With the clock ticking down on David Beckham’s contract at LA Galaxy, the former Manchester United midfield will be much in demand from clubs in both the US and Europe. However, two of the most interesting options open to the 35-year-old, who played nearly 400 games for United, are not on the field but in football administration.
Beckham’s four-year journey in Los Angeles ends in November next year, when the 2011 season finishes, unless the Californian club chooses to extend his deal. While Beckham has said he could play until he’s 40, moves are reportedly already afoot by the player’s camp to follow Michel Platini and Franz Beckenbauer from the pitch and into the corridors of football power.
In a week when the fall-out from England’s failed World Cup 2018 bid has been both bitter and angry, Beckham is reportedly being lined up by the Football Association as a future chairman of the body – and potentially earning a place on FIFA’s powerful executive committee to boot.
Mindful of English football’s poor reputation in the world game, some within domestic football’s governing body see Beckham as the man with the PR skills and profile to repair the country’s seemingly damaged reputation, reports the News of the World today.
Beckham’s other off-the-field alternative is club ownership, with his MLS contract containing a franchise option. The MLS commission, keen to expand from 16 teams in 2008 to 20 or more over the next three years, will welcome Beckham as a franchise owner with open arms.
Despite a major contribution to raising the profile of football in the United States, Beckham’s US sojourn is not without its failings. On the field LA finished the current season holding the MLS Supporters’ Shield for the best Regular Season record for the first time in the player’s stint in the city of angels. However, Galaxy lost out to new franchise Seattle Sounders in the play-offs, with MLS following a typical American sports regular and post season system.
Beckham has also intermittently played for Galaxy, appearing just 52 times in three seasons as injury and international commitments restricted the player’s impact. A torn left Achilles tendon suffered while on a second loan spell in Milan forced the midfielder to miss most of the 2010 season; just as an ankle injury had delayed the player’s début for Galaxy in 2007.
However, Beckham’s right to buy into an established franchise or take on an expansion team was confirmed by Commission Don Garber last year, although no details in which club the player might invest are yet clear.
“David has the option for our 20th team,” Garber said in 2009. “That option can’t be exercised until after 2011 or after he stops playing, so we’ve got some time to figure that one out.”
Seattle was awarded an expansion team for 2009, Philadelphia for 2010, and Vancouver and Portland for 2011. Meanwhile, in May Garber announced that the Montreal Impact would join the league as its 19th club for the 2012 season in the renovated 20,000-seat Saputo Stadium.
The 20th seems certain to be located in New York or Detroit, with the pulling power of the Big Apple attractive to sponsors and TV viewers alike. This is especially true after this season’s MLS Cup Final between Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas drew the smallest TV audience in years.
Indeed, in August Pelé was drafted to relaunch the New York Cosmos brand, for whom the Brazilian legend played alongside Beckenbauer in the 1970s. The franchise closed in the ’80s though and is currently little more than a concept, with neither a stadium nor any players signed up to the club.
Meanwhile, the proposed Detroit franchise has already experienced more than one false dawn. In the early part of the decade an attempt failed for lack of community support, although a friendly between AC Milan and Panathinaikos at the Pontiac Silverdome drew over 30,000 fans in August. The new Dome owners reportedly want both an MLS and women’s soccer franchise in the City.
There remains significant other barriers to Beckham’s entry into club ownership though, with no word on whether the Essex-born star is prepared to invest the $40 million ‘franchise fee’ demanded by the MLS, nor if Beckham is ready to give up playing before a 20th franchise comes to fruition.
Sadly, there is little chance Beckham will return to United in the medium term, despite reports that the player could buy into a Red Knights-inspired buyout at Old Trafford; a rumour neither confirmed nor denied by the player.
“In addition to ownership of an American club,” reported ESPN Soccernet in February. “Beckham would look favourably on buying into Manchester United, the club he supported as a boy, and for which he retains an unflinching affection.”
Perhaps even more intriguing is Beckham’s leading role in the failed World Cup bid. Indeed, the FA’s position in the world governing body’s is arguably more marginalised than ever but Beckham has come through the humiliation largely unscathed.
The same cannot be said for Andy Anson, the English bid’s chief executive officer whose decision to round on the media and suck up to the FIFA executive committee embarrassingly backfired.
Neither can the placid – read ineffective – Geoff Thompson have a long-term role in the exec-co if the FA is to regain either power or influence in world football.
Not that any role for Beckham in FA or world administration is likely to come soon, as improbable as it seems. But the prospect is surely a fascinating one for a man who has grown into a world football statesman.
26 thoughts on “What next for Becks?”
This is what we hope is next for Becks getting him back on loan to Man Utd for the winter or till he retires….its where he belongs. Where he longs to be and where he will make a remarkable impact on the club the fans and the Premiership attendances.
