Let’s review two things we know, for sure, about Major League Soccer and its roster of clubs.
David Beckham does, indeed, possess contractual rights to purchase an expansion club (outside of New York City) for $25 million.
We also know of careening media reports, of unknown veracity, that all Chivas properties appear to be for sale by owner Jorge Vergara and that Chivas USA could be spun off in a purchase, perhaps even by the ridiculously rich Carlos Slim.
Now, as for some of you out there connecting some false dots, a little clarification might be in order.
Beckham’s option is for an expansion club; that has nothing to do with the sale of an existing club. It’s apples and soccer balls.
Generally speaking, for a club to change ownership hands, a buyer and a seller need to get together and agree on a price. (Even within an ownership family, a stake in a club can be bought and sold for a negotiated value, as we’ve seen over the last couple of years at D.C. United and Real Salt Lake.)
So, buyer and seller would negotiate a price. Still hypothetically speaking, if Beckham were to get involved in any Chivas property fire sale, his $25 million option would not have anything to do with it. It’s not like he has a $25 million chip to toss into negotiations.
So, while Beckham could theoretically become owner of Chivas USA, the expansion club option negotiated into his original MLS deal back in 2007 would be irrelevant in the process.
I confirmed all this with the league office Friday afternoon.
Still on Chivas and rabbit trails, the league has refuted reports (for the second time in two weeks) that a league takeover of Chivas USA is imminent. Reports out of Mexico have been amplified here by the L.A. Times and others of such a thing. A league statement issued today said:
Major League Soccer is aware of recent media speculation concerning Chivas USA. Such speculation is completely unfounded and untrue. MLS is fully supportive of the current owners of Chivas USA and has never considered taking over the club or moving it.”