Rescinded Red

Oh the media monkeys and their junket junkies will invite you to their plastic pantomime. Throw their invites away.

TBL: Beckham Considers Staying in Milan, MLS Should Let Him

beckham-milan

Here is my latest post for The Big Lead.  The title explains fairly, what the article is about.

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Filed under: Football, MLS, Serie A, Soccer, , , ,

Tuesday Headlines: City Blame Milan for Failed Kaka Transfer

6275067Manchester City believe AC Milan spoiled the Kaka transfer by going public. (101 Great Goals)

Manchester United’s new home shirt. (EPL Talk)

Arsene Wenger doesn’t want to talk about winning the title, which is convenient because everyone knows they are out of the race. (Arsenal Mania)

Can Hoffenheim continue their dream season without Ibisevic? (Unprofessional Foul)

Manchester United have only come from behind in a second leg once. (Chickendinner)

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , , , , , ,

Kaka Stays With AC Milan, Rejects Record Manchester City Bid

16578kakaIt’s not all about the Benjamins, nor, apparently, is it all about the Elizabeths.

Brazilian star Kaka rejected Manchester City’s £500,000 per week offer to stay with AC Milan, thwarting what would have been the largest transfer in the history of international football.

“After Saturday’s game many people showed me their support,” Kaka said.  “I have received drawings by kids trying to convince me to stay.  It was wonderful.  I remember when I left Sao Paolo some fans protested against me, here they all stand by my side instead.  I’m currently celebrating this decision at home with a couple of friends.”

Milan had accepted a £91m bid for the 26-year-old and allowed Manchester City to negotiate.  Despite Manchester City offering to triple his salary – he’s already currently the top-paid player in Serie A – Kaka would not agree to a transfer.

Manchester City called off the deal, convinced Kaka would not reconsider.

Stirred into a froth, Sky Blue supporters must content themselves with Craig Bellamy.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Serie A, Soccer, Transfer Rumor, , , ,

AC Milan Reject £91m ($132m) Offer from Manchester City for Kaka

200px-kaka061115Manchester City made a record-breaking £91m ($132m) bid to AC Milan for Brazilian star Kaka.  Milan rejected it.

The transfer would have trumped the record £46m paid by Real Madrid to Juventus for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.  Reports indicated Manchester City were willing to offer Kaka £500,000 per week, roughly three times the current top salary in the Premier League.

Kaka’s agent said the 26-year-old would have spoken to Manchester City, should the club have agreed to a fee with A.C. Milan.  Though, Kaka expressed his wish to stay with the Rossoneri.

“What happens will be decided by Milan.  I will be here until they don’t want me here,” Kaka said.  “As long as my aims are the same as the club’s aims, I would like to remain here.”

Rejecting the offer was sensible for Milan.  Kaka is irreplaceable, even a palatable replacement could cost £30m.  Milan receives a minimum of about £40m for playing in the Champions League next season, far more likely with Kaka than without him.

Because Kaka has a ten-percent fee clause, £9.1m of the transfer money would have gone directly to him.

UPDATE: The deal may not be off after all.

Filed under: Football, Premier League, Serie A, Soccer, Transfer Rumor, , ,

Beckham Will Be a Bachelor In Italy

david-beckhamDavid Beckham is now flying solo, for his stay in Italy.

“Everyone knows how much I love my wife and children,” Beckham told the Times.  “My children will remain in Los Angeles due to school and Victoria will remain with them.  When she comes to Milan she will remain with me for a couple of days.”

For Beckham the footballer, this probably quashes notions of Beckham permanently relocating.

For Beckham the international celebrity, the tabloids quiver in anticipation.

Filed under: Football, MLS, Serie A, Soccer, , ,

Beckham Isn’t a Farce. Only People Who Pontificate About Him.

david-beckham-airport09David Beckham, to lukewarm fanfare, moved to A.C. Milan on loan for two months, upsetting many in the American Soccer Community.  The Beckham experiment has had its problems, but, surely, it’s not worthy of shortsighted vitriol like this.

Mr. Gardner terms Beckham a “farce” and “on every count.”  He deems this so obvious “there’s no need to labor all those points.”  Nevertheless, he manages to do so for nearly 1,000 words.

First, we have the topic of Beckham’s loan to AC Milan.  His justification for the loan was clear.  He wants to play for England.  Fabio Capello would not select Beckham unless he was playing football.  He had the opportunity to go to a top-level European club during the interim.  He went.  Does this make Landon Donovan a “farce,” as well?

Beckham, like most players, enjoys representing the national team.  Offered the chance to play a useful role, he chose to do so.  There’s nothing “relentless” or “sycophantic” about it.  Selfish, maybe.  But how is it servile?  

He does miss MLS time because of it, but so does every MLS player who plays internationally.  It’s not Beckham’s fault that MLS does not follow international breaks.  It’s also not his fault that FIFA favors the country in club versus country disputes.  Beckham has flown cross-country and played immediately, despite fitness risks, on occasion, to mitigate that effect.

David Beckham has the right to play for England, if he chooses.  If called up, he should play.

