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Beckham's Next Move

To watch and listen to David Beckham's interview about wanting to leave MLS and join AC Milan for good, click here. To read more about it, click here.

Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena told the Insider late tonight that he didn't want to comment about Beckham at this time.

Becks remains under contract with MLS for 2009. Do you think the league/Galaxy/Anschutz will let him go?

By Steve Goff  |  February 4, 2009; 11:57 PM ET
Categories:  Beckham , Italy , MLS  
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Next: Thursday Kickaround

Comments

Yes the league/Galaxy/Anschutz will let Beckham go if they can get some money back, money and a player back from Milan or some kind of series of summer time "friendies" dealings for the Beckham experience.

Posted by: BenCanada | February 5, 2009 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Wow, how nice is it to be AEG/MLS.
They are going to make millions off of this deal, if it happens.

Posted by: redskinsux | February 5, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

do we know anything about this new trialist for United that Behindthebadge is reporting about, Mawale Ange N'Silu?

Posted by: BurchFan4 | February 5, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

If anyone really thinks this is in the hands of the Galaxy/Arena/AEG/MLS they aren't being realistic.

The moment Becks said "I have a desire to stay" that solved it. Would they really take a want-away player just to satisfy season ticket holders? He can easily return in a year or two half-injured and play minutes, score free kicks and drink a beer while doing it! He, as absurd as it sounds, can do pretty much whatever at this point.

Posted by: inzzo79 | February 5, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

agreed, inzzo. the fact that Arena has moved from "he's under contract and we expect him to be here" (paraphrasing) to "no comment" seems telling.

the writing has been on the wall and now Beckham is p*ssing on the seat.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 5, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Like Christ walking the earth...
That's probably total blasphemy, but people certainly either want to wash his feet or crucify him.

Again I'm more interested in the possibility of Donovan getting some minutes in Champions League...
Any word on that Steve?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 5, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Wow, this has become really uncomfortable. I think it is in AEG and the league's hands to make a decision what they want to do, since Beckham is contractually obligated until the end of 2009.

The question is what will they do and how will it affect the league moving forward. There are a lot of moving parts here with TV deals and jersey sponsorships, which makes the situation that much more uncomfortable.

I think the league and AEG have to play hardball here, but this doesn't bode well for the "Beckham" rule considering only two DPs have been successful here (Blanco and Angel) and no team has won the MLS Cup with a DP, plus it hasn't yet helped American clubs in international competitions.

I for one think DPs have made the league much more entertaining and raised the level and sophistication of play on the field. But if highly visible DPs like Beckham are not going to be reliable enough to complete their contracts, I could easily imagine a scenario where certain teams convince the league that big name DPs aren't worth the reputational risk.

Posted by: Eugene7 | February 5, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Eugene7 - DP-level players have ALWAYS played in MLS. The only thing the DP rule did was put into the written rules what was already happening anyway.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | February 5, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Wendell, don't compare guys like Donovan, Johnson and Ruiz to Beckham, they are not at the same level. The league may have allowed a few "high salary" players but nothing on the order of a guy making $5 million per season.

The DP rule was a definite change in league policy, not a continuation of the same.

Posted by: Eugene7 | February 5, 2009 1:19 AM | Report abuse

When MLS players get sold, the league takes most of the money, right? But Beckham being here meant MLS only paid the $400K of his salary and the Galaxy paid the millions, right? So if the Galaxy paid all the Beckham money, but MLS gets the majority of a sale price, why would Galaxy sell him?

I'm sure I have this wrong. Someone correct me, please.

And like DadRyan, I am very curious if any ruling has been made on Donovan's eligibility for Champions League. I have tickets to his Feb 25 CL match against Sporting Lisbon and am hoping to see him play.

Posted by: troy6 | February 5, 2009 4:57 AM | Report abuse

Glad to help you out troy. The rules state that on any sale of a player, MLS gets one-third of the fee, so for example, if Beckham were to be sold for $10M, the Gals would get about $6.6M of it, while the league took the rest.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | February 5, 2009 5:46 AM | Report abuse

Beckham is gone. Anyone who thinks he is going to be dragged back to LA by the nose is kidding themselves.

Posted by: Ron16 | February 5, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Ron is right. Galaxy can't stand in the way of the entire soccer world, which wants to see Beckham playing on the big stage in Milan. So a deal will be worked out and he's gone.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | February 5, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of Beckham stays or goes is good for the league in terms of exposing the league wide and particularly Galaxy more to the outside world. Look how much buzz it brings around the world? Specially, it's good that he is moving to the top club in the world as opposed to failed and retired.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | February 5, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Whatever money MLS gets from the sale of Beckham should be distributed to all teams in the form of a salary increase for all developmental players. MLS will not dramatically improve until they start paying a better salary to the lower tiered players so that every team can have more depth and get better over the long-term.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | February 5, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

let him go and get some monet in the process. If they force him to stay he will be unhappy and everyone will know it. He will sit on the bench, or jog around the pitch half heartedly durring games waiting for October and his free transfer clause to kick in and then MLS would get nothing for him. Let him go play at a high level now while he still can. He will come back after the WC in fall of 2010 or spring 2011 to finish his career.

