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Beckham’s lawyers start work on Milan move

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  1. The numbers I have heard are insulting. If Altidore is worth $10 million and Beckham is this productive on a short loan, I don’t care if he can leave on a free, he’s worth a mint. Perhaps not Arshavin money — he is older and wearier — but not Dempsey money, either — he’s a proven product on and off the field. If you don’t recognize and commoditize this you will look as shabby a league off the field as Beckham is trying to make you look on-field by emphasizing how he needs to leave to compete for England….that’s just how it will look.

    This is not someone going home to finish off their career; doing the “classy” thing is not really called for. This is someone who swore up and down they were here for five years and that they were just off to Milan to stay England-worthy, sure to return in a few months. Against that background you stick to the contract and make him buy or get transferred out. This will generally be respected in the footballing world. Letting him walk would be Mickey Mouse.

    One thing I’d note is that if it’s Becks’ lawyers involved, one has to consider the possibility of him buying himself out. If it’s AC Milan involved, that would be a transfer. That it’s the Galaxy and the Beckham camp sounds like they are trying to terminate the Galaxy deal somehow, restructure it, or give the Galaxy some cut of Beckham, Inc. going forward…..

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  2. For the Galaxy, the calculus is as follows: Will we make more money selling him now, or make more money keeping him through the 2009 season. In other words, if the Galaxy calculate that they can make $10 million off of Becks this season (through ticket sales, merchanding, touring and Shirt Sponsorship-which probably goes “poof” if Becks leaves) VERSUS selling him to Milan for $9.9999 million (or anything less), you better believe they will keep him (only the Galaxy know what the exact “tipping point” is in terms of the dollar amount). From their perspective, who cares if Beckham leaves on a free after the season if you can make money off of him RIGHT NOW. Remember, unlike other players, Becks is basically an ATM…why would you get rid off the golden goose for ONE PENNY LESS than it is worth to you at this moment?

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  3. How about an agreement extending his loan through the Seire A season? Then he returns to the Galaxy in August. After that he can leave or stay in January

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  4. How about 10 million, while retaining the right to claim up to x% (I’d go with 5-8 percent) of total revenue gained from Beckham-related merchandise (i.e shirts, scarves, etc…) and the option to take up to 5 reserve players on loan for the season, with a option to buy at the end of the season. If Milan doesn’t budge on the player idea then ditch that and swap it for Scheva and/or Seedorf.

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  5. The amount I’ve seen is $5 million. His age as well as the fact that he can leave for free later this year work against a higher market value.

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  6. People keep acting as if the league gets $20 mill. for Becks then that money would help Galaxy revamp and the league buy better players.

    But it ain’t true. $20 mill. still means only $400,000 on the Galaxy roster toward the cap, and the rest of the money is likely to sit in MLS offices paying for allocations and covering losses of most of the teams.

    A big payday for MLS will never make up for the lost revenue of shirt sales and ticket sales to Galaxy road games and Asian tours and so on and so forth.

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  7. kpugs, it’s true that Beckham has been loyal almost to a fault throughout his career — since he debuted for United at 17 that would be close to 20 years. But this kind of choice has to be tougher now that he only has a couple of years left to play, and especially now that there is a glimmer of a chance that he might be able to play a part for England in 2010 — something that he could not have imagined when he signed for LA.

    Don’t underestimate the importance of one more opportunity to help “put right” England’s World Cup performance for someone who captained his team in the last two and was held personally responsible for England’s failure in the one preceding those. It has to be a huge factor.

    This isn’t a casual blowing off of a commitment. You describe well that it goes against Beckham’s history. When he went to Milan he didn’t even know if he would get beyond practicing with the first team, let alone starting and doing well. Call me naive but seeing how Beckham’s handled himself all these years I believe that he intended to return to LA and this has to be a tough decision precisely for the reasons you also describe well.

    Since I think the Galaxy would be better off with the money to build a balanced team, which it could not with Beckham and Donovan on payroll, I don’t have as much problem thinking they should sell him to Milan (if as some have stated, Milan aren’t just playing P.R. games).

    BTW, whether that would make MLS look bad in the U.S. or not, it would certainly make them look classy to the rest of the world. One of the reasons they brought Beckham in was for international attention and that they certainly have more of than they know what to do with.

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  8. mls should hold the line until a day or two before the march 9 deadline, then offer $20 mil. if milan balks, then they can go screw themselves. i have lost a lot of respect for ac milan over this whole thing… and beckham. beckham put aside ambition for (more) money and fame, and he falsely assumed that since he was such a good player and that mls was crappy that he would dominate. he should have never come here in the first place.

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  9. I agree with the above, change the loan a bit for some payment for LA, then let him stay through the scudetto season. Then he comes back for the rest of year for LA. Then end of the season he opts out, and LA can then have the full transfer time to find a replacement.

