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AC Milan Transfer Offer For Beckham Below Galaxy Expectations
Published February 9, 2009
|MLS Galaxy Rejects AC Milan's
First Transfer Offer For Beckham
AFTER SHOCKS: In S.F., Tom FitzGerald wrote the possibility of Beckham remaining with AC Milan is "not good news for the Earthquakes and other MLS teams, who had banked on the iconic midfielder to boost their attendance." The Earthquakes last season averaged "slightly less than" 10,000 fans per game at the Univ. of Santa Clara's Buck Shaw Stadium, but the club averaged 32,972 in two home matches against the Galaxy, both of which were moved to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum to "accommodate the crowds." The Earthquakes also booked both of their home games against the Galaxy for the '09 MLS season at the Coliseum, but, "in contrast to last year's Beckham hype, made no mention of him as an attraction in announcing" the schedule. Earthquakes Exec VP/Business Operations David Alioto said the lost revenue from Beckham's absence would be measured "in tens of thousands, not millions." Alioto added that "any Beckham losses to the Quakes would be more than offset by their recent sponsorship deal with Amway," and he noted that because Amway also sponsors AC Milan, the deal "might even lead to a Quakes-AC Milan exhibition match this year." FitzGerald noted the Earthquakes' two home matches against the Galaxy "could be switched to Buck Shaw with little trouble" since Earthquakes Owner Lew Wolff also owns the A's and has a "special relationship with the Coliseum management" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/7). In Ft. Worth, Tobias Xavier Lopez wrote the "rest of MLS clubs should be looking for compensation" from AC Milan as well, as the "only legitimate sellout" for FC Dallas last season at Pizza Hut Park came against the Galaxy (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/7).
Writers Deem Beckham In MLS
Experiment Mostly As Failure
IMPACT ON U.S. SOCCER: In Miami, Michelle Kaufman wrote under the header, "Beckham Never Became The Savior Of MLS." No matter how MLS "chooses to sugarcoat the news" of Beckham's potential departure, it is a "slap at the league that gushed over him." Kaufman: "Has he had a lasting effect on the sport in this country? Not really" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/8). SI.com's Arash Markazi wrote Beckham's heart was "never really into leaving Europe behind and coming" to L.A. Markazi: "Then again, when you get dumped, you really don't have a choice in the matter." Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid had "relegated him to a reserve role," and "like most in that situation, he fell for the first person that came along and made him feel wanted again" (FANNATION.com, 2/6). However, ESPN SOCCERNET's Steve Davis wrote Beckham's tenure in MLS was "hardly a failed bit, as he certainly raised the league's profile in countless ways, which was the league's hope all along." Since Beckham joined the league, TV contracts "have been signed" and sponsors "have been added or re-signed." And the "always-important stadium initiative and expansion effort have marched confidently forward." Davis: "Anyone who thinks Beckham's presence didn't add to the coffers in a myriad of ways isn't thinking in business terms -- which is certainly the right of every fan. On the other hand, it would be difficult to deny that the Galaxy's meddling upper management sucked much of the joy from Beckham's MLS experience and played a huge role in his decision to ditch MLS" (ESPNSOCCERNET.com, 2/6).