Posted by: jjfooty | February 5, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Beckham (pocket $) & MLS achieved ($, MLS exposure) their goals.

Becks moving to AC Milan, one of the world top clubs, from MLS in and playing fantastic = good for MLS

MLS = pocket transfer fee (33%) and some add ons (Milan friendlies, % of future merchandise sales)

As for AEG = $

For the G's it would NOT be bad either - 415k more capspace or another DP who has more impact on the pitch - it's difficult as a wide player to do so.

Posted by: Ben7LA | February 5, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

From the figures I've seen on the BBC it seems like Milan are offering either 5.4, 6 or 12 million pounds. So anywhere from $9m to $18m if my conversion rate is roughly accurate. If the Galaxy are going to get $18m they are stupid not to sell him when he has an opt out clause come November. Even if it is $9m, which seems more reasonable, they should take it. It pays for one year of his salary. Galaxy never paid a transfer fee for him, they get a lot of their money back. They still were in the public eye for the year and a half they had him on their team. Win-Win.

However if Donovan leaves as well they went from 3 DPs(kind of) to 0 with no time in the off season to pick one up. So the earliest they could find one would be July without trading for one. So in short that leaves Eddie Lewis in the midfield and Edson Buddle in the attack. Yes that frees $1.2m for the salary cap(counting Ruiz) but is LA willing to have a rebuilding year after 2 garbage years?

It puts LA in a bad spot. I think they don't have a choice but to let him go, but I think Donovan might suffer because of it. Does anyone know when his contract expires? If he has time on it he is coming back stateside....

Posted by: bighungry | February 5, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Beckham was good for MLS, but now it is time to let him to go. The rest of the world found out that the MLS has a better product than they may have thought, and Bechham's ability has not been diminished by his time here.

His job was to put fans into seats and he filled RFK his first year, but last year 'only' 36,000. This year I do not expect he would have done as well.

Just as he has in Milan, he has shown his remarkable skill and professionalism and these will rub off a bit on the MLS. We need to thank him for what he has given and wish him well. MLS should drive a hard bargain, afterall they do have a contract with his name on it, drag some money out of the deep pockets of Milan and get on with the season.

Posted by: greenbeltjoe | February 5, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Let him go - NO

Sell him on - YES

Look, don't worry that MLS loses a big draw in terms of dollars and global appeal. They sold the TV rights internationally for hte next few years and the TV deal with ESPN is in place. Don't worry that teams won't be able to sell that one Beckham game a year. Don't worry that Herbalife is without their pitch man.

FOCUS on this - AC Milan could have had David Beckham two years ago for FREE from Real Madrid. MLS invests a measley amount into the guy from a salary and marketing standpoint and then gets to SELL him to Milan.

High Five!

Seriously Don Garber makes the arbitrage of the decade on this move. Becks doesn't leave MLS on a free - maybe he plays to more Euro and World Cup glory - and he'll have LA Galaxy on his CV before AC Milan forever.

MLS made a ton of great marketing moves leading up to his arrival and during his time and you've got to think that the league is still a better place now than it was even 4 years ago before he was here. Teams are learning about how DPs work in teams with salary caps and coaches and front offices are having to be more competitive and professional than ever before.

This is not the end of an era - this is the start of MLS making hopefully better and better moves as it ascends in global and domestic stature.

Bravo MLS.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 5, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse

@DadRyan and others RE: Donovan and Champions League,

He's not on Bayern's Roster - he will only be able to make appearances in their Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal matches. The rosters are closed and even if his loan is extended he won't be making an appearance.

I agree, not too excited about this either, but that's ok. ESPN will still only show Liverpool, Chelsea and ManYoo on the TV here anyway and I hope all three of those guys get bombed out in the round of 16.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 5, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Sell Beckham for $20-30 Million and give Bruce the funds to build a really competitive soccer team.

Posted by: niknakdcu | February 5, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I think Becks should be required to buy back the entire inventory of LAG jerseys with his name on them. Which would pretty much be ALL of them.

Posted by: roadkit | February 5, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Bye, bye, Goldenballs.

I foresee a LA Galaxy, AC Milan series of friendlies and a Beckham return after 2010.

Posh stays in LA in a vain attempt to restart her career as an actor on Desperate Housewives.

Posted by: delantero | February 5, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

ESPN will still only show Liverpool, Chelsea and ManYoo on the TV here anyway and I hope all three of those guys get bombed out in the round of 16.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 5, 2009 8:54 AM

VBB - if you convince people to stop boosting the ratings for English clubs, then I'm sure ESPN will comply with your wishes. I've said it before, but the only clubs that garner ratings in this country are Mexican and English.

