David Beckham’s shock LA Galaxy contract has earned him more than $AUD700 million – thanks to two genius clauses.
The former England captain shocked world football in 2007 when he left the glitz and glamour of Real Madrid to move with his wife Victoria and their three sons to Los Angeles.
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Not only was Beckham turning his back on elite-level Champions League football for the MLS which had only started 11 years earlier – but he was also taking a major pay cut, The Sun reports.
Beckham, just 31 at the time, was earning $29m per year with Real Madrid when he accepted a deal worth $9.5m per year in LA – a whopping 70 per cent drop.
However, in a brilliant Twitter thread by sports business and investing expert Joe Pompliano, the two incredible sections of the Galaxy contract reveal how Beckham earned more than $73.9m per year during his five years with the club.
But it also explains how and why Inter Miami are now one of the newest of the 29 MLS clubs.
Although Beckham’s basic salary may have been $9.5m when he joined LA Galaxy in 2007, the reality was he earned on average as much as seven times more than that.
That is because Beckham negotiated a deal to ensure he took a percentage of all the team’s revenue.
Therefore he earned a cut of everything – from ticket sales and sponsorships to every beer and hot dog.
That saw his earnings skyrocket to around $373m across the five years – an extra $325m on top of his original wages.
So $73.9m per year made Beckham the highest-paid footballer on the planet as he made 118 appearances and won two MLS Cups.
Incredibly, though, it was another deal that has helped Beckham’s bank balance even more.
When he signed for LA Galaxy, he was able to insert a clause guaranteeing him the right to buy an MLS expansion team for only $35m after he retired.
At the time, that looked a great deal for the MLS as Toronto FC had just joined the league for $14m.
However, Beckham’s arrival sparked a major growth in the MLS with attendances up 40 per cent and the current $364m annual TV deal now worth 3,025 per cent of the $11.8m contract agreed in 2006.
It also means the franchises are also worth more, averaging out at a whopping $852m in 2022 compared to $54.6m in 2008.
As a result, expansion fees are up significantly.
New York City FC paid $146m to join, Austin and Nashville $220m and Charlotte FC a staggering $475m to enter the MLS.
But Beckham had his own deal already in place and Inter Miami joined in 2020 for a fraction of the price of Nashville in the same year.
By the time the Herons played their first match in March 2020, the club was the tenth most-valuable franchise in the MLS worth $857m – more than 24 times the original $35m expansion fee.
It means overall Beckham’s risky move to America 16 years ago on a budget $9.5m per year that guaranteed him just $47.5m has returned more than $700m across his time at LA Galaxy and launching Inter Miami.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.