Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Friday, 27 November 2009

Beckham academy 'likely to close'

David Beckham opening his academy
David Beckham opened his academy in 2005

David Beckham's football academy in south-east London is "very likely" to close by the end of the year, site owners AEG Europe have confirmed.

The England footballer opened the centre in Greenwich, which boasts two full-size artificial pitches, in 2005.

But the five-year lease on the site runs out next year.

An AEG spokesman said David Beckham was abandoning a fixed location to run a mobile academy which could travel around the UK and further afield.

He explained: "The academy is moving beyond one site to a coaching model that can reach more children in communities across the UK and internationally.

"David Beckham and senior coaching staff are currently developing these ambitious programmes and further news on that front will follow."

The London venue will be a training facility during the 2012 Olympics as originally planned, but it is not clear what it will be used for until then.

More than 80,000 children have attended the academy since its opening.

A similar facility in Los Angeles, where Beckham plays for LA Galaxy, will remain open.

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