--

Regardless of Beckham stays or goes is good for the league in terms of exposing the league wide and particularly Galaxy more to the outside world. Look how much buzz it brings around the world? Specially, it's good that he is moving to the top club in the world as opposed to failed and retired.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | February 5, 2009 7:28 AM

I like this glass half-full perspective. Though this is going to be a body blow for the league when it comes to international rep. Like it or not, fans and journalists abroad will view this as MLS not being able to offer the level of play (Galaxy and opponents) to keep him here.

Don't shoot the messenger - I said I liked the glass half full approach!

This will be a loss for the league, but they'll re-coup some money and move on. Not the end of the world - and I'm sure that Beckham will put a polish on it after some initial awkwardness.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 5, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Eugene7 - I certainly wasn't talking about Donovan, Johnson and Ruiz. I was talking about guys like Donadoni, Stoichkov, and Djorkaeff. They may not have made $6 million a year, but they were over the salary cap and therefore DPs, even if unofficially. And they were stars that fit the DP profile.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | February 5, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Sell Beckham for $20-30 Million and give Bruce the funds to build a really competitive soccer team.

Posted by: niknakdcu | February 5, 2009 8:59 AM

He still has to adhere to the salary cap, DP rules and roster limitations.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 5, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

MLS agrees to a hefty transfer fee for Beckham.

Milan agrees to loan Beckham back to LA for the summer.

Win-Win

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 5, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I would wonder - if somehow it's being negotiated as a loan for the next 18 months - keeping him in Milan for the World Cup cycle.

Tell him and Milan that they are on the hook for his salary and that MLS will get a cut of the marketing and Milan will have to play friendlies (All Star Games) over here.

After 18 months, MLS gets David back.

But if they're going to pay up for his rights - then sell him.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 5, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I would wonder - if somehow it's being negotiated as a loan for the next 18 months - keeping him in Milan for the World Cup cycle.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 5, 2009 9:46 AM

I really like this idea (fischy mentioned it previously). Problem is, I don't know if it's financially viable for the Anschutz people. Sure, they wouldn't be paying him salary whilst on loan - but they also wouldn't be working with him on the other (bigger) side of the agreement - marketing. Also, I don't know how this would work from Milan's Serie A/Italian Federation stand point. As an 18 month loan even within the rules?

Posted by: Kev29 | February 5, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

@Kev29,

I don't disagree with you. However, rooting for Man U (The Yankees, The Red Sox, The Cowboys, USC, Florida, The Lakers, Duke, UNC, etc) is like rooting for the House to win in Black Jack.

I know it happens far too prevalently, and I just have to deal with it. I just get frustrated at being subjected to same 7 Champions League games each year. But, until viewing habits change, The Big 4 is broken up, and people become comfortable with pulling for someone else, I'm relegated to seeing those teams - unless Comcast finally would pick up SETANTA.

(BTW - EVERYONE call Comcast and request Setanta be added! Right now!)

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 5, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I want him placed on a no-fly list ASAP.

Posted by: Hoost | February 5, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

(BTW - EVERYONE call Comcast and request Setanta be added! Right now!)

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 5, 2009 9:52 AM

Get an online subscription in the meantime. I really like mine, can watch anywhere and you get loads of Champions League with an annual deal.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 5, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@VBB and everyone else wondering about Donovan. I'd think they're own website would have it right, right?
http://www.uefa.com/competitions/ucl/news/kind=1/newsid=797303.html
You say he's not on their roster, are you sure?

Posted by: DadRyan | February 5, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@DadRyan,

I stand corrected - I had heard that he would not occupy a roster slot given his loan terms as they currently exist - thanks for the find!

@Kev29,

Where do I find out about this online subscription? I'd love it to work at the office, however, my company barely allows me to use the internet - without voices.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider - it would be a blog and thus blocked.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | February 5, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Of course the league should let him go.

I disagree with those who think Beckham has been good for MLS. Won't the whole affair make it harder for the league to attract or hold international players, whether US or foreign?

Posted by: OWNTF | February 5, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

FIOS has Setanta

Posted by: OWNTF | February 5, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Poochie was an alien!

http://www.thesimpsons.com/episode_guide/0814.htm

Any culturally literate Simpsons watcher knew that Poochie Beckham wasn't a good fit for this gig. The sooner he gets sent (or sold) back to his home planet - the sooner things can return to "normal".

Whatever that is.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | February 5, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Like it or not, fans and journalists abroad will view this as MLS not being able to offer the level of play (Galaxy and opponents) to keep him here.

Has anyone ever argued that MLS could compete with Serie A for quality of play? And AC Milan is the cream of the Serie A crop.

