Football: Beckham's Miami dream three years away

Former England and Manchester United star, David Beckham (centre) poses for photos after holding a press conference at the Perez Art Museum Miami, in Miami, Florida, on Feb 5, 2014. Beckham's new team in Miami will not take to the pitch until at
Former England and Manchester United star, David Beckham (centre) poses for photos after holding a press conference at the Perez Art Museum Miami, in Miami, Florida, on Feb 5, 2014. Beckham's new team in Miami will not take to the pitch until at least 2017, the billionaire investor in the ambitious project says, dashing hopes of an earlier start. -- PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - David Beckham's new team in Miami will not take to the pitch until at least 2017, the billionaire investor in the ambitious project says, dashing hopes of an earlier start.

Peruvian entrepreneur Marcelo Claure, a major partner in Beckham's move into football ownership, said there was simply too much to do in building a club from top to bottom.

There had been high hopes among Miami's football-starved community - which has not had a top-level soccer team for more than a decade - that the as-yet-unnamed franchise might be ready in 2016.

"Three years, three years, 2017. That's the idea if it all works out like we hope," said Claure, after Beckham confirmed football's worst-kept secret on Wednesday and said he was bringing football back to Miami.

Beckham, Claure and their ownership team - which also includes British pop music and television impresario Simon Fuller - reportedly paid US$25 million (S$32 million) for the Major League Soccer franchise.

"Three years is the objective because we're creating a soccer team from scratch," Claure told reporters.

"We have to pick coaches, we have to involve the community, we have to pick a name, pick a jersey, we have to convince big-name players to come play for us."