter Miami masterplan that excites Beckham most, as youth development is an issue he has been talking about since arriving in the United States in 2007.
"It's one of the things I discussed with MLS commissioner Don Garber when I first came here," said Beckham, who also played for Real Madrid, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
"There were only one or two clubs that actually had a system in place and I told him, for the growth of the sport in this country, that had to change.
"To be fair, the MLS has done an amazing job to create academies in the clubs. There's a real push on the level of the players who are coming through."
He said the plan for Inter Miami is to have teams from under-12s upwards, with an under-23 side playing in the second tier United Soccer League.
There is also the possibility of co-operation with his other new venture given the 10 per cent stake he has taken in Salford City, who he jointly owns with Singapore businessman Peter Lim, and the other members of the 'Class of 92' in Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville, Scholes and Butt.
"Who knows? (Youth development) is important on both sides of the pond," the 43-year-old said.
"With Salford, the hard work has been done over the last few years, bringing the club up to the level they've got to now. The lads have done such a great job.
"For me to be part of that now, since Miami has settled down and we've got that ball rolling, is great. There could be a crossover."