David Beckham has joined his Manchester United ‘Class of 92’ team-mates by taking a stake in non-league side Salford City.
The 43-year-old follows Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Phil Neville in taking a 10 per cent share in the Vanarama National League promotion hopefuls.
Beckham’s arrival means the ‘Class of 92’ are now majority shareholders of Salford with 60 per cent, but Singaporean businessman Peter Lim, who has a controlling stake in Valencia, remains the single largest shareholder.
“It’s a proud moment for me to join Peter Lim and the ‘Class of 92’ lads as an owner of Salford City FC,” Beckham said. “It’s a really special club and a special group of people.
“My early years in Manchester were all spent in Salford. I grew up there in many ways so to be able to finally join the lads and the club today is a great feeling.
“Salford City has achieved so much success in a short space of time, the fans are incredible and I’m really excited to be spending more time in Salford again.”
Beckham is already part-owner of Inter Miami – an expansion side given the green light by Major League Soccer last January – and his involvement with Salford still has to be sanctioned by the Football Association.
Gary Neville said his former team-mate’s arrival was a “huge occasion” for the non-league club, who have been promoted three times since being taken over by the ‘Class of 92’ and Lim in 2014.
“What he brings is his international experience, obviously playing and now he’s got an ownership over in Miami,” Neville told Football Paradise.
“We’re all very young and recently out of football, so we’re all learning still, we’re all trying to do different things, we’re all taking risks.
“Peter Lim’s stability and investment is critical to us, that he guides us in terms of the approach we take as a football club. David will bring just another layer of experience.”
Gary Neville, who shot down talk of Salford linking up with Beckham’s Inter Miami, spoke of Bournemouth’s rise to the Premier League as a model that ambitious Salford would love to emulate.
But the focus now is sealing promotion to Sky Bet League Two and building with Beckham, who was unable to invest in Salford in 2014 due to commitments elsewhere.
“We’ve continued to speak to each other and we obviously had initial discussions and timings and what was going on in his particular life at that time was difficult for him to be part of what this is,” Neville said.
“We knew that down the road that we would continue to keep talking.
“He has obviously grown to know Peter very well over the last five or six years, which I think is very important that obviously all of us know each other.”
Beckham is due to attend his first Salford match as part of the ownership group next month. The Ammies are currently third in the Vanarama National League and seeking to reach the Football League for the first time.
Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P