Now I know that for a fact that there aren’t that many soccer fans amongst the throngs who congregate within this forum. So I won’t prevail upon you my inherent love of the sport. Other than to surmise that growing up in the UK it played a great part in my upbringing. That being said I also had other recreational activities that I pursued with a passion . Namely the martial arts where I obtained a black belt in karate.
On however to the bare bones of this article . As many of you know the global soccer icon known as David Beckham was lured here to the United States to increase the profile of the game of soccer(football). Having played much of his career in the United Kingdom for the much heralded Manchester United and continent of Europe for Real Madrid of Spain. Beckham was able to parlay his inimitable skills into a formidable fortune and worldwide notoriety. After a somewhat untenable situation with the Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid came to a head he came to the United States with all of the unabashed publicity one would expect of a superstar.
David Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham seen here in the principality of Monaco . picture appears courtesy of afp/reuters/Tim Keeley ………..
Also accompanying him were his publicity seeking wife and some time pop group vignette member Victoria Beckham and their three children. As to her own actual claim to fame that’s something I’m still trying to figure out. Well Beckham was welcomed with open arms by MLS (Major League Soccer) and offered a contract befitting of a king. All told it’s said to be worth upwards of $250m over a period of ten years. The vast majority of this sum would be earned by the player through marketing and branding his name on almost everything associated with the game here in the US. And if that wasn’t enough a David Beckham Soccer Academy would be opened up as well on both coasts.
Now it’d be remiss of me not to opine on this further . But I feel that it’s best not to. Philip Anschutz the multi billionaire financial , media mogul and owner of a number of several soccer franchises within the MLS would be the main architect of this exercise. And it would be the Los Angeles Galaxy where Beckham would be seen and hopefully be able lure the more curious of fans to their home facility at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The hullaballoo which followed all but assured us that this exercise would either sink or swim on Beckham’s presence within the league. The team itself was marginal at best and once the player got under way with showing us all his abilities. It was something of a letdown.
Beckham shows that he is fleet of foot with an intended pass for a teammate at his new club AC Milan. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Luciano Pozzolli ……………..
Granted there was an upswing in ticket sales across the league and the television made its presence felt in the guise of ABC and cable entity ESPN. But it became short lived once we saw that the player wouldn’t be on the field on a regular basis because of recurring injuries suffered prior to his introduction to the league. That of itself was enough was enough to suggest that this would a disaster of monumental proportions. Especially for the fans who may well have felt that they were being short changed. His inauspicious start only led to further ridicule of the sport and the league itself. And much of it was thoroughly deserved.
Beckham in a publicity pose after his loan agreement is confirmed to Italian soccer giants AC Milan. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Luciano Pozzolli …………………..
Now enjoying something of a rejuvenated career with Italian soccer giant AC Milan where he’s now on loan to the team. The player is now said to be interested remaining with the club and making the move a permanent one. Albeit denials have come thick and fast from all parties concerned other than the player himself directly with the press. As to what this’d mean for the fans of the Galaxy much less the domestic league here in the US remains to be seen. It oughtn’t to come as a surprise to anyone at all. The league is barely surviving now keeping its head above water with the all too fiscal conservatism that’s to be expected in these dire economic times. As for the management and ownership of the franchise what started out as an extravagant publicity gimmick . It now seems that everything could come crashing down around its ears. The player probably relishes the competitive zeal of playing in Italy in one of the best soccer leagues in the world in Serie’A. When compared to that of the Western Conference of Major League Soccer and the league in its entirety. The difference is as clear as day is to night. Why eat a rib roast when you can have filet-mignon instead ?
Beckham in action for AC Milan. picture courtesy of ap/Arturo Emigliano ………….
As to what may transpire between all of the parties concerned. In this case the Los Angeles Galaxy , MLS and that of AC Milan itself. It has to be said that it will be very interesting to see how things will unfold. Clearly the loss of the player will be significant to the fortunes of not only the league but also the Los Angeles Galaxy itself. Barely two years into this ten year agreement it would seem that there is a stark reality that Beckham feels that he’d be better served elsewhere playing in Italy. Rather than suffering the ignominy of toiling in the US even though for a large sum of money. But nowhere near the recognition and notoriety that he’s usually accustomed to when playing in other parts of the world. It appears that when money doesn’t always buy you a great deal of happiness . But in some cases it doesn’t hurt to try your hand at it.
For Beckham , Anschutz and all concerned in this particular fiasco it has been all about the money and rarely anything else. Who’d have thought it ? For $250m Beckham was brought in to make the statement that the exercise was a worthwhile endeavor and that the game would be better for it here in the United States. All the money in the world it appears can’t make up for the futility , stupidity and overall just downright lack of common sense.