Posted by: combedge | February 5, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

If I am MLS, I see a very limited upside to trying to keep Beckham against his will and a very big downside.

Upside is you tehnically have Beckham with LAG one more MLS season. That's it.

Downside is: Beckham will be unhappy, and that will be reflected in his play. And he sure won't play even slightly hurt, either. So you have Beckham but he rides the pine 2/3 of the time.

Beckham is not filling the stadiums in MLS the way he used to.

With Beckham biding time until he can get out of Dodge, jersey sales are not likely to set any records. This and the declining gate impact mean that MLS might lose money on Becks big salary this season.

At the end of the season Beckham exercises his option and he is gone for ZERO dollars.

With Beckham still on the roster, LAG will be much more limited in what they can do to get better players, which they desperately need. Very likely you are looking at another terrible year for the LAG.

MLS and LAG, if they are smart, should take the 8, 10, or at the outside $12 million transfer fee and consider themselves lucky and go from there.

Posted by: Ron16 | February 5, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I think Beckham is gone. It might just benefit everyone.

If I were LA Galaxy, I would trade him for Ronaldinho? I mean why not, if they still want a marketable player.

Posted by: RM27 | February 5, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

VBB - I'm lucky, being in IT I get very little blocked. I sympathize with others. Here is the Setanta Annual Broadband subscription info...

http://play.www.setanta.servecast.net/setanta/us/public/MoreInfoPopup.aspx?qs=MOREINFO

Posted by: Kev29 | February 5, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"Posh stays in LA in a vain attempt to restart her career as an actor on Desperate Housewives.

Posted by: delantero | February 5, 2009 9:35 AM "
----------

Makes one wonder how their marriage is doing. Or maybe Posh is sick of L.A. traffic and wants to move to Milan and work on a clothing line?

Posted by: Juan-John | February 5, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Can you blame Beckham for wanting to leave - the Galaxy was and still is a mess. It's a reflection on the league as well.
I'm not an MLS hater, but this should serve as a serious wake up call to Garber and his little cohorts . . .

Posted by: LCR-54 | February 5, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

If Beckham has replaced Ronadinho in the lineup, why not swap? I'd love to see a creative Brazilian in MLS.

Posted by: muskratinator | February 5, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone seriously think Ronaldinho would come here at this point in his career?

I suggested last night that the Gals ought to consider a pricey loan for the next year and a half -- possibly until the end of 2010. There are pros and cons for trying to handle it this way, but it could serve the interests of everyone involved.

The Gals might feel burned and used, since they didn't have to agree to the loan in the first place. On the other hand, they had to think this was a possibility. Maybe, they've been hoping to make some money off this deal, all along.

Posted by: fischy | February 5, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Galaxy and MLS were so stupid to loan him if they wanted to keep him. I saw this coming a mile away. It's similar to saying you are going on vacation, and loaning your girlfriend to a sexier, more powerful, and wealthier guy to be her boyfriend while you are gone. Duh. Don't be surprised when she doesn't want to sleep with you anymore.

Posted by: buryyourduke | February 5, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

If Beckham has replaced Ronadinho in the lineup, why not swap? I'd love to see a creative Brazilian in MLS.

Posted by: muskratinator | February 5, 2009 11:38 AM
===================================
Keep your eyes on Fred in 09!

Posted by: DadRyan | February 5, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Kev29, you're IT and you still have stuff blocked? There's no excuse for that. ;)

Posted by: sitruc | February 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I've heard a couple people suggesting that MLS told Beckham that they wouldn't mind if he wanted to stay with Milan as with the economy today they were looking for ways to cut costs a little bit. So their protests might be just cover and this was all worked out in advance.

As for if this is a good or bad thing for MLS, I think it can be spun as a good thing. It's obvious he didn't lose a thing playing in MLS, if he's able to step right in and contribute for Milan. He hasn't missed a beat by playing two years in the States, which might help convince others to come over in their near-prime without worrying that they'll be at a disadvantage in the future.

Posted by: Hokienautic | February 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"I think the league and AEG have to play hardball here, but this doesn't bode well for the "Beckham" rule considering only two DPs have been successful here (Blanco and Angel) and no team has won the MLS Cup with a DP, plus it hasn't yet helped American clubs in international competitions."

Posted by: Eugene7 | February 5, 2009 1:04 AM

Isn't Barros-Schellotto a DP?

"If Beckham has replaced Ronadinho in the lineup, why not swap? I'd love to see a creative Brazilian in MLS."

Posted by: muskratinator | February 5, 2009 11:38 AM

Graeme Jones had a great suggestion a while back: Ask for either Ronaldinho or Shevchenko in exchange for Beckham. The Galaxy could certainly use some offensive firepower with Beckham and Donovan gone.


Posted by: grotusmaximus | February 6, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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