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David Beckham

When a Deadline Isn’t a Deadline

Well we all know the lockdown date of David Beckham’s soccer career was Friday the 13th, 2009, but here we sit and it’s February 17th 2009 and everything is up in the air. I wrote here last week applauding Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber about instituting a deadline on the this fiasco and really that’s what it become since I’ve now read that AC Milan is continuing talks with the Los Angeles Galaxy on making David Beckham’s move to the Italian club permanent. What happened to the deadline Major League Soccer gave the Italian giants? If AC Milan was so interested in David Beckham then they would have upped their total on Friday, perhaps they knew that MLS would buckle and they could string this out.

Well I for one can say I’m tired of this whole fiasco and I wonder, would MLS do this with any other player that they currently own? I doubt it, but for some reason they feel that their expensive project player who hasn’t lived up to their expectations should get special treatment. It’s time for MLS to get tough and end all negotiations and force Beckham back to the league and make him play this season, and yes you can look up my past articles where I wanted to end the Beckham Experiment, but I think now that the deadline has passed, the league should make the player own up to his contract.

Well now the so called new deadline deal could be finalized this Friday, but until all papers are signed I’m not too optimistic anything will be complete until March 9th when the loan deal expires. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this issue, should MLS get tough and end all talks or will they continue to be the younger brother that gets pushed around and let AC Milan control the negotiations on their terms?

Jason Pedersen writes for

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  1. Steven Fritz

    February 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm


    I think you’re right. He signed a contract, and he should be made to honor it. I read one other suggestion from someone on a blog somewhere, that said basically, if Milan think that Beckham is so valuable, then they should be offering the kind of money that reflects that value. They didn’t, and that leads any sane person to believe that they don’t have any respect for the American league or game, and thought they could snap-up a bargain.

    What this post said, was, start the Beckham bidding across Europe. Play hardball. If Milan wants Beckham so badly, then make them not only try to deal with LA Galaxy and MLS, but other clubs across Europe, who are apparently a whole lot better versed at dirty pool than MLS is.

    The whole thing is a shame and a sham (sham WOW!). I was one of the biggest Becks supporters before this fiasco, mainly because I have young kids who thought he was just the coolest! Now… need I say more?

    Anyway, yeah, make him honor his contract, come back to LA and sit on the bench until LA can get something tangible for him. Ronaldinho would have been fantastic, not only because he’s a decent player, but because his name would have put people in the seats, and turned on t.v. sets. He apparently doesn’t want to come here because he believes that playing in MLS will hurt his prospects for playing for the Brazilian National Team. Not that being out late drinking, being out of shape, and sitting on the bench at Milan might do that, no, it would just be the prospect of playing in MLS.

    The league needs to work on shedding that personna. I think it’s complete hooey, but who am I besides a dumb Yank who happens to like Futbol being played in his own backyard?


  2. War

    February 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Ouch, I bet when Pedersen wrote this one he didn’t expect us to point out all of the flaws!

  3. Darren

    February 18, 2009 at 7:31 am

    MLS is a joke. It is insulting that a site affiliated with EPL Talk covers the league.

  4. Stevo

    February 17, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Contracts mean nothihg these days and nor do deadlines… how many times do you see the superstars sign “new four year deals” only to decide life in madrid or at old trafford is better come the summer….

    There’s no way LA will get there own way..they kick up a fuss and stand strong to their word about it all they like but we all know becks will do what he likes when he likes and he has a team of lawyers/PR/management standing behind him all the way to ensure they get a piece of the latest signing on pie.

    Fair play to him for getting his fitness back and regaining his best form for one of the worlds biggest football teams. Lets be honest….who would seriously go back and play with Buddle, Klein and Kirovski after spending 3 months with Kaka, Pato and Ronaldhino!

    Its like giving me a Lamborghini but then being forced to trade it in for a 96′ Nissan Altima!

  5. Lars

    February 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Who cares about the deadline? Sell Beckham for a decent price, if AC Milan says no, then don’t sell him. They have no right to dictate to the MLS, but we shouldn’t keep Beckham because he isn’t what this league needs in the long run.

