David Beckham Signs Reported Two-Year, $15M Deal With MLS Galaxy
David Beckham has decided to "leave a few million dollars in Europe to stay" with the MLS Galaxy through '13, according to Kevin Baxter of the L.A. TIMES. Details of the new two-year deal “were not released, but published reports valued it at $15 million -- below the 18-month, $18.7-million deal the deep-pocketed Qatari owners of French club Paris-St. Germain wanted to give him.” The $7.5M he will receive in each of the next two seasons is “an MLS record.” The deal also includes an option for Beckham and his business manager Simon Fuller “to buy a future MLS expansion franchise at a discount.” In addition, the Galaxy will “allow Beckham to leave the team this summer to play for Britain in the London Olympics, an event he played a major role in bringing to his hometown” (L.A. TIMES, 1/19).
GOOD FOR THE GAME: ESPN.com’s Scott French wrote the announcement that the league's “biggest star would be back in 2012 -- and 2013, it turns out -- was the culmination of negotiations that crept on for two weeks after we'd learned, pretty authoritatively, that Beckham was staying in L.A.” He was not “going anywhere, and that's important for so many reasons -- marketing, promotion and MLS's image abroad included -- but his return might be most vital on the field” (ESPN.com, 1/18). FOXSPORTS.com’ Ives Galarcep wrote the new deal “may not be as glamorous or ambitious as the hype-filled hysteria that surrounded Beckham’s arrival in the United States five years ago, but it is no less important.” Beckham was “always more of an ambassador for American soccer than a savior.” Now he will have two more years “to show just how good an ambassador he can be, and just much he has changed during his first five years in MLS” (FOXSPORTS.com, 1/18). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s Mike Barnes wrote Beckham’s return “is great news for Time Warner Cable, which will begin televising Galaxy matches next season as part of a 10-year, $55 million local rights deal.” TWC will “launch two fledgling regional sports channels -- one in English, one in Spanish -- this year” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 1/18).