End it like Beckham

A year and a half into a five-year contract, David Beckham is leaving Los Angeles’ the Galaxy for AC Milan. After the attempted force-feeding to the American public of major league soccer, as well as him and his wife, Victoria, as yet another addition to the celebrity set, I guess we just weren’t having it. Apparently, the feeling was mutual.

According to today’s LA Times:

So what did he accomplish in 18 months? Thirty games played for the Galaxy. Five goals scored. A lot of squealing female fans. A lot of Galaxy jerseys sold. A few more fans in seats. A bit of media buzz.

He joined the Galaxy in 2007, making $5.5 million a year on a five-year contract that was said to be worth as much as $250 million with endorsements and profit-sharing.

Photo: Creative Commons/Wikipedia

7 Replies to “End it like Beckham”

  1. According to earlier reports, AC Milan was willing to pay a transfer fee that would amount to more than his $5.5 million salary, and Becks had an opt-out clause in his contract after this upcoming season anyway. If this is so, it makes the decision even easier. Except for Beckham-bandwagon Galaxy supporters and maybe AEG’s pocketbook for losing said customers, Beckham transferring to AC Milan will only make every party happier.

    Despite the ridiculous Beckham media cirucus, I’m not one of those Beckham detractors, and I will miss seeing him at the Home Depot Center if he doesn’t return at all, but Beckham’s not the reason I became a Galaxy supporter. (FWIW, I still think Cienfuegos was the best midfielder the Galaxy ever had, and haven’t yet replaced Cobi Jones as my favorite player, even though he’s now more than a year retired.)

    Also, the Times article, I think missed two things about Beckham’s arrival and apparently impending departure: first, the special salary cap exception drafted by MLS to allow the Galaxy to add Beckham (the so-called “Beckham rule”) was famously put to better use by other clubs (notably Blanco with the Fire and Angel with the Red Bull); and second, Beckham’s inability to single-handedly (footedly?) catapult the Galaxy back into the upper echelon of MLS clubs does not speak to the inferiority of the league but rather the quality of it (and also to the unfortunate mediocrity of the Galaxy post-Sigi-Schmid).

    Also, I think I’m probably venting in the wrong forum. :D

  2. No, please vent here, ataki. LA media being what it is (and mostly isn’t,) it’s got to happen somewhere. We’re happy to have your insight.

  3. The Galaxy is hampered with poor management in the form of AEG. They’re the ones that put Alexi Lalas “in charge” and it was clear that his sole purpose was to talk about the team as a “global superclub” and focus on the Galaxy’s (ugh) “brand.” Lalas seems like a nice guy–seen him mingling with fans plenty of times–but he was out of his depth. Beckham was clearly calling his own shots and Gullit was asked to operate under extraordinary circumstances with Beckham and his management team having so much power within the team.

    But it all goes back to AEG. They’ve made a mess of the Kings, and while I have a lot of faith in Bruce Arena, and I like the moves he’s made so far, AEG hasn’t done the best job in reaching out to the fans.

    And of course, Ataki is right–there will never be another Galaxy player like Cienfuegos.

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