Your Daily Beckham: Galaxy Reject Milan Bid, Becks for England & More

Galaxy to AC Milan: Can I have some more please?

Beckham is on the verge of history.

After penning this missive to 100 Percent Soccer Hermosa Beach Galaxy ticket holder Ed Kaspar makes his television debut.

Lastly, always good to know publications like The (London) Times don’t like to perpetuate stereotypes.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Tim Leiweke: “Clearly, if David’s in a position where he wants to finish the season in Milan, and Milan in turn compensates the Galaxy so that we can suffer no damages to our fans or to our team, then we’ll take a look at it.”

    Timbo, the team is already damaged. You damaged it with your intimidating ways, arrogance and general incompetence. You allowed (indeed, probably encouraged) your pet monkey, Alexi Lalas, to destroy the team’s chemistry and morale. You complicated the situation with your “address” to the team that failed to mitigate (and probably exacerbated) the longest losing streak in club history.

    Your fans are damaged. They have to pay outrageous prices for parking and concessions while trying to tolerate your pretentions (“VIP entrance,” valet parking and the like).

    If AEG successfully sells Beckham to Milan, Anschutz should sell you to Napoli. The Camorra could use a man like you; heck, AEG is your internship for organized crime.

  • charlesj27

    Joseph,
    Ouch! But, you have every right for your angst and disconent, as well as your opinion. I’m not defending the mistakes and negligence of Tim, Alexi, and AEG. But, I do desperately want the LA Galaxy team, club, organization to move forward and repair and build.
    But, I guess your point is that you want AEG to publically acknowledge their negligence and mistakes and take full ownership of them.
    If David is indeed sold, I do believe AEG will have to do some serious and lengthy damage control with many folks who have spent quite a bag of dollars for more than one season tickets. The sky has not fallen just yet… But, the dark, ominous, heavy, sagging clouds are definite signs of doom to come, I fear.
    I want the LA Galaxy to deal with the consequences and fall-out and miscontent from STHs. The only way forward is to put this atrocious shape and shamble behind; and forge better, more thoughtful, more soccer-intense (team-based) actions forward.

  • Beaten

    Say what you want about Tim Leiweke, but I think that he is handling this matter as professionally as he can at the moment.

    “Team Beckham” is the cause for this week’s rancor (“I want to stay in Milan..”), and theyre making effective use of the worldwide media to get the word out that number 23 prefers playing on the European continent instead of sunny LA. (Throw in all of the tabloid reports that Victoria Beckham would prefer to stay in Hollywood and pal around with Tom and Katie, and youve probably got the makings for another reality show.)

    The Galaxy, as well as all of the MLS teams, now find themselves in a situation that was unimaginable only a month ago: trying to sell tickets to fans with the season set to begin in just a few short weeks. And over at the teams headquarters in Carson, theyre barring the doors from season ticket-holders like me who are clamoring for refunds if Beckham does not return.

    A Friday story in the San Francisco Chronicle said that he San Jose Earthquakes have already reserved the Oakland Coliseum for the Galaxys two scheduled visits this season, and estimates are that they may now lose as much $1-million dollars in revenue if Beckhams name is not on the marquee.

    For the moment, there is little that Leiweke and the MLS can do, other than to say that they will have a limo waiting for Beckham at LAX on March 9th.

    Behind the scenes I have to believe that all Leiweke can do is demand a small fortune for Beckham in order to dampen down all of the talk of any impending move. The reported 2.5 million ($3.7 million US) offered by AC Milan is peanuts compared to the millions in losses that the MLS stands to lose without their star attraction.

    Supposedly Beckham can open up his checkbook and buy out the contract himself for 18m ($27.5 million US), but I seriously doubt that we will see that scenario.

    Who said that American soccer is boring?

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    charlesj27, you’re right: I want AEG, especially Leiweke, to accept responsibility for their mistakes. Given his public comments, Leiweke has shown no ability to take responsibility for *anything* (unless it’s good for him or AEG).

    Ed, why do you think Beckham wants out? Why do you think Donovan wants out? It’s not just because they want to play in Europe/remain in contention for a World Cup/improve their skills/whatever. It’s because morale at the Galaxy is abysmal. I’ve worked in places where morale was abysmal; the bad feelings become contagious and sap any enthusiasm even for personal performance (as you could see from Beckham in the second half of last season). That’s Leiweke’s fault.

    Between allowing Lalas to make a fool of himself with his trades and public comments, enforcing an atmosphere of constant intimidation and unyielding pressure, allowing 19 Entertainment to pick a coach (Ruud Gullit), publicly throwing his entire roster (including Beckham and Donovan) under the bus when Lalas was fired and Gullit “resigned,” and publicly calling for the league to lift the salary cap so he can sign whom he wants, Leiweke has made Mussolini look like Churchill.

