Perth owner to woo Beckham at Spice Girls
JUSTIN CHADWICK AND GUY HAND
Perth Glory owner Tony Sage will use next month's opening of the Spice Girls musical in London to try to persuade David Beckham to come to the A-League.
Perth have tabled a package worth around $2 million in their bid to land Beckham for a 10-match guest stint, while
Melbourne Heart, Central Coast, Western Sydney and Adelaide are other Australian clubs in the hunt for the 37-year-old global superstar.
Beckham finishes his career with Los Angeles Galaxy early next month, but has indicated he won't make a decision on his future until Christmas.
That works out perfectly for Sage, who will be in London on December 11 for the launch of Viva Forever! - a new West End musical based on the hit songs of the Spice Girls.
Sage, who has been invited by former Spice Girl Mel B, is unsure whether Beckham will be present at the launch.
But even if he's not, Sage will try to have a quiet word in the ear of Victoria Beckham, who no doubt will play a key role in helping her husband decide where to play next.
"The launch of the musical is a big thing in London. It's a big thing for Posh, so Beckham might be there," Sage said on Thursday.
"It's a perfect opportunity to pitch something.
"I'm sure I'm going to be invited to some of the after parties, so I'll be able to ask some discreet questions there."
Should Beckham choose to link up with the Glory, Sage said the club would move their home games from nib Stadium to Patersons Stadium to cater for the increased interest.
Beckham's stint would start around mid-January.
"Financially, we can't compete with Chinese or Middle Eastern clubs. They can write a cheque for five or 10 million dollars easily," Sage said of the battle to sign Beckham.
"So in the end, it's going to have to be a lifestyle decision, or putting back into the game, which he did in America to huge success.
"Maybe he sees Australia as the last frontier. That might be a big challenge for him.
"In the end, I wouldn't mind if we lose, just as long as he goes to another Australian club."
Football Federation Australia appears set on allowing clubs to negotiate with Beckham in the first instance, with any contribution from its marketing budget likely to be an added sweetener rather than a significant component of any deal.
"At this stage, dialogue is still happening between some of our clubs and his camp, but the important thing about this is a player of his status is even considering being part of our competition," FFA chief executive David Gallop said.
"If it comes to pass, great. But we're not counting our chickens in relation to it yet."