David Beckham. Photo by Reuters
He has played in Wellington once before and the Phoenix
are investigating whether David Beckham might be keen to do so
again after expressing interest in luring the global phenomenon
and sometime footballer to play in the capital.
Football Federation Australia indicated last week they were
keen on enticing Beckham to a guest stint in the A-League.
While Beckham seemed to pour cold water on the idea when he
said it was news to him, the idea is not so fanciful now the
37-year-old has indicated next month's MLS Cup final will be
his last for the LA Galaxy after six years playing in the US.
"I've had an incredibly special time playing for the LA
Galaxy," Beckham said in a statement. "However, I wanted to
experience one last challenge before the end of my playing
The FFA will hope that's in the A-League. They recently
contacted all 10 clubs to see who was interested in Beckham
and Phoenix chief executive David Dome reported they were
keen to pursue the idea. The FFA will approach Beckham's
people on the clubs' behalf.
"If there's some interest from the Beckham camp, the FFA will
work with the clubs where the best fit will be," Dome said.
"We haven't ruled out going after any player anywhere. What
we have ruled out is bringing in a marquee for the sake of
Beckham won't come cheaply but a guest stint would make him
more affordable. Former Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero
has joined Sydney FC for reportedly A$2 million for two
seasons, although he also has a number of add-ons to
supplement his wage.
The chances of Beckham coming to Wellington appear slim but
there's little doubt he would put bums on seats.
Westpac Stadium sold out in 2007 when his LA Galaxy played
the Phoenix and Wellington are attracting considerably fewer
fans than the 10,000 needed for the club to break even.
More than 12,000 turned up for the season opener against Del
Piero's Sydney but crowds have dwindled since and only 6568
turned out for the recent 1-0 defeat to Central Coast.
"We are extremely concerned," Dome said. "There's no doubt
the crowds outside the first game with Del Piero have been
poor. It's not sustainable. At the moment, Wellington is
saying to us that football in the capital is not a
sustainable business model.
"If it means playing away from Wellington, we will look at
it. If it means more money to buy players, we will do that.
It's all up for grabs."
So, it seems, is David Beckham.