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David Beckham Committed To Staying In MLS Beyond This Season
Published July 14, 2009
|Beckham Intimates He Could Head Back On Loan
To AC Milan In January, Then Return To Galaxy
THE BECKHAM EFFECT: USA TODAY's Billy Witz notes one question surrounding Beckham's return is "just how many will bother watching?" The Galaxy's home attendance is down more than 25% this season, a drop of nearly 7,000 fans per game, and for the first time since '02, the team is not leading MLS in attendance. Sunday's AC Milan-Galaxy exhibition game at the 27,000-seat Home Depot Center is "not yet sold out," while just 40,000 tickets have been sold for the team's August 1 friendly against FC Barcelona at the Rose Bowl. Galaxy President Tom Payne said of Beckham's return, "What's the effect? Are people over it? Will the Beckham buzz help us sell? It's all going to be interesting" (USA TODAY, 7/14).
BENT OUT OF SHAPE: In N.Y., Jack Bell notes SI's Grant Wahl in his new book, "The Beckham Experiment," examines the "internal dynamics of the Galaxy, casting an unflattering light on Beckham's management company, 19 Entertainment, and how it co-opted and outflanked" AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke. Wahl said, "I don't think these guys, the players or the league recognized how big Beckham is." He added, "Leiweke never accepted that the rules of MLS, with its hard salary cap, meant you can't build a European-style powerhouse in MLS. It's really next to impossible. Instead, he created this dysfunctional management structure." Bell notes with the "lion's share of its salary budget dedicated to a few players, the Galaxy had little capital for building a competitive team" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/14). Look for a conversation with Wahl in THE DAILY later this week.