Beckham’s Miami FC Deal Complicated By Strikers Sale
While this appeal may seem too based on nostalgia, the reality of today’s American soccer fans are that they are more connected to the European club game and legacy of South American National Teams than ever before. MLS’ approach of rebooting history from the mid 1990’s has proven in many parts of the country to fail, and that league has itself begun to embrace some history. But an established name like the Strikers who have yet effectively leverage the legacy of their brand due to budget constraints could have a massive impact in south Florida.
For those who argue the Strikers would then be going down a path similar to the New York Cosmos whose nostalgic-based approach has yielded mixed results, I would submit that the Strikers playing in the same stadium they did originally with many of the same personnel around the club make it more authentic and perhaps more likely to succeed. Additionally, the Cosmos have to contend with the financial juggernaut of Manchester City while Beckham has yet to secure the type of long-term deep-pocketed investors he will need to really make a go in the market.
Lack of Political Will
The situation in Miami-Dade County is perhaps unworkable for Beckham and his people. The naivety of their initial approach and carelessness of the public statements made by both Beckham and MLS early in the process poisoned the well locally. While the City of Fort Lauderdale long had said they were happy to speak to Beckham, Mayor Jack Seiler announced on Friday he is no longer interested in speaking to Beckham with long-term future of the Strikers now secure. Beckham’s public statements have boxed in the global superstar and while published reports and internet rumors keep popping that indicate the former Manchester United star is close to striking a deal locally nothing has been announced yet.
We have discussed time and again why Broward County is a far better anchor for a south Florida professional soccer team than Miami-Dade County. Now that the Strikers have the type of ownership that will make the club competitive, simple geography and demographics would favor the locale of the Strikers over anything Beckham might do in Miami. Simply put, with the Strikers sale, Beckham is further boxed-in both to Miami-Dade County and perhaps to a bloody fight with a well-established neighboring pro club who will not give an inch in a battle for fans. If Beckham does get his team off the ground though, this could produce one of the most authentic and glorious derby matches in North American soccer.