Dear David

Dear David,

You’re never going to read this letter I know, but I’ve felt the need to write it for some time.
I know you, I’ve known you since you went to Bobby Charlton Soccer schools and scored the winner against Blackburn at Ewood Park when you were just a kid.
I knew you when you scored from the halfway line at Selhurst Park to the semi final goal against David Seaman at Villa park in 1999, when Ferguson kicked the boot at you, then sent you packing to Real Madrid.

I’ve known you all my life because for all intents and purposes I am you. we’re kids that grew up in working class estates and played football in the parks.

The only difference is, is that you’re a magician with a football and I can drive a lorry, but that’s irrelevant because I know you, and I also need you to know what I am going to say to you.

19,584 remember that number.

So, David. It’s no secret you’re thinking about putting an MLS team down there in Miami. Big city. bright lights, nice beach, warm ocean. I can see the appeal. I can understand why your advisors want to live there. I can understand why anyone would want to live there. It’s gorgeous if you’ve plenty of money and can afford to ignore Opa Locka or Hialeah in your gated community.

Indeed lots of people do choose to live in Dade County, according to the Census bureau 51% of the population is foreign born compared to 19% in the rest of Florida and 7.3% nationally (also 5.6% nationally foreign born like myself whom have since become naturalized citizens) so Miami has a large population of people whom aren’t from the country, let alone the city or state.
I tried to find the number of Miami residents whom were born elsewhere in the USA, but couldn’t quickly find it to hand.

So that’s great right? Large population of foreigners whom love soccer right? sounds great right? an ideal place to have a team right?
Erm…… no. We can see by the mess that is Chivas USA, that people won’t come out for a team just because you dress it up as something you think they’ll support. Mexicans support Chivas Guadalajara, Not the mickey mouse outfit the dress in red and white stripes in LA.

I can spout about past MLS teams in Miami and Florida, but that’s been hashed to death, and will quite frankly bore you, and bore me having to research it. I want to speak to you, David Beckham, that guy that knows football.

Right now you’re being told what you want to hear by guys with business degrees, PR degrees, Marketing degrees and people that look good in a sharp Armani suit. They’re talking bollocks mate, and quite frankly, not doing you any favors, why are you letting a bunch of suits who’ve never played the game advise you about football. If there is one thing you know about it is football.

Miami is a sexy vibrant city and have a lovely beach…. Manchester isn’t. Liverpool isn’t, Lyon isn’t, Turin isn’t, Rotterdam isn’t, Glasgow isn’t, Porto isn’t, Munich and Dortmund aren’t.
London might be, but the shit hole you grew up in near Tottenham sure the heck isn’t sexy either.
Football is a working class game, played by working class people supported by working class fans. You know this, so please, don’t make the mistake of putting a team someplace that won’t support it.

But how do you know they won’t support it? Well David, Baseball is America’s game, and Florida had the 2 worst supported teams in the country. Tampa Bay worst, and Miami second, in their new stadium of 36,000 the average attendance was 19,584.

So if they won’t show up for the flag waving, apple pie eating, Budweiser drinking game they call their own, what makes you think they’re going to turn up to watch your dog and pony show?

They won’t. Stick to working class cities, like Detroit, Indianapolis, Minnesota or…. maybe….. Us here in St Louis.
41,602 average attendance and second highest in baseball. Just saying.

I know you, and I know if you read this, you’ll agree.

Yours Sincerely

Matthew Bird.

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