He is such a loved role model especially after what he did for England and his loyalty to us by not joining Everton….why is Fergie not even considering this…how fitting it would be to lift those trophies with Giggsy, Neville and Scholesy. He is the truest red I know.
also on Twitter @BECKHAMcomehome
please help increase the numbers people have eased off joining as they would love to see it happen but don’t think Fergie will have it. If we all try it could happen.
PS Do you not think it’s Fergie’s decision ???
The Glazer give him the power to do what he wants.
Would the Red Knights make a difference to him coming back…..please have a look on my page at the 7 reasons which I think he should come back for….he is only 35.
The fans would go crazy.
thanks again Anna
spoke brilliantly in zurich, showed up the tory
Not hard though is it, showing up those unknowledgable embarrassing Eton cunts who were bodging and lying
If we’d had Gordon cunting Brown or Ed Millibellend or anyone else from that shower called the Labour Party in charge we would have been lucky to get 2 votes.
If it was Blair and Campbell, we would have won easy – for one they wld have got Panorama off the air, convinced fifa that if it was in Russia a dirty bomb could be launched within 45 mins, convinced fifa that it could only be in Quatar if a UN resolution was passed; and not broken / ignored. in fact they would have got the attorney general to turn up, not “Wills” (sic).
fairs fair, blair wouldve worked wonders
it was all a load of bollocks
beckham is the new face of everything perfect
he should retire gracefully and focus on his family
the cunt would have sold the Millenium Dome / O2 to FIFA and they would have given him a BJ too as well as paying for the Silverstone. the man is a political genius.
I’d like to see him take up a coaching role at United. Will never happen in a million years, though, whilst ‘Brand Beckham’ is still alive.
Great read, I read it twice to understand the intention.
” He can play till he is 40″? says who as far as i know he has not played a meaningfull game since he left Madrid.
Beckham with the PR skills, no doubt he is charming and a vastly improved public speaker as he has been given more roles.He was fantastic in Zurich, although the Grandad reference was a bit lame.But the intention good.although like us all lead up the garden path.A dead end!
Head of the FA……This is a political organization, does he know anything about manipulation and changing peoples views.He would be ate alive and spat out there and humilated.Its like most of the top tiers of any establishment, generally unless you play the game you are not in.
This alledged $40 million he would invest in a US Soccer franchise.The man might and is wealthy, but i am sure as we Scots say, he is not (Glaiket) or Dolly Dimple.
Davie Boy you stick to your clothes horses and your brand, your to nice a man to go swimming with Sharks.
Well done though David it was a valiant effort to try to return the World cup tournament to its rightfull place.
I think FIFA will aim for around 2030 to have it on the Moon, if there is Oil or natural Gas there
I’s still digesting Quatar, don’t bring the friggin Moon in to the equation m8
Becks should stay with what he knows, kickin a ball and posing in glossy magazines.
I was taking the piss regards the “moon” lol
Beckham as much as we admire him for his past service to United he is not capable of dealing with the posioned chalice that is the FA.
If English football was more united it would stand a fighting chance.Four seperate associations not fighting as one.
As he always “shouts” for England” and will crawl to play for England, therein lays part of the problem.
To make the Fa heed that people with the greater good of football are serious, it will be necessary to boycott meaningless friendlies.Therefore you make a choice Club or country.Can anyone realistically see Beckham encouraging that sort of defiance.
The FA along with UEFA and to the top of the pyramid FIFA are sitting just exactly where they want.
“Divide and Rule”
One of the many sickening aspects of this whole web, is that only 3 of the 22 FIFA officials cared to look at the England technical bid book.
England have zero chance of returning the World Cup to these shores as long as corruption is at the core of football.
Stay out of it Becks, you stick to your “FHM” I will keep working on my Rocket to take me to the moon.
“a loved role model” – not sure why you put “role” in there. Funny how Rooney and Terry are scum but this cheater can walk on water.
Sorry but I really dont buy into this Beckham (TM) crap. He seems to be able to talk forever without actually saying anythig of note. Oh and this photo that keeps getting recycled of him wearing G&G – he had no idea what it meant.
Dont even get me started on his football since leaving Real.
Why don’t we get Nicky Butt back too?
Nope..Bri in Internet Drag
Got a location i need a laugh?. Ohhh no he is dead aint he ” Lewis” pmsl
Though your posters of Becks may be starting to unfurl off your bedroom wall it might be worth remembering that the facts are that when given the option between United and acting like a lttle girl, he chose the latter. As for the truest red you know, may i suggest google, and entering Scholes, Giggs, Neville.
What you on about?
Beckham didn’t “choose” to leave… he was turfed out the door, and then chose Real as the place to go.
He was given numerous chances to sort out his head or he’d be gone. He chose fashion shoots and “brand Beckham” PR meetings in London over playing for United, which did’nt change when he went Madrid.
beckham was an uber marketing cunt that was great at passing and free kicks..but was far better at selling his “brand”
Yeah Becks, invest in FC United!
I ceased to care about this man a long, long time ago. Can’t see why others have not ceased to care, too.
“What next for Becks?”
Just For Men Touch of Grey…?