Milan and LA Reach Agreement in Beckham Saga

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Milan Will Play Friendly in LA on July 19

March 7

david-beckhamAfter prolonged negotiations between Milan and LA Galaxy, to whom Beckham was under contract, an agreement has finally been reached between the Major League Soccer club and the Serie A giants. The England international will stay at the San Siro until the end of the Italian league season.

Beckham also said he will become an owner of an MLS franchise once his playing career ends.

Beckham told Sky Sports News, “I want to stay here in Milan to help the team qualify for the Champions League because it’s so important for a club like AC Milan to be in the Champions League. It’s not just about the money the teams get from qualifying, it’s about the whole legacy of big clubs and that’s where they belong; AC Milan belong in the Champions League. Hopefully I can be a part of that and part of taking the team to the (group) stages next year.”

He welcomed the agreement between Milan and Galaxy, and confirmed the rumours that he had had to dig into his own pocket to make it happen.

“I’ve done really well in my career, I’ve played for so many great clubs and I’ve been able to help myself stay in Milan, if I can put it that way. My career has always been about playing football. People have talked about the money I’ve earned in my career but it’s never been about money for me, it’s always been about the football and my passion for football.”

Galaxy Counting the Pluses and Minuses of their Beckham Experience

LA Galaxy are being resilient in the face of the public ridicule, trying to spin that this was a good deal. They do get a glamour friendly with Milan and some compensation but perhaps the Galaxy’s only relief is that they didn’t end up completely humiliated and empty handed.

Sunday morning the clubs agreed to extend Beckham’s loan until the end of the Italian season. He’ll then return to MLS and play from July until October. After that, he’ll return to Italy and play the 2009-10 season with Milan, which would likely mean buying out the rest of his his contract.

What exactly LA or the MLS is going to get out of Beckham’s July-October MLS cameo is anyone’s guess. The Galaxy have been forced to cut ticket prices and offer fans refunds. Hopefully MLS and their TV partners will not treat us like idiots by hyping up his arrival. Some have already said he shouldn’t bother appearing at all. It is hard to see a friendly welcome at any away ground, and pretty hard to see Galaxy fans giving him much of a welcome either

The longer term harm maybe to other ageing Europeans seeking to use the United States as a personal springboard rather than feel strong commitment to their new employers. The lessons from this debacle though are bound to resonate throughout the board rooms of every MLS club. Maybe this won’t turn out to be such a bad episode for us after all?

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