LA Galaxy and AEG Executive Tim Leiweke has apparently reached his limit in the back-and-forth with AC Milan over the increasingly Kafkaesque David Beckham affair.
Of course the parade of Prime Crapola that the Italians are spreading around is more or less typical of how these things get handled in the European "sporting press": one side tells some whopping lie and the other side is supposed to respond in kind.
Add that to the list of things which MLS does differently, and add Leiweke to the list of people who are sick to death of the whole thing.
Over the last couple of days everyone connected with Milan HAS BEEN FEEDING REPORTERS A STEADY STREAM OF HAPPY TALK about how they've MADE GOOD PROGRESS towards a deal and that "meetings are scheduled" for Tuesday or Friday or St. Swithen's Day or whatever, during which they're "confident" that the deal will get done.
Leiweke has had enough and yesterday he RESPONDED BY PULLING THE TRIGGER ON BOTH BARRELS: he says there have been NO discussions with Milan, there is NO meeting scheduled and they are not even remotely"close" to a deal:
"Two weeks ago Milan made a ridiculous offer that took me just a few seconds to reject" he said of the reported 3 million dollar bid.
"With this figure Galaxy wouldn't even be able to cover the loss in revenue from shirt sales".
"Since then I haven't heard a thing and no meeting has been set up."
If this sounds like he's calling Galliani a liar, well, it certainly does seem that way to me too.
Apparently Milan has in fact had - or attempted to have - discussions with MLS, but particularly with Commissioner Garber lying on a beach in Spain and Ivan Gazidis no longer in the building it's difficult to say just how far that could have gotten.
Furthermore, as a DP, Beckham has a contract with AEG, and if Milan is under the impression that Garber can make a deal and then cram it down Phil Anschutz' throat, they've got a surprise coming. Anschutz can have Garber fired any time he likes, and the odds of Don strongarming AEG into doing something they don't want to do are pretty slim if not entirely ludicrous.
Milan also seems to have been having extensive discussions with Beckham's "management", a catchall phrase meaning "American Idol Producer Simon Fuller and a host of toadies", but if Beckham Inc. could make this deal happen on their own they would have done so already.
(The British Press is happily reporting that Galaxy fans at the Pacific Rim Job Cup, or whatever it is, the other night WANT BECKHAM GONE but it's difficult to take the opinions of the eight or ten people who were in the stands as a representative sample.
They're also pointing to the fact that nobody came ("one entire section had only two people" they gleefully reported) as evidence that without Beckham the Galaxy can't draw flies. I myself take it as evidence that they ought to pull the plug on that ridiculous "tournament")
What's truly shocking is that they didn't think to get Posh on board before they started this, and they probably roasted some poor PR clown for letting her tell a reporter the other day that she wanted to stay in L.A.
Fortunately, with their typical ruthless, indeed Gestapo-like efficiency they quickly corrected the error and less than 24 hours later they had her running around like mad telling anyone within earshot that she had "changed her mind" and that she "loves" Milan and has "a lot of friends there" and is "looking forward to" getting over there just as fast as 50 lackeys working 24 hour shifts can get her clothes packed.
The kids? Ah, who gives a crap?
Then Leiweke drew his line in the sand, both for DBecks and for the Boys from Milan who seem to feel they have the upper hand here, sort of like as if they were dealing with Oldham Athletic:
"And don't forget that under normal circumstances our transfer window is closed. If David doesn't come back, who are we going to replace him with?
"If Milan are so determined to buy him, why are they dragging this out for so long?
"If they think they'll get him on the cheap that way, they're wrong"
Well Tim, it appears that "getting him on the cheap" is indeed EXACTLY what they have in mind.
"David is a friend and he asked me to consider what Milan were proposing.
"I said yes because I want him to be happy. But I'm not about to be screwed over and hence on March 9 Beckham will be in Los Angeles and will be working with the same serenity and application as before.'
"Serenity" not being a word that immediatly comes to mind in regards to this entire kerfuffle.
Personally, at this point, I think Leiweke - and Milan is indeed "insane" if they don't think this is mostly his call and his alone - figures that if the Italians don't come up with more than three million bucks then they'll take Becks back, even for the one season. At that price, Milan isn't even close to realistic.
From a strictly economic point of view, Leiweke can make more than that off the guy between now and next November, and Milan is indeed nuts if they think the Galaxy boss is willing to take a loss in order to do a favor for this double-crossing Brit.
A pouting Beckham can still make money for AEG, and browbeating Leiweke by feeding the media a steady stream of lies just isn't going to change that.