The arbitrary deadline set by Major League Soccer has come and gone, and now David Beckhamwill be coming back from Italy to play for the LA Galaxy this summer.
Tim Leiweke, president of Galaxy parent AEG, said Friday the Italian club [AC Milan] didn't make a second offer to the Galaxy to keep Beckham so the team will adhere to MLS commissioner Don Garber's Friday deadline to resolve the situation. The Galaxy had earlier rejected Milan's only offer…
"They clearly were looking at this as a football decision and we were looking at it as a football and business decision," he said. "I'm not sure they ever quite understood the magnitude of the losses the Galaxy and the league would have had to bear this season. They were very respectful discussions. We're fine. There's no issues here."
Magnitude of the loss to the Galaxy? Like the $10 million transfer fee you just turned down when he can walk for free in January? And he will. The Galaxy total payroll last year outside of Beckham was $2.6 million (and that included the $900,000 for Landon Donovan, who is now in Germany). That $10 million the Galaxy just turned down was basically worth four years of the entire payroll.
The Galaxy have essentially tried to compare Beckham’s arrival in Los Angeles with what Wayne Gretzky did for hockey in this city. Except, that Gretzky cared deeply about selling the sport, about bringing fans into the fold. He did every interview, he introduced fans and the media to other players. Beckham tends to be aloof and has been a virtually nonexistent in the community. Now he is a short timer so things will be worse. He is not sold the sport to the casual fan and is not about to start.
They should have taken the $10 million and run. They still can until March 9, if the MLS commissioner changes his mind. Otherwise they get nothing for fans or themselves.