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EXPOSED: David Beckham And His Lies

RoM has been on the receiving end of quite a bit of stick for some of the articles written about David Beckham. Not being badly inlove with him is often confused with hatred, apparently, but let me assure you that isn’t the case.

Beckham was a great player for United and you could tell he really cared about the club. But as he worked his way towards being the most famous footballer in the world, something I’m sure he probably wasn’t expecting at the time, his priorities seemed to blur. Maybe it was his wife or maybe he was reacting the same way any one of us would if in his situation, but he changed and then he left.

The story painted was that Sir Alex Ferguson forced him out of the club, destroying Beckham, who had planned on spending his entire career at his boyhood club. This is a story lapped up by so many.

It’s hard to deny there was a falling out with the manager. Was this because he is a tyrant who can’t stand a bad attitude and a player acting like they’re bigger than the club? Well, if his dealings with Ronaldo and Rooney are anything to go by, who both exhibited a less than admirable attitude (Ronaldo repeatedly talking of only God knowing his future whilst he petulantly stropped around the field or Rooney behaving in abhorrent way off the pitch whilst trying to create a move to one of our biggest rivals behind our back), then it’s patently obvious that argument is nonsense. But whatever happened behind the scenes, something maybe someone will tell us about in an autobiography some day, there’s no way I buy that Beckham was pushed out.

“I’ve known Ferguson since I was 12 years old and we had one or two problems in that time,” Beckham said in October 2006. “Maybe he didn’t want me to leave.”

So, Ferguson forced Becks out of the club… whilst at the same time not wanting him to leave? It certainly suggests the decision was Beckham’s which then possibly caused the break down of the relationship between player and manager.

So, I don’t hate Beckham. I loved supporting him in 98-99 and I loved watching him play such a pivotal role to the best season in United’s history and best season in any English club’s history. But I do hate the image he presents of himself and I am irritated by how readily fans accept it all.

He hasn’t always been a liar though. A month before he left United for Real Madrid, he said: “I’ve never said that I’d never move away from Manchester, and I’ve never said that I’d end my career there.”

That’s fair enough. Why should any footballer expect to be loyal to any club? Roy Keane talks of players as being treated like pieces of meat and how they have to do what is best for them. To a certain extent, I agree. No, it’s not on swapping between rivals, but if Becks wanted a change of scenery and felt it would be good for his family, then that is entirely fair.

What’s not fair there though is to rewrite history and make out like his decision to leave United for Real Madrid was something that was forced on him.

“I’d have loved to have stayed at Manchester United for my whole career and never gone anywhere else,” Beckham said last January.

“When you are a Manchester United player and a Manchester United fan you never want to play for any other club,” he said in the February.

Finally, we have proof that Beckham was planning to leave United long before he left for Real Madrid. After news broke that he was leaving, the office staff at Carrington asked Gary Neville how he was taking it. He responded that he’d known for a while so had some time to get used to it. But did he know a whole year before? Because that’s when Becks made his decision.

Terry Byrne, Beckham’s mate and former manager, has lifted the lid on what happened, speaking with Sports Illustrated.

I had just appointed Ray Lewington as manager of Watford (2002), and David then called me and said, “Look, I’m going to split with SFX [his management group]. Would you consider you and your wife moving? I’m going to go to Real Madrid next summer and leave Manchester United. Would you come and live in Spain and just run my world?” I said, “OK, fine.” And I can say this with my hand on my heart, I never took a penny of commission out of David. Ever. I took the same salary I was on at Watford. I said, “Look, it’s not about money. I’ll help you for a period, get your life sorted back out and then there will be a time when I step away.”

I managed him for five years. Lived in Spain, loved it. Had the pleasure every day of going to the training ground and watching Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldo, Raúl, Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo. The dream team. Other than maybe Franco Zola, watching Zidane in training was the best part of my career. And just Real Madrid as a club, the stadium and the atmosphere and the way the city comes to a standstill when it plays, I loved it.

Then in David’s career, Steve McClaren became England manager. David was one of the Florentino Pérez signings, so with Real Madrid’s presidency changing, Ramón Calderón didn’t want to re-sign David. I had worked with [AEG head] Tim Leiweke building the [Beckham] academy in London, and Tim had made no secret of the fact he wanted David to come to the Galaxy. Tim worked for two years with me to bring David to the U.S. That combined with Simon Fuller’s program with managing Victoria and Simon’s commercial team doing David’s commercial work. As Simon’s role became more prominent in David’s management, from my point of view, my involvement in management wasn’t as necessary.

