Last week, FOX Soccer and Relevent Ventures announced the launch of the International Champions Cup, a new club soccer tournament that will be played at venues across the globe each summer, with the finals to be played in Miami beginning this August.
The clubs who have agreed to participate thus far are Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan and LA Galaxy, with four other clubs set to be revealed in the next two weeks.
But what happened to the last major club soccer tournament that was announced in Miami? Less than one year ago, city officials in Miami announced the launch of the Miami Soccer Challenge, an annual club competition featuring some of the biggest clubs in the world that would play at Miami’s Marlins Park baseball stadium.
Some of the club crests that were proudly displayed as the backdrop for the Miami Soccer Challenge press conference included Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, AS Roma and many others.
However, EPL Talk has learned that many of the Premier League clubs had their crests prominently displayed, but had never given permission for Miami city officials to use their crest, nor had any agreements with English clubs been signed. There were also rumors of the City of Miami receiving cease-and-desist letters from the English clubs since the team crests were used without their permission, and their use of the crests implied that the English clubs were endorsing the tournament — again, without their permission.
So far, the Miami Soccer Challenge has failed to materialize even though the tournament had been touted as launching in January, 2013. Marlins Park did host a friendly between Venezuela and Nigeria in November, 2012 in front of a crowd of 13,000, but so far no English teams have announced any matches to be played as part of the Miami Soccer Challenge for the foreseeable future.
I should add that the International Champions Cup has no affiliation or relationship with Miami Soccer Challenge. They’re two completely separate tournaments run by separate organizations. The International Champions Cup is backed by Relevent Ventures, which is a VC fund founded by Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross. The entire International Champions Cup tournament will be shown on FOX Soccer (and presumably FOX Sports 1 beginning next year).