The Beckham Deal: MLS Loses

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David Beckham is staying at the San Siro until June, according to the Los Angeles Times. He then will return the Galaxy when the MLS International Transfer Window opens. This will essentially be a loan deal for the final thirteen MLS Regular Season games, as Beckham then buys himself out of his LA/MLS contract in December and returns to Milan in January.

The big winner in this deal is potentially the England National Team which leads its World Cup Qualifying group, which will see Becks match fit throughout the qualifying rounds and playing top level football when South Africa 2010 rolls around. Fabio Capello’s prodding has secured the services of the world’s most famous footballer for his former club.

AC Milan and the LA Galaxy both have good and bad to come from this deal. Milan gets Beckham for the rest of the current Serie A season as they chase a Champions League birth. But the club will likely see derby rivals Inter win another Scudetto this season and then may be chasing Inter and perhaps Juve and Roma also from behind next season by the time Becks arrives in January.

The Galaxy free up critical cap space early in the season, and will have a solid squad come Beckham’s return in July to chase a playoff birth. This also depends on the situation with Landon Donovan. While Bayern claims they have little intention of buying the American international outright, he continues to play in every Bundesliga fixture for the defending league champions while on loan.

If the new look Galaxy under Bruce Arena can make the playoffs in 2009, Beckham would have given the southern California club a worthy parting gift: leaving the club in better shape, albeit only slightly better shape than when he arrived. The Galaxy also will get a hefty amount of money from Beckham’s buyout.

The loser in this mess is Major League Soccer who has failed its first big transfer test after the departure of Ivan Gazidis the one legitimate football man in the league’s top brass to take over Arsenal. The league bungled the public relations campaign on the transfer,
and showed that despite being in its second decade of existence, the prevailing logic of world football is still at times lost on MLS HQ.

The bungling of the Beckham saga was so damaging by the league that it has now placed Barcelona’s sponsorship of a potential new team in Miami in great jeopardy. The league also fails to receive a transfer fee for the footballer whose value was at very least appraised at $3 million, and perhaps much much more.

Having failed to substantially improve the quality of play in the league over many years, struggling to save face in the region’s club championship, seeing an exodus of even mediocre American talent (the likes Clarence Goodson, Troy Perkins, Hunter Freeman, etc) to Europe and having to weather a severe economic downturn weren’t enough for the league. They had to make a mess out of a situation that the Galaxy were handling just fine on their own.

After David Beckham shot his mouth off in Glasgow, the Galaxy had a strategy and a clear plan. Tim Lewicke and the Galaxy knew they were probably destined to lose the player but had a strategy to get some return on their investment. But Don Garber, with mindless arbitrary deadlines and concern about other quite frankly nominal issues like All Star games, and marketing deals for SUM, forced the Galaxy deeper into a corner.

We’ve learned one thing for sure from this ordeal. The theory circulated by some supporters that the Galaxy get preferential treatment from the
league’s top brass can now be effectively laid to rest.

UPDATE: YOU CAN ALSO COMMENT ON THE REJECTION/WITHDRAWAL OF MIAMI’S MLS BID HERE. I PERSONALLY HAVE NO COMMENT TO MAKE ON THE ISSUE UNTIL I GET MORE INFORMATION AS TO WHAT HAPPENED, AND HOW IT HAPPENED, SOMETHING I AM WORKING ON TONIGHT.  BEING A SOUTH FLORIDIAN I HAVE ACCESS TO MORE INFORMATIO/SOURCES ON THIS MATTER THAN I DO WITH MANY OTHER STORIES WE COVER HERE. LOOK FOR A NEW POST ON THE  MIAMI TOMORROW.

16 Comments

  1. Jason March 3, 2009
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