Friday Football: Leiweke Spouts Off on Beckham & More

OK, I know we all have serious David Beckham fatigure, but Anschutz Entertainment Group head honcho Tim Lieweke has finally erupted, telling an Italian newspaper no talks between AC Milan and the Galaxy are scheduled and that the club wants between $10 and $15 million for Becks and not the “ridiculous” offer of $3 million received so far.

“With that figure, Galaxy don’t even cover the damages deriving from the shortfalls of not selling his shirts,” Leiweke is (tellingly) quoted as saying.

Which, of course, is what Beckham is all about, rather than what he does on the field. (Hey, Tim, why don’t you just do a swap for Ronaldinho?).

More here.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy-less Beckham play for the Pan-Pacific Championship trophy Saturday at 8 p.m. against Korea’s Suwon Samsung Bluewings. China’s Shandong Luneng Taishan FC faces Japan’s Oita Trinita in the first game at 5:30 p.m. Tickets to the Home Depot Center doubleheader start at $15 (that’s the same price it was Wednesday to park your car – and it doesn’t get to see the game). A cheaper alternative: watch for free on Fox Soccer Channel or drop by and read this blog.

In non-Beckham related news:
*Chivas USA returned home from its Mexican trip to practice Thursday at the HDC with two new trialists: Mexican midfielder Rafael Rodrguez, whose prior clubs include Chivas and Tecos, and 38-year-old Argentine defender Leonel Gancedo, who has played for the likes of Spain’s Osasuna and Argentina’s River Plate.

*Chivas USA has put its single game tickets on sale for the season (see schedule at top right of the blog) starting at $15 a seat. It also has a five-game pack that works out to just $10 a game. Call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 for more info.

*Chivas USA plays two scrimmages Saturday at the HDC on university field No. 2 against Sweden’s Hammerby (11 a.m.) and UCLA (1 p.m.).

*Also this weekend is the annual Cal South Soccer Expo at the convention center in downtown L.A. Lots of exhibitors, giveaways and Chivas USA, Galaxy, Sol and other players on hand. Best of all – admission is free.

*For those not wanting to leave the comfort of their living room, games on TV this weekend include Bayern Munich-Cologne (8:30 a.m. Saturday GOLTV); Manchester United-Blackburn Rovers (9:30 a.m. Saturday Fox Soccer Channel); Monarcas-CD Guadalajara (5 p.m. Saturday KAZA); Tigres-Club America (5 p.m. Saturday KVEA); Manchester City-Liverpool (7 a.m. Sunday FSC); and AC Milan-Cagliari (9 a.m. FSC).

*L.A. WPS entry the Sol has announced the club will open training camp March 2 and has scheduled preseason games against USC March 10, FC Gold Pride March 14 and 17 and an opponent to be determined March 21. The Sol opens its season March 29 at the HDC. The club also announced Thursday the signing of French midfielder Camile Abily (46 caps/eight goals), Chinese forward Han Duan and Swedish defender Johanna Frisk.

*Oh, and tickets for next year’s World Cup went on sale today. It will be interesting to see how sales go with a crummy economy and the event in far-off South Africa.

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  • Ben

    What I don’t understand, why didn’t Leiweke state all that, after they turned down the bid? It would have been clear for everyone, including all Milanese officials and medias…

    Anyway do you think Parking & Tickets will come down, when the English guy leaves?

    Wasn’t he somehow involved with a percentage of all that in his pocket.

    Looking forward to the Final, hopefully with more people attending.

    Nick replies: ticket prices will decrease in price maybe, parking, no, when Becks exits.

  • Mike212

    Hey Nick, next time your at HDC, notice on the Galaxy marketing pieces that #23 is no where to be found. Even on the website! Ask to see their 2009 schedule poster, no DB anywhere on it. Curious huh?

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Ben, there’s a reason why Galaxy ownership adopted the initials “AEG”: They stand for “Amazingly Enterprising Gougers,”

    Mike212, This is what is called “covering your tracks” if not “vengeance” for not submitting to The Great God Anschutz And His Desire For Total Wealth!

  • Beaten

    Good greif, Tim! Last week you told us that the talks with AC Milan were off and that Beckham was due back in LA on March 9th.

    And now you turn your cheek and start talking out the other side of your mouth:

    “What really matters is that Milan make a real offer,” Leiweke said.

    “I don’t wish to talk about the offer but the figures (between $10m and $15m, or 7m to 10.5m) that I have read in the United States are close to what we want.”

    You are your own worst enemy! No wonder fans, sponsors and other MLS clubs are upset.

    You are causing irreperable harm to everyone with comments like these.

  • Frank

    Joseph D’Hippolito,

    I agree with all your sentiments, Joseph, regarding the AEG empire. It is, indeed, a black hole of greed and incompetence.

    AC Milan and Becks have also added a little salt to our wounds by their behavior as well. AC Milan seem intent on pushing LAG around and Becks should have kept tighter control on some of his comments.

    We have a triumvirate of greed and incompetence on display here with AEG sitting at the top.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Frank, thanks much. I hope certain blog visitors who work for AEG realize the true nature of their superiors.

    Everybody on AEG’s side is talking out of both sides of their mouths, here. So has Beckham, unfortunately, because I truly like the guy. Yet Beckham can’t escape the fact that he 1)said he would return to the Galaxy 2)changes his mind once he has success in Milan and 3)says it’s not personal.

    Interestingly enough, the only party that isn’t is AC Milan. The club had made its intentions known from Day One.

    Something about this whole situation doesn’t smell right.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito
  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    One more thing….

    Notice how Leiweke has expressed himself in this matter and when the Galaxy dumped Lalas and Gullit. Anger. Petulence. Ego (“I won’t allow myself to be screwed over,” and, in another article, “I did Beckham and Donovan a favor by loaning them out;” he never talks about “we” or AEG as a whole). Threats (he told Grahame Jones that Beckham “shouldn’t even think about trying to buy out his contract.” Why? What’s AEG going to do, send some thugs to Milan to bust Beckham’s legs?).

    This man has severe problems. Why else would Red Bull want to pay $50 million to have AEG walk away from negotiations for their new stadium? Who would want to deal with a banshee like that?

    I’m beginning to wonder whether Leiweke really has something on Anschutz that keeps him employed. Can any of you think of any other reason why such an unprofessional individual remains employed with a firm that sees itself as the premier venue operator and scheduling agency in the world?

  • TeamHasHoles

    Anyone who’s been an LA Kings fan since AEG purchased them out of bankruptcy in ’95 will tell you that Tim Lie-Weekly was born with a silver foot in his mouth. He’s a loose cannon.

    He hired the very popular Luc Robitaille to a “business” role (as opposed to a hockey role) with the club so he could step back because of all the horrible publicity he created. Between the horrible P.R., the NHL lockout that he himself was extremely vocal in support of and an underachieving poorly run franchise, season seat and sponsorship sales have taken a beating.

    All the the goodwill that Wayne Gretzky had built up for LA’s hockey team in the 90’s died because of how poorly Leiweke has run that team. He’s just a completely incapable administrator of a sports franchise.