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  10. I totally don’t get all the resentment and animosity over this. American soccer fans are almost as bitter and cynical as their English counterparts. The MLS was move was mutually beneficial. Beckham’s presence boosted the league’s credibility and visibility within this country and outside of it. I don’t think his departure would harm the league in that capacity. A Milan move could be beneficial for all parties, as well. I say we thank the man for his effort and cash in on him while we can. L.A. can bring in some new players and build some strength in depth. I think they’ve already proved it doesn’t do a lot of good to have two superstars on a crap team. Cash in and build anew.

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  11. $8-10 Million will get the deal done, Becks is 33 going on 34 this year and if a deal doesn’t get done. Beckham can opt out of his contract in October and MLS miss out in getting any cash. Milian won’t pay $20 million dollars for a 33 year old.

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  12. justin — agents ARE lawyers quite often these days — that’s how superstar baseball agent scott boras got started — knowing how to negotiate AND write favorable employment contracts.

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  13. This is going to be a real black mark on Becksycakes. Look, I can totally understand where he’s coming from. However his entire career he has been a teammate’s teammate, a coach’s player, etc. etc. and so on. He has been loyal almost to a fault.

    Regardless of the fact that I don’t think the Galaxy need him (not exactly), this is a massively dhickheaded move on his part. He is truly screwing them, and while I find it funny if I were a Galaxy fan I would find this to be unforgivable. What an a-hole.

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  14. Nice idea to have him stay in LA till end of the season but I’ve heard he has an OPT-OUT clause after this year or maybe its mid season which means if he’s not happy he can walk out for free. As in MLS will get Bupkiss for him. Better to send the sulker on his his way now.

    He didn’t learn to play with his LA team the way Schelotto or Blanco have and it showed over the last 2 seasons. He’s a great player but he’s not inspired to play here.

    I don’t blame him, I blame last years defense. They ruined every effort put out by the offense. Last year LA recorded the most goals both FOR and AGAINST. Where’s the joy in that for an offensive player?

    Landon flourished in that environment because he has much to prove. Becks has already proven himself and couldn’t handle the aggravation of that paper doll defense behind him.

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  15. MLS has an advantage here. So what if $20 million is too much. It’s a bargaining price. Do you go asking the amount you want something when you want it? No, you set a higher price so when the price comes down, you still get the figure you want. I like that MLS is in the driver’s seat here. It puts the name of the league on the front pages of a lot of daily newspaper’s in Europe for at least the next month. That can’t be bad for the league in this day and age of globalization.

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  16. Thats good and all Corey except for 1 little fact….

    Becks can opt out for a free transfer in October. He doesn’t want to be here anymore.

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  17. Corey, I think you are a prophet. That is what will likely happen. Though personally, I’d like to see a Ronaldinho come back the other way ‘on loan’ until Becks returns.

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  18. That would be pretty brutal for a player entering his mid 30s Corey, no way he makes it through such a gauntlet without a serious injury.

    As I said above, the best chance of him returning to MLS (assuming this deal goes through and that he is willing to come back down the road) is after the 2010 World Cup, around 2011 or 2012…

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  19. The article certainly leaves a lot to be read between the lines. MLS holds all the cards here. The involvement of Beckham’s lawyers may signal that they’re trying to find a loophole in the contract or find enough of one to force MLS’ hand. But there’s very little chance of that succeeding. While FIFA tends to stay out of the transfer dramas in general, any attempt to void a valid contract would almost automatically result in sanctions. That’s why Milan is being so careful in any statements made about a player under contract.

    My guess is that the end result of these talks will be a $8-10 million fee from Milan and a $5-6 million buy-out from Beckham (probably spread out over time.

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  20. BAM. I like that idea best Corey in New York. It would help Becks get into the England squad even more playing with the MLS during the summer as he will be playing and most other national team players won’t be as it is their offseason. Unless Fabio Capello comes up with another excuse to not call him in. He is gone after the upcoming MLS season is over anyways, he will use his out clause no doubt. Make everyone happy by extending the loan to Milan, then come back to MLS and finish out the remaining 3 months helping the Galaxy try and get into the playoffs and possibly the MLS Cup final.

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  21. I have not heard anyone mention the most logical compromise position which would be: (i) Beckham stays at Milan through the end of the season (ii) Returns to Galaxy in May (or early June) and stays through the end of the MLS season (iii) Goes back to Milan in January (and would have had November through late December to recover)and stays through the end of the 2010 season (iv) Beckham plays in South Africa 2010 (assuming England qualifies. This way everybody is happy. Victoria, Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn get to stay in LA, David gets to play top flight football and remain in contention for the England squad. MLS keeps its main drawing card. Galaxy and their sponsors are happy too. The only losers would be the lawyers charged with untangling the mess that is David’s contracts with Galaxy, MLS and the sponsors.

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  22. yes, Justin, of course Beckham has an agent. of course, he’s a little busy right now, what with American Idol starting back up again.

    what, you didn’t know? he’s signed to 19 Entertainment, along with his wife.

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  23. If MLS puts a price of $20 million on Beckham, as reports have stated, I am beginning to fear this will end up ugly. Milan will say we are not paying that amount, MLS will not back down, Milan will state that MLS is being unreasonable about a player’s wishes, and Beckham will come out of this clean.