Then we move to Beckham’s broader role in MLS.  His primary task was to make the league money and increase its exposure.  He has done both.

Mr. Gardner dismissively mentions “marketing and shirt-selling.” These aren’t savory aspects of the sport, but, unfortunately, professional leagues are a business and salaries aren’t paid in good will and fairy dust.

Beckham is not just selling shirts.  He’s sold about half-a-million shirts, more than any other athlete in the world, in any sport.  It’s probably safe to assume LA Galaxy wouldn’t be moving that kind of product without him.  Neither would they have the $4-5 million per year shirt sponsorship deal with Herbalife.

He’s raised attendance both home and away, allowing the Galaxy to sell out games and guaranteeing over 10,000 tickets sold on the road.

Viewership ratings haven’t been great.  However, ESPN’s ratings spike 150% when Beckham plays.  ESPN also now pays MLS for the rights to televise games, and the league just sold foreign TV rights for a ten-figure sum.  No one would pay that unless the league’s exposure, popularity and interest abroad had increased.

The Galaxy also profits from using Beckham as a wedge to play lucrative friendlies in foreign markets.  Australians and New Zealanders probably wouldn’t be jazzed about seeing a Beckham-less Galaxy.

The club made an estimated $13 million, more than his MLS salary for the first two seasons, before he had even arrived.  He’s making the league money, increasing its value and exposure.

Regarding his play on the pitch, he’s still one of eleven players.  Beckham didn’t hire Alexi Lalas to run the Galaxy.  The team had a failed coaching hire and a dearth of talent, outside Landon Donovan, supporting Beckham.  If anything, it is a testament to the league’s quality that one player, alone, can’t dominate it.

Finally, Gardner argues that Beckham is “actively damaging MLS” by not praising it enough.  The apparent evidence is that Beckham said he missed playing “at the highest level” when he was unveiled at Milan.  

What is Beckham supposed to say?  MLS is obviously not the highest level of world soccer.  Anyone who argues that it is on par in quality with the top European leagues is, to be frank, a dumbass.  He’s shaken hands, done interviews, kissed babies and done everything MLS asked him to do.  He would do more “active damage” to the league by being effusively dishonest in his praise of it.

Beckham hasn’t been happy losing at LA Galaxy.  What right-minded player, particularly one who played for the world’s two biggest clubs and won seven domestic titles and the Champions League, would be happy?  He hasn’t demanded a transfer.  He hasn’t whined to the media.  He’s been a good soldier.  He stated publicly he will return for the start of the MLS season.  What more can be asked of him?

David Beckham’s move to America has not been what it was hyped to be.  But, much of that hype was irrational and stupid.  

It’s foolish to term Beckham’s move a complete success.  But, it is equally foolish to deny the good things he has done for the league.  In order for MLS to become a stable, long-term presence and develop into a player internationally, it needs to be profitable.  There is no doubt that the increased revenue and exposure from David Beckham, has prodded MLS toward that goal.

Just because you don’t like David Beckham does not mean you can credibly call him a “farce” and impose sinister motives on him without justification.

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , ,

Headlines: Beckham In Line for Scrutiny at Milan

david_beckhamAC Milan striker Mario Borriello thinks David Beckham may have been packing artificial heat in the Armani ads. (Sports Crackle Pop)

Former German footballer Thorsten Legat was arrested for attacking someone with a samurai sword, at a McDonalds. (The Spoiler)

Theo Walcott rocks a slick leather arm sling to match his suit. (Kickette)

Steve Clarke was the key to Chelsea’s success. (Chickendinner)

The least indicative survey poll ever conducted. (Soccer365)

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , , , ,

Kaka Plays With Two Balls

I’m going to guess that someone sponsored this.

Filed under: Football, Serie A, Soccer, , , ,

Ronaldinho Goal vs. Braga

Here is Thursday’s injury time winner from Ronaldinho in the UEFA Cup.

Pretty…pretty…pretty good.

Filed under: Football, Soccer, UEFA Cup, , ,

Beckham Can Leave MLS After 2009 Season

David Beckham can cancel his MLS contract after the 2009 season.

The 33-year-old midfielder signed a five-year contract in 2006, for a $32.5 million base salary plus incentives.  Unacknowledged by either party, was a clause permitting Beckham to void the final two years.  In MLS contracts, the team most often controls options not the player.  This would allow Beckham to leave as a free agent in 2009.

This knowledge makes next season crucial for the Galaxy.  Beckham has mired through two incompetent seasons in 2007 and 2008.  With the roster gutted and Landon Donovan possibly off to Europe, the 2009 outlook isn’t much better.  For someone as competitive and accustomed to victory as Beckham, the losing may become intolerable.

Though Beckham has lifestyle, financial and sentimental reasons to stay in Los Angeles, likely European opportunities may be too good to ignore.  Particularly, if he remains within the England fold, leading to the 2010 World Cup.

If Beckham does return to Europe, he leaves for free rather than the assumed lucrative transfer fee.

Beckham may be a classy guy, but Bruce Arena and the Galaxy need to reverse the club’s results, quickly.

Filed under: Football, MLS, Soccer, , , ,

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