Former English soccer captain David Beckham is reportedly being shopped around to A League soccer clubs for a ten game guest stint to after he has completed his Major League Soccer commitments in the United States in two weeks time.
The 37 year old’s presence would be a huge boost to the A League and it is now up to new CEO David Gallop to try and get the job done.
It will no doubt be a test for Gallop as this is as much about marketing as anything else. Only one team can get Beckham’s services and if I am the A League I would be wanting him to play for the West Sydney Wanderers and try and not only carry on the momentum the new clubs has, but take what would normally be a lower drawing team away from home and turn them into a crowd puller for away games.
Beckham’s interest in the A League continues the competitions amazing season. Just a few years ago the A League looked to be done and dusted. Now it is seen as a genuine destination for stars in the twilight of their careers.
These stars attract the interest of casual sports fans and there is no doubt they boost crowds. These type of moves by A League clubs must be of great interests to other sports who will be looking on at the massive boost in crowd figures some A League clubs are receiving from signing these star players are wondering how they can do something similar for themselves.
The closest thing I think we will see in another sport in Australia is when Sonny Bill Williams joins the Sydney Roosters in the NRL in 2013. I believe that depending on how his presence effects crowds, we could see the NRL look at an alternative model to the salary cap which may include an A League style marquee players allowance at every club.
This is a huge moment for the A League and they really need to cash in on Beckham’s presence while they can.
David Gallop, its over to you…
Update: Sky Sports News in the UK is reporting that a representative of David Beckham has stated that there is absolutely not chance Beckham has considered playing in the A League. Considering the press released by the FFA and A League clubs that have been flying about today, this is very embarrassing for Soccer in Australia.
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