    I agree with BlueWhiteLion, let him go for around $13 million and be done with him. There are so many dynamite players in the world that would absolutely excel in MLS. The league needs to concentrate on finding those talents, not players that are “too big for the league to handle”.

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  24. the Rossineri are playing this game oddly. management keeps saying “he wants to come, he wants to come” in a way that looks almost like the Galaxy are the ones dragging feet and that the price is too high. and then Ancellotti goes and says that basically their whole season depends on this. so if I’m the galaxy, I look at that and ask, “what’s a scudetto worth to Bersculoni?”

    There is something very odd going on here. this is not how superclubs negotiate. if there is a deal to be done, why hasn’t it been done yet? the Galaxy need a decision on this, if they are going to build their team around Becks this season or go elsewhere, they are running out of time in the preseason. Arena isn’t a chump, he’s been around the block a time or two and knows how the game is played.

    The more I see this, the more I think that there is no deal. And having made noises about wanting Becks to come and how much he loves it in the black and red, Milan is over a barrel in public perception. I think they totally lowballed the Galaxy, trying to strong arm them and are looking for a way out that makes LA look like the bad guys. Of course, from their perspective, anyone would rather play for AC Milan than anywhere else (look at Kaka who just turned down FU money to stay) so they figured he would rather be in Milan (which may well be true) and tried to do it on the cheap. Why is it that there are no leaks from MLS about this all? you have nothing, Goff has nothing, Luis has nothing, nada. MLS is a sieve and publicity hungry, why is it that the only people talking are the normally closed mouth Milanese? is LA/MLS just refusing to play the game? or is the game already over, and the Milanese just talking to save face?

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  25. My question is would any deal include an agreement that Beckham would return to MLS after the theoretical contract he signs with Milan expires (likely two years down the road circa the 2011 MLS season)?

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  26. I’m grateful for his over ambitious attempt to take over US soccer from the wing. It brought a lot of attention to the sport. I believe he meant it.

    Get as much money as possible. If they low ball. Hold him to the contract…the farewell tour will fill as many seats as the welcome tour – maybe even Toronto will getto see him. The Gals, MLS and road teams will reap the financial benefit that way.

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  27. Doesn’t Beckham have an agent? Why do lawyers have to get involved? That would just pi$$ me off if I were the MLS/Galaxy. It’s like Beckham/Milan aren’t even trying to negotiate and instead are just trying to find a loophole or way out of LA. Why not use that as a last resort. I used to respect Beckham for both his play on the field and what he does off the filed, but this is totally changing my opinion of him. He is making himself look like such a sh** in my eyes and probably most of America.

    MLS should get every penny they can and sell his @$$. We don’t need someone like him especially if he doesn’t want to be here.

    And he can’t really bad mouth the quality of play in the MLS either, it’s not like he tore up the league with his gameplay. There were many players that were leaps and bounds better than him.

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  28. Also, I think the Galaxy could still be the glamor club of MLS as they have the opportunity to potentially bring in DeMarcus Beasley and maybe Bobby Convey. If they lose Becks and Donovan, they have room to go after other good players, just not as big-name as Becks was.

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  29. nobody forced him to come or sign a long term deal. He chose money over footbal and inner happiness, hoped he will be the star citizen of LA not realizing that he would be just one of many

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  30. I saw Becks brace against SLC last season and the guy still is a great player.

    Of course Milan wants him. He’s a hard worker and a proven winner.

    Milan should pay max value for his services.

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  31. I used to be against letting him go because I thought it would make MLS look like a failure, but now I really want to see Beckham go to Milan for many reasons. For one, Becks is a world-class player, and it is only right that he displays that on a world-class team. I think it will also say something for MLS that after two years here Beckham went back to Europe and was still as strong as he ever has been.

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  32. Guess what David….none of us care if you go as long as they pay for it… sadly your marketing was way better than your footballing….

    but you know the MLS is such crap…. pub league really…

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  33. Attendances were dwindling for his games last season any way. The shine is off. Sell him now for top dollar and everybody wins. And MLS looks good for doing great business.

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  34. too bad. He has disappointed.

    Get some good money for him. Anything less than 13 million would be a joke. I don’t care what his age is. KCB’s suggestion is a good start.

    Man, he is the greatest passer I have seen.

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  35. FFS, sell the guy and be done with it…. request nothing short of a minimum of $10-11M…. that would cover this season for any loss of fair-weather fans leaving…. its that or bring him back, watch him sulk and then lose him for good next season…

    SELL HIM NOW!! and im not even an LA fan, but its in their best interest (as well as the league)….

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  36. Release him?! Are you mad Roberto? Sure let him go, but get every slimy, corrupt Euro you can out of Berlusconi before you do…

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  37. LA must let him go.. He wants to go , so why keep a player that is not motivated and not happy, whats the point? Release him and rebuild! mLS is larger than all of this!! No time for soap opera

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