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David Beckham – USD 250 Million In 5 Years


Beckham’s first game as captain was against DC United in the MLS SuperLiga Cup semi-finals and when he scored a trademark free kick from just outside the box, he was immediately besieged by his team-mates. The goal was a relief to all. Many MLS teams had come under criticism after raising ticket prices for Beckham matches, and when he sat on the bench during games against Toronto FC and DC United, he was greeted with boos all around. Suddenly the decision to bring him to America was being questioned. But otherwise the response has been positive and once he started playing regularly, all was forgiven. More than 66,000 turned out at Giants Stadium when the New York Red Bulls hosted Galaxy on 18 August -the biggest crowd to ever attend an MLS game. Though the Red Bulls prevailed in a 5-4 free-for-all, Beckham was a hit, setting up three of his team’s goals.
Beckham-emblazoned jerseys were seen throughout the stadium and you could almost hear the cash registers ringing. And there is the rub. Money is at the root of professional football and it is no different in America. It has been widely reported Beckham would earn 250 million US dollars over his five-year tenure. “AEG pays for David Beckham and I will tell you that the numbers are not necessarily accurate,” Lalas reveals. “He stands to make a tremendous amount of money. He has a vested interest in this organisation doing well on and off the field. When we succeed, he succeeds. Let’s be honest, he is one of the few people in the world who can command this and he is worth it, and he has already demonstrated that both on and off the field in a very short period of time.”
Most of the money will be earned off the field. His actual salary for playing is reportedly USD 6.5 million a season. Pele came to the USA back in the 1970s with New York Cosmos, drawing similar attention. The comparisons are similar but the circumstances are vastly different. Today, satellite television and the growth of many professional sports has left football playing second fiddle to the major sports such as NFL football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey in the USA.
So is Beckham worth the money? “As far as David’s compensation goes, he is worth every penny,” Lalas counters emphatically. “There is a perceived madness when it comes to the money we are spending. We have already recouped our costs and we expect to continue to do so and reap the many rewards, not just the dollars and cents rewards. We have gone from the premier football brand within the USA to an international football brand and that is clearly due to the signing of David Beckham. The fact is there are kids all across the world and when they think about American football they think about Galaxy.”