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The difference between how much David Beckham paid for Inter Miami and what it is worth now is staggering

The difference between how much David Beckham paid for Inter Miami and what it is worth now is staggering

It's been called 'one of the best sports business deals ever' - and for good reason.

When you look at the list of greatest sports transfers of all time, you could probably get David Beckham in there a few times.

Beckham's transfer to Real Madrid was not only lucrative for the selling club - United earned £25 million from the 2002 summer deal - it also allowed Beckham to win a further two trophies at the Bernabeu and the club's 2005/06 Player of the Year award.

Although the England star's time in Real wasn't as successful as his time at United, it did further establish him as one of the biggest stars on the planet.

That showed when it was announced in January 2007 that Beckham would be making the move across the pond to join LA Galaxy. There wasn't a major media outlet out there that wasn't covering the arrival of 'Posh and Becks' to America, naturally.

David Beckham is unveiled as an LA Galaxy player in 2007 (

There were question marks over the deal - namely why a 32-year-old Beckham was joining a league that, back then, didn't quite carry the attraction for top European players that it does today.

But, nearly 17 years on, one particular effect of the deal is still being felt today.

It wasn't Beckham's salary - he reportedly earned $6.5 million a year in Los Angeles which, although sizeable by 2007 standards, is nowhere near the contracts signed by elite players today. In fact, he took a reported 70 per cent pay cut from his Real Madrid deal.

There was one clause that was included as part of the deal that didn't even public knowledge until much later after his LA Galaxy contract was signed.

In a first-time ever decision by Major League Soccer, Beckham was granted the option of buying an MLS expansion franchise in any market - except New York City - when he retired from playing. The fixed price? $25 million.

To put that into some context, the newest MLS expansion franchise, St Louis City, was expected to pay an expansion fee of around $200 million to play in the league from the beginning of the 2023 season. The figure actually ended up being higher than that, with a $458 million stadium built to host the club's home matches.

As of June 2023, meanwhile, Inter Miami - the franchise Beckham chose to buy - was worth $600 million, with sports business expert Joe Pompliano detailing that the valuation would be pushed up to $1 billion with the signing of Lionel Messi.

Pompliano added that the MLS couldn't include a 'Beckham clause' as part of Messi's contract - because each club is now worth at least $500 million.

According to Sportico, Inter Miami have now broken the $1 billion barrier, and were worth $1.02 billion as of January 2024.

Only three other MLS sides are said to have reached the magical number, with LAFC ($1.15bn), Atalanta United ($1.05bn) and Beckham's former franchise LA Galaxy ($1bn).

Pompliano has described Beckham's business deal to buy an MLS franchise at the fixed cost of $25 million as 'one of the best sports business deals ever'. It's hard to argue.

Featured Image Credit: Getty / David Beckham/Instagram

Topics: David Beckham, Manchester United, LA Galaxy, MLS, Major League Soccer, Inter Miami, Lionel Messi