Australian clubs line up to lure Beckham
SYDNEY (AFP) –
Australian football clubs are queuing up to bring former England captain David Beckham to the country’s A-League in January, despite the 37-year-old denying a deal is in the offing.
Perth Glory has “put its hat in the ring” and is readying a bid, wealthy owner Tony Sage told Monday’s The Australian.
“Signing David Beckham would be up there… the number one thing other than my decision to buy Glory,” said mining magnate Sage.
“It’s a huge commitment, but something I would love to pull off.”
Beckham’s management team on Friday played down talk of any move Down Under after Football Federation Australia said that the star player wanted to join an A-League club.
But FFA chief executive David Gallop insisted a deal could still be struck for a 10-match guest stint by the LA Galaxy midfielder.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Melbourne Heart and Adelaide United were also in the race along with an unnamed side that has already made a secret bid.
“Beckham would be a massive thing for tourism,” said United chairman Greg Griffin.
“We’ve just put forward our position to the people we understand are representing him and we would like to take it further,” Griffith told the Herald.
The FFA pointed out that earlier this year Italian World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero’s management tried to fight off speculation before he finally joined Sydney FC.
Beckham remains one of the biggest names in football and his presence in the A-League alongside Del Piero and ex-England striker Emile Heskey would help ratchet up the competition’s image.
In another coup, the federation was expected to unveil an Aus$160 million four-year television deal later Monday, doubling previous broadcast rights.