Beckham’s Carson Academy Closes

i-b7a3efc616630d4df27c8705a8f1e490-academy0001.jpgVery, very quietly in a rare failure for Golden Balls.

Regular readers first heard about the shuttering of the academy at Home Depot Center mentioned here a couple of days ago.

Curious that AEG made no public announcement of it in conjunction with the closure of the London academy back in December. But not surprising given the damage control/spinning AEG and 19 Entertainment representatives spent much of Friday engaged in as they tried to convince me this was not a story. When a Beckham rep calls you from home at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday London time, you know how sensitive his management team is to ANY suggestion of bad news.

(Updated: The Galaxy youth teams – the club’s academy teams, if you will – are now using the Beckham academy’s former FieldTurf pitch, as well as one of its trailers.)

BTW, unlike last January (when Becks scored and AC Milan beat Bologna 4-1), the two teams tied 0-0 today. Beckham came on as a 79th minute sub for AC Milan, who are now 10 points behind table-topping rivals Inter.

AC Milan haven’t won in their last four games.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer 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!
  • Brian

    I hope his academy doesn’t close. Hope he makes the World Cup roster. Hope even more for his Galaxy teammate leading the US to victory. ;)

  • Benny Dargle

    The Academy never made much sense. It was used exclusively for camps, but the economics of those don’t justify a full year lease for field/locker space and permanent employees. It could only have worked if they had also run club teams out of the space and made that a platform for further revenues and audience for the camps.

  • Studs Up

    What’s the big deal and why are you devoting so much cover to this? It was BS and inconsequential to begin with and un-important and inconsequential at it’s end.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Studs Up, this is just another example of AEG wanting to make a big splash on the cheap instead of investing full-bore into such projects, like the Sol.

    BTW, Nick, if AEG/19/Beckham were running the academy on a “non-profit” basis, then why charge $500 for a camp? Also, who was the genius who decided to charge participants $500?

    I smell Lie-weakly, here — especially since the academy was one of his “bright ideas.”

  • Studs Up

    The most important “project” by AEG was/is/will be the Galaxy. Rest does not matter.

    What did you think of the recent LA Times’ article about your hero?

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Studs Up, please send me the link. I’d like to take a look at it.

    I know that AEG’s most important soccer project is the
    Galaxy but it’s arrogant to say that “the rest does not matter.” I’m sure the Sol mattered to quite a few people (let alone WPS itself). I’m sure Beckham’s academy mattered to a few people (not the least of whom was Beckham himself, whom I believe was sincere about wanting to give kids a chance to learn or improve their skills).

    BTW, suppose the Sol won the WPS championship last year. How embarassing do you think it would be for women’s soccer, let alone WPS, for the league champion and most recognizable team to fold? How embarassing is it, now? How embarassing is it to AEG that it doesn’t seem to give a damn about a sport it ostensibly cares about (if you believe the propaganda)?

  • http://www.theassociationblog.com Craig

    You guys completely misunderstand the phrase “non-profit” and assume it’s charity. It just means that all the income is re-invested into the project itself. And again, you seem to think that AEG exists just to throw money away at soccer projects… THEY ARE A BUSINESS and their sole purpose it to make money. And smart business is to quickly jump ship on money losers like the WPS and the Beckham Academy (which is just a fancy way of saying soccer camp).

    Seriously, professional sports is not a charity it’s a money making empire, AEG’s job is not to fund your entertainment.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Craig, I’m not suggesting that AEG turn itself into a charity or throw money away. But AEG’s behavior with the Sol and the Beckham academy resembles a spoiled child more than a professional business: If things get too tough, don’t try to find solutions. Just walk away.

    To paraphrase one of the 20th century’s most profound intellectuals, Jim Rome:

    “When the going gets tough, quit.”

    “When life gives you lemons, quit.”

    Now, I know that certain apologists for AEG will say, “It’s not AEG’s business to find a buyer.” Well, real businesses (and real businessmen) try to find solutions, not bail at the first opportunity like homeowners who are upside-down on their mortgages.

    AEG wants to associate itself with success and only success. That’s fine, but abandoning the ship to avoid failure is tantamount to moral cowardice.

    To paraphrase another one of the 20th century’s greatest thinkers, Ernestine the telephone operator:

    “We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re AEG.”

  • http://www.theassociationblog.com Craig

    I hear what you are saying. Maybe things would be different if the economy wasn’t so crappy. And believe me I’m not any kind of AEG apologist, the way they fleeced the city for the Michael Jackson funeral was appalling!

    Here’s the thing, female professional sports just doesn’t draw enough viewers to be marketed as a major professional league. Even if AEG didn’t “quit” so soon it was never going to break even in the WPS. Just look at the WNBA, we’re on 10 plus years and still the league is hemorrhaging money left and right. Several teams are on the brink of folding I (Houston, which won several titles, actually did) and their owners stayed with the product all the way through.

    The WPS needs to start at even a more grass roots base like say the USL PDL league. Get teams to play in high school stadiums, and have a slow growth product. It doesn’t make sense to open in a 27,000 seat arena when you can’t even sell 3,000 tickets. That doesn’t fall on AEG to save them, that falls on the original plan… which is failing.