    Ed, do you know why Leiweke is taking the tack that he’s taking? He has to; he has no choice. He knows that if he loses Beckham and gets nothing or next-to-nothing for him, the Galaxy will have lost substantial (if not all) credibility. Moreover, his job is probably on the line. Read Grahame Jones’ article. The words Leiweke uses don’t reflect his congenital arrogance; they’re far more serious, somber and diplomatic. He has to get as much value for Beckham as he can (he’ll have plenty of time to throw Becks under the bus once Becks is sold). Otherwise, Leiweke is toast.

    Remember, Ed, Leiweke also screwed up the L.A. Kings, the Red Bull stadium deal (Red Bull had to pay AEG $50 million to vacate negotiations) and another stadium deal that would have kept the Earthquakes from moving to Houston. How many chances does this guy get? I bet even Anschutz is beginning to wonder….

  • Dr. Death

    I am a season ticket holder. I hate AEG as much as anyone, but the Galaxy led the league in attendance before Beckham, and will continue to lead the league in attendance after Beckham is gone. However, I do recognize that Beckham pumps up the attendance at away games. True Galaxy fans will stay with the team whether or not Beckham is there. The Galaxy will survive just fine without the people who only care about Beckham. People who are season ticket holders to sports teams and think they are entitled to refunds in the event of player transactions or injuries are naive or worse. This is the sports business, and this stuff happens all the time — in soccer and all other major sports. If the Lakers traded Kobe, do you think the Lakers would give refunds to its season ticket holders? In fact, a lot of educated soccer people think the Galaxy will be better off without him because it will open up more salary cap space to fill out the roster with good players, unlike last year when Donovan, Beckham and Ruiz’s salaries combined to take up more than half of the cap space.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Dr. Death, the reasons the Galaxy led the league in attendance before Beckham were 1)they played in the Rose Bowl for seven seasons 2)they always produced a competitive team that never failed to make the playoffs 3)they had a stable of good players who were popular with fans (such as Cobi, Donovan, Cienfuegos, Fraser, Hartman and Calichman, for starters).

    Now, the Galaxy is one of the league’s also rans (even w/Beckham and Donovan) and has few players of the caliber I mentioned above. Do you seriously think that fans will tolerate playing AEG’s inflated prices for parking and concessions (let alone for subpar soccer) for long — especially with this economy?

    If the Galaxy isn’t careful, Chivas USA will out-draw them. Then again, the Galaxy really hasn’t been all that careful of late….

  • Dr. Death

    Joseph,

    The team was by-and-large crap (mediocre at best) post-Rose Bowl pre-Beckham from 2003 through 2006 at the Home Depot Center but still managed to lead the league in attendance each of those years with a “stellar” cast that included, among others, foreign players Hong Myung Bo and Andreas Herzog. So, to your point, they have been pretty much also-rans ever since they started playing in the HDC in 2003, but still outdrew every other team each of those seasons. Attendance might be down this year, but I would bet you that the team still ends up leading the league in attendance.

    You make me laugh when you say that Chivas USA might end up outdrawing the Galaxy if the Galaxy is “not careful.” That’s never, ever going to happen — you are delusional. Chivas USA is losing money hand-over-fist. Chivas USA’s fan base is extremely limited in Southern California, not only among the non-Latino population but among the Latino population as well because you have to remember: (1) those of Central American descent hate the Chivas brand; (2) those of Mexican descent from places other than Guadalajara hate the Chivas brand (e.g., Club America fans); and (3) even a ton of Chivas de Guadalajara fans don’t care about Chivas USA because they don’t consider it the “real” Chivas team. I am by no means an apologist for AEG, Leiweke, etc., and agree that AEG’s track record with the Kings does not portend well for the Galaxy. However, it seems sometimes your statements derive from emotion/vitriol and not facts.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Dr. Death, your points about Chivas USA’s limited fan base are entirely correct. Even so, how can you seriously believe that the Galaxy will lead MLS in attendance if Beckham and Donovan leave (which I neglected to mention in my last post)? Now, if they stay, attendance won’t change much. But if they leave? Who will want to pay good money in a rotten economy to see a sub-par team, especially at AEG’s inflated prices? The die-hards will always be there but even some Galaxy season-ticket holders are getting fed up. Even if they’ve renewed for 2009, they likely won’t for 2010. Some of the sponsorships and luxury-suite sales based on Beckham will dry up and won’t be replaced. You can say what you want about “fair-weather” fans but keep in mind that business clients — especially in the current economy — are particularly “fair weather.” Large businesses have been cutting their sports sponsorships big time; do you seriously believe the Galaxy won’t be affected?

  • Dr. Death

    Joseph,

    Just because Donovan and Beckham leave doesn’t necessarily mean LA will be crap. In fact, MLS teams without “designated players” have on the whole performed better than those teams with such players — look at Houston, New England, etc. We can get 4 or 5 good players for the $$ we are paying those two. The economy will affect everyone, not just the Galaxy. Sure, sponsorships may be down. Attendence may be down as well, but it likely will be league-wide if it is economy related. Tell me, if the Galaxy isn’t going to lead the lead in attendance, who is? Even if the average attendance drops by 3,000 or 4,000, they will still lead the league.