So, you wanted to play with the big boys? Welcome to the harsh footballing world, MLS!
David Beckham stated before that he is committed to the MLS
and he would return in time for pre-season training with the Galaxy. But in the last few days, the former England captain has declared his intentions of staying with Italian side, AC Milan
. While it seems like the Galaxy have the upper hand in negotiations by rejecting Milan's first offer
. And even if David Beckham is contracted for three more years, the momentum is with Beckham.
The Galaxy are fighting to keep him and will give in to a $20 million transfer fee. They stand to lose on all accounts. If the Galaxy were keeping up with the January transfer window transactions, the days of free spending clubs are gone (unless you are Manchester City). Not even the mighty Chelsea FC are buying players for fun. $20 Million is a lot to ask for a player in his 30s and who has an out-clause where he can walk away at the end of the 2009 season. And even if they succeed in keeping Beckham, they will have to put up with a player with a high wage bill going through the motions on the pitch, sulking, uninterested, looking spent, and exhausted. WAIT! He was already like that last year!
Tim Leiweke, the CEO of the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Galaxy, would be best served by taking the money offered by AC Milan. Bruce Arena, Head Coach of the Galaxy, might end up with a better squad without the Beckham salary burden.
Let him go, I say. We owe it to him for trying. He may not have succeeded on the pitch, but he encouraged world football stars to come over to the MLS. He has brought us the likes of Mexican star Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Colombian ace Juan Pablo Angel. Even Calvin Klein underwear model, Freddie Ljungberg, signed with the MLS.
While the Galaxy deals with the Beckham crisis, they are also faced with the prospect of losing Landon Donovan to Bayern Munich. He has impressed Jurgen Klinsmann. This one is a no-brainer. US Soccer owes it to Landon Donovan. He has been the face of US Soccer and the MLS, give him his last chance to play at the highest level.
While the MLS has been pecking around for leftovers in Europe and while they fend off offers for their star players, they have not been exposed to the European transfer game. Ivan Gazidis, former Deputy Commissioner of the MLS and now Arsenal FC's Chief Executive, was involved in his first transfer last month. He described the protracted saga of the Andrey Arshavin to Arsenal and likened the whole transfer scene to the "Wild West".
The MLS is clearly out of their league. They should stop fighting these transfers and focus on bringing in new players instead. Bobby Convey