  • Studs Up

    J D’Hipp,

    I’m not arrogant but a realist. You can bang your head against the wall as much as you want and take the moral high ground (read simplistic attitude) against the AEG conduct but women’s soccer will never be a MAJOR sport in LA. Even Galaxy’s survival is not guaranteed. The “few people” that you say the Sol was important to can’t sustain it. Craig made all the valid arguements against yours. Nuff said.

    Btw, have you ever paid to attend a soccer game? Do you spend any of your entertainment money on this sport? Just curious to know how invested are you.

    PS – I leave you to search out the article on your hero yourself. Worship has it’s price. :)

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Craig, you’re right about the way professional women’s sports are going in this country. It will take a considerable amount of time for them to move beyond niche status — if they move beyond that status, at all. My point is that AEG walked out of two ostensible committments (Sol and Beckham’s academy) and apparently left the parties high and dry without immediately viable options.

    Studs Up, if I pay my way to see soccer, will my criticism of AEG be any more valid? If I pay my way to see soccer, will AEG change its behavior? Talk about non sequiturs!

    As far as being “personally invested” goes, if MLS folded tomorrow, I would lose a substancial part of my free-lance income — which is my only income. So, yes, I’m “personally invested,” thank you very much.

    That’s also true with the WNBA, btw.

    But my “personal investment” is apropos of nothing. Had I never been born, Studs Up, AEG would behave the exact same way! Ever thought about that?

    Look at Craig’s valid criticism of the way AEG handled the Michael Jackson fiasc…er, memorial service. That’s the real AEG.

    There’s a difference between making a sound business decision to disenage from a poor investment and bailing like a rat. Besides, if WPS wasn’t a sound business decision in the first place, then why did AEG ever invest? Doesn’t investing in WPS show AEG’s lack of acumen when it comes to sports? Maybe that’s why Der Fuerh…er, Uncle Phil, is directing his attention away from sports and toward politics. I hear you can buy a lot of influence with Der Fuerh..er, Uncle Phil’s billions.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Then again, maybe investing in sports was fundamental to Der Fuerh..er, Uncle Phil’s long-term political goals. Praytell, how, you ask? Simple. Purchase a bunch of teams in a league that’s barely alive but represents the world’s most popular sport. Wait for the popularity of that sport to grow in the country with the league that was barely alive — and make connections through your subordinates. Then, when the prices of those teams rises enough to more than recoup your initial investment, sell them, make a killing and then re-invest the profits in political journals and Web sites to further your reach and expand your power.
    Brilliant!

  • Studs Up

    J D’Hipp,

    It took you 10,000 word attempts to finally come up with THE word describing Uncle Phil. Brilliant.

    The are very few soccer columnist I respect in this country, chief among them are Paul Gardner and Ridge Mahoney. The rest of you lot might as well pack it in.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    There are very few soccer columnists I respect in this country … the rest of you lot might as well pack it in.

    I assume, Studs Up, that you include yourself in that imperative? ;)

    As far as Gardner is concerned, he’s nothing but a whiny old hack. He expects every club and national team to play like Brazil (desireable but not possible).

    Besides, when two Cuban players defected during the 2007 Gold Cup, he actually had the audacity to criticize them for letting their team down and ruining the integrity of the competition!!! Never mind that Cuba is an island prison run by an old murderer who oppresses his people for the sake of “socialism.” No, the competition is sacred beyond all other consideration — even when human dignity and freedom are those considerations.

    Studs Up, I suggest you read the following. Yes, I wrote it (which probably doesn’t mean much in your narrow eyes, but I really don’t care at this point).

    http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=32866

    Intercourse Gardner and the jackass he rode in on!

  • Studs Up

    Never been accused of or been mistaken for a columnist before. Where did I go wrong? I pay to watch the game and don’t get a free ride on a press pass.

    You’re not qualified to even lick the bottom of Gardner’s shoes. You guessed right, I won’t bother reading your what-ever. It can’t be any more enlightning than your rants here.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    You know, Studs Up, the reporters who get “free rides” on “press passes” have to work for a living. We don’t sit around, drink beer and shoot the breeze (well, at least, I don’t and Nick can vouch for that).

    Live in your cocoon, Studs Up. Worship at the Golden Calf of AEG. Continue to behave like an (expletive).

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    One more thing, Studs Up:

    Until you’ve been published under your own name in a legitimate publication — let alone get published in nearly 100 outlets in the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan, Russia, the Ukraine and Israel — you can use your opinions on journalism as a suppository — that is, if you can manage to manipulate them around your head.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/soccer Nick Green

    No, name calling and profanity are not permitted. I have edited Joseph’s previous post to eliminate the profanity I believe you were referring to. If I have missed anything else, please let me know.

    Healthy and vigorous debate is encouraged, personal attacks are not.

  • Studs Up

    Forgive me, we have a Pulitzer prize winner amonsgt us.

    I am honored that a learned and a much published literary giant like you has time all day long to trade barbs with a lowly soccer fan like me. Thank you, I’m very proud of myself.

    Nick,

    Is it ok for a Pulitzer prize winner to use bare as well as closetted profanity on your blog? Just checking to see where the line is drawn here.