Tuesday, October 03, 2006

$100 million to get Beckham to play in America

Updated here

It seems "AEG Chairman Philip Anschutz is reportedly giving financial backing to a $100 million contract offer to lure soccer superstar David Beckham to the US" to play for the New York Red Bulls.

Does this make sense? Yes, Beckham might just be the only player most Americans could name, but would it really be worth it. Don't get me wrong, even a Beckham past his prime would be one of the 10 best players in the league, but $100 million?

Looking past the whole salary cap blow out and the ruin that was the NASL, think what New York could do if they spent that on a whole team instead of one player. The total salaries for all 12 MLS teams is right around $25 million which, if this was a 4-year deal, would be what they were spending on one player. Again, does this make sense?

Yes, you will get more people in the stands and putting their eyes on the TV to see Beckham's first few matches, but in time, the novelty will fade. However, if teams were allowed to invest this much money in a whole squad, the overall quality on the pitch would improve, making for a better game without a gimmick.

It seems to me that the choice is between building from the ground up (spread the money around) or from the roof down (bring in Pelé, I mean Beckham).

Then again, this is probably just another Red Bull story (how's Ronaldo doing under coach Fabio Capello anyway), but it does stab at an important issue for MLS.



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