  6. War

    February 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm


    A league doesn’t own a player. The club doesn’t “own” their player either, but rather holds his registration under FIFA rules and regulations. Regardless, the MLS commissioner has no say in the transfer (other than approving its legality) and as such, should not have tried to muscle one of the biggest clubs in one of the best leagues in the world. Really, the entire MLS is nothing compared to Milan, so the Galaxy should just be proud that Beckham was so disillusioned with his career two years ago/blinded by the money and decided to take a nice little vacation for a bit.

  7. Denny

    February 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm


    You did not study the subject properly. Otherwise you should have noted that the current loan contract of Beckham is not until March 09th, but till the end of the Italian season. There is only a “gentlemen agreement” for Beckham to return to Galaxy on March 09th. But “gentlemen agreement” exists and is performed only between gentlemen. If, like you suggested, MLS or Galaxy, or both, will play “hard” game, then Milan simply can tell them “forget about the gentlemen agreement” and keep Beckham playing for them till the end of the Italian season. MLS and Galaxy cannot stop such action, because all legal rights belong to Milan. Therefore the position of MLS and Galaxy is not so strong like you think it is. Imagine Milan acts like that and then MLS and Galaxy can only get Beckham back to US in July, and losing him for nothing in November. Is that good for MLS and Galaxy?
    Next point – till now Galaxy did not pay Beckham nothing. In reality Beckham had made a lot of money for them and part of that money had covered his salary. But if they’ll force Beckham back to US then Galaxy may be forced to get money from their own pocket in order to pay the Beckham’s salary. Because by forcing Beckham back Galaxy (and MLS) will destroy the marketing income which Beckham brings. No serious club plays such bad games with the sponsors of the best selling sportsman in football. Do you think the sponsors of Beckham will be happy of the actions you propose? Will it benefit Galaxy and MLS? Not. Neither in short or long run. There are several other disadvantages may be even more important than above mentioned…
    Therefore Galaxy and MLS have many things to lose. You did not think about and did not mentioned any of them.

  8. Jason Pedersen

    February 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm


    Denny, I’m glad I touched a nerve. If they were to just take a normal fee as you stated, the $7 or so million then it would have been completed on Milan’s first offer, but that didn’t happen. So if you were an expert on how football operates you would know that, right? My point of the article was I wish MLS wouldn’t wimp out and just ended talks after the deadline that Garber put out in public last week.

    And War, the deal had to be approved by MLS since the league owns the player, not the club.

  9. Soccer Guru

    February 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Actually Adu and Dempsey were simply above average players in MLS.. Ljunberg will probably flop. I know Kartik at one time published a list of players whose career in the Premier League was actually better than their MLS careers. Kartik, where is that list. Among the issues cited were the travel involved in the US including going over 3 time zones, the amount of games played at high altitude and the different climates.

    Basically he said the shortest distance between games in the MLS was about the longest distance in England, and thus many players who came over from the PL or championship couldn’t condition their bodies to the travel, altitude and time changes. IIRC he said that did not mean that the quality of play in MLS is as high as the Premier League, but that it is very different and you cannot compare one to the other so easily.

    It was a good article, probably somewhere in this websites archives.

  10. Denny

    February 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Dear Jason,
    Get real… This and your previous article proves you do not understand anything of football, how the football market operates and what the rules are. Milan know the rules and know how the market operates. That’s why they did not bother of so called “deadline”…
    The only solution Galaxy has is to sell Beckham and they’ll do so. And the amount which Milan will pay will be normal for a player who after few months is free to leave, not the amount you and Galaxy dream about…
    Instead writing such stupid articles you should have thought about what Galaxy will lose if will follow your ideas.

  11. War

    February 17, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    So what if the MLS commissioner sets a deadline? Deals are done between two clubs, not the clubs and then the head of the league.

    Look, I understand you guys just loveeeee your MLS (really, not even as good as AAA baseball!), but Beckham, Ljungberg, and others are far too good for your league. Why do you think all of your good players want to move to Europe as soon as possible? Actually, I made a mistake; calling Adu or Dempsey “good” is an insult to average players in the Championship.

  12. Rafa in LA

    February 17, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Beckham should be the most hated figure in the league’s history.

    I don’t care what the Galaxy do now. I’m a Chivas fan but like most supporters of the league I am backing the Galaxy on this one big time.

    Let him twist in the wind. Don’t sell him unless Milan pays more than market value and if they don’t, he’s stuck honoring his contract.

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