Friday, February 20, 2009

Even When Beckham Actually Shows Up, People Lose Money

Beckham Beckham Beckham Beckham!
Beckham Beckham Beckham Beckham!
Beckham Beckham Beckham Beckham!
BECKHAM!! BECKHAM!!

(When I was in college many, many moons ago, I took a linguistics course. We were taught an exercise where you repeat a word so often that it loses its meaning, and you only hear the word for the actual sounds that it makes. As in, "Beckham." And with that, here it is, our contractually obligated Beckham post!)

One of the benefits of Golden Balls' signing with the LA Galaxy was going to be all the increased revenue for all involved -- including the fantastic international matches that the team would play -- in order to recoup Becks' $300 billion salary. At least in the United States that money was coming from private funds. In New Zealand, not so much....

Turns out that Auckland, New Zealand's local government officials are furious over learning that taxpayers footed the bill for the NZ$1.79 million (around US$900,000) shortfall in bringing Becks and the LA Galaxy "down under." According to the New Zealand Herald, the problem is that only 16,600 people showed up to watch the LA Galaxy v. Oceania All Stars match last December, and the Auckland city council had previously agreed to guarantee any net losses from the event. Oops.

Having seen enough episodes of Flight of the Conchords, I'm fairly sure that New Zealand government officials have nothing better to do than to grandstand about wasted expenditures on aging football stars. Witness Auckland government minister Rodney Hide: "It shows a cavalier attitude to ratepayers' money, and the ease which local authorities undertake expenditure outside of their core job."

In true bureaucratic fashion, this outrage has sparked several levels of internal investigation. I'm picturing multiple spiral-bound reports with shiny plastic covers. All because one David Beckham came to play for the LA Galaxy, and lots of people erroneously thought they could make lots of money in return.

(photo: Slate.com)

3 comments:

Ibracadabra said...

"it's business.... it's business time..." - Jermaine

Precious Roy said...

If that was the match where we couldn't figure out why Edgar Davids was on the pitch, then I watched it... It was kind of funny. All the cheap seats behind the goals were full up. Almost nobody was sitting in the middle of the stadium, presumably where the money that would pay the appearance fee would be made.

Andrew said...

I say, this Beckham character brings a lot fuss along with him.