Since we’ve spent part of the past few days on this site discussing lousy journalism, including the Baseball./American Football centric American sports writers and commentators, it’s time to focus on recent inaccurate reporting in the European press.
Over the past ten days numerous stories with no factual basis whatsoever have appeared in the Italian and English press. These stories were wholly inaccurate and served a purpose of making Milan appear to be closer to signing David Beckham that they actually have been.
My suspicion is that these stories were not planted by AC Milan but in fact by Beckham and his handlers in an effort to put the Galaxy on the defensive and force a quick resolution to the matter. It’s no coincidence many of these stories have appeared in British media outlets. We repeatedly heard how close the sides were to an agreement, that negotiations were ongoing and that the Galaxy were eager to resolve the situation.
Based on these published reports I actually questioned what I was hearing from my sources in Southern California. I had been told that the Galaxy were insulted by Milan’s initial offer and that no offer had been made in several weeks. What I was hearing was directly contradicted by PUBLISHED reports in the European press.
Well now we know the Galaxy was being “taken for a ride” to use the words of team President Tim Leiweke. Everything I was hearing was accurate. Milan was not offering anything close to what the Galaxy required to part with Beckham’s services.
David Beckham has not only acted in an unprofessional manner but had he simply communicated with the Galaxy, his contract employer he may have understood the club’s resolve in this matter. Instead Beckham and his handlers have seemingly resorted to a proxy negotiation using the press in Europe to the players advantage.
No one questions Beckham’s recent accomplishment of tying the late great Bobby Moore’s England cap record (although it is insulting to Moore that a player of his class should be compared Beckham who probably ranks outside of the top 10 English players of the last 20 years). But at the same time Becks has engaged in what can only be described as gamesmanship through the press. That does not reflect well on sportsman of David Beckham’s reputation.
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