SBD/Issue 100/Franchises

AC Milan Urges Beckham To Buy-Out Galaxy Contract Early

Beckham May Have To Fund Part Of The
Financial Settlement Himself
Italian Serie A club AC Milan officials have urged MF David Beckham to "try to persuade" the MLS Galaxy to "agree to bring forward the break clause in his five-year contract, in October, so he can join the Italian club on a permanent basis now," according to Jason Burt of the London INDEPENDENT. Beckham "may have to fund part of the financial settlement, which would have to be negotiated, himself but would be rewarded with a lucrative contract, for at least 18 months, by Milan who are already understood to have agreed [to] personal terms and awarded him image rights." AC Milan officials "are adamant that they will not meet LA Galaxy's demands of around" US$21.6M in a transfer fee for Beckham (London INDEPENDENT, 2/11). ESPN SOCCERNET's Jen Chang wrote "when you factor in the marketing gold mine that Beckham represents to any club, there's no question that the Galaxy should demand a minimum of $15[M] before agreeing to let Beckham go." The Galaxy also are in a position to ask for "certain additional perks, such as a series of exhibitions against Milan" (ESPNSOCCERNET.com, 2/9).

BECKHAM's IMPACT: SI.com's Franklin & Pickstone wrote Beckham joined the Galaxy "sincere in his belief that doing so would help Major League Soccer expand and, indeed, it was a huge coup for MLS to sign the world's most marketable player." But "from the perspective of his own soccer career, L.A. was the wrong destination" (SI.com, 2/9). But former Galaxy President & GM Alexi Lalas said, "I think if he leaves, you're delusional if you think this was a failure by any stretch of the imagination." Lalas: "The interest, the raise of the level on the field and of the brand in the United States is incredible" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/11).

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