There came a point where the England players asked me to manage them. David wanted me to move to L.A., and my wife and I didn’t want to. Our baby had just been born, so I said to David, “Now is the right time for me to step away.” I didn’t want to cause him any conflict within the football world. I’m the football [adviser], the commercial world was 19 Entertainment. And rather than put David in a position of conflict, it was right for me to step away. So I chose at that point to extricate myself from it. I still speak to David regularly, and he’ll ask my advice on whatever. But the friendship comes first and will always come first before business.

Now, this entirely contradicts what Becks said in May 2006: “I never talked to Real Madrid until I actually got the phone call to say ‘the club want to sell you’. And that’s the first time I spoke to Madrid about that.”

And that comment contradicts what he said earlier about Ferguson not wanting to sell him. Did Manchester United choose to organise a deal to sell David Beckham to Real Madrid without Fergie’s blessing?

“It is totally out of the question, there is no way we would sell him,” Ferguson said in the April before Becks left, when the player was sat on the bench, being kept out of the team by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “Why would I want to sell my best players?”

The media focus continued though, leading Beckham to bat his eyelids at the Spaniards. “Any player would be honoured to be spoken about by Real Madrid,” he said.

I’m sure there will be Beckham apologists who try to find a way out of this but here we have it, knowledge that Becks had been in talks with Real Madrid at least a year before he left us for them, before our Champions League game where he played out of his skin against them, putting himself in the shop window (assuming he hadn’t already agreed a deal) and certainly before Sir Alex kicked that boot at his head. Is Becks’ friend lying? What motivation does Bryne have to do that? It’s obvious that the focus of the story isn’t the fact Beckham was talking about leaving a year before he did, it’s just a bit part to the main story which is about his relationship with Beckham and how he ended up in Spain. Let’s use a bit of common sense and stop arguing black is white.

“Football is everything to me and joining Real Madrid is a dream come true,” Beckham said after joining the Spanish giants. Whilst now he might look back on his career and wish he had never left United, at the time he fancied himself a bit more, thought he was the big deal, and was more than happy to leave Manchester for Madrid.

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Beckham Should Be Honest Instead Of Lies For Adulation


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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276 Comments

  1. bchilds says:

    Good article Scott, learnt a lot I didn’t know on the situation.

  2. keano86 says:

    LEGEND DB7

  3. CedarsDevil says:

    Willie

    Was it a wet dream? lol

  4. Zalee says:

    some people said that my English are bad.i don’t mind. but for Ash, i didn’t said that Manchester Utd did not nurture young prospect.did you read my comment clearly or just want to call somebody stupid? what I’m trying to say is what i feel when the news about possebon,tosic & eikrem leaving Utd to improve themselves as a player when Utd are looking for players to replace Giggs,Scholes,Neville & van der SAR. I think I need to add another word: read carefully,think & speak

  5. Dave Malaysia says:

    Wel this whole Backham thing was started by the man himself by going to spurs when he said he wouldnt want to play in the league for anyone else than Manutd. Got to be careful with what u say.becks.

    So he has piss off galaxy fans.

    At the same time u see a player who wants to play for his country again,looking for a way in.

    Harry is being harry, he thinks he can make something of this to benefit his team.

    Scott is pissed and so the long well written article.

    Tommorow he will be in the stands and the camera will focus on him for sure.

  6. willierednut says:

    CedarsDevil – No mate, not quite lol.

  7. wacho says:

    he is a manchester legend…

  8. wacho says:

    lets forget about his deed now,he was once our player and mancunia suppoter whole heratedly…for me he is always an hero regardless what u think eh…

  9. tbagfish says:

    So Byrne’s word is gospel and changing one’s mind is totally out of the question; one must be lying instead.

    Poor article, although I suppose it is fit for its purpose, which is purely to encourage comments through strong opinionated writing. Shame that the only way to do that is to slam a genuine bloke and lifelong united fan (who I have met personally).

    We all make mistakes.

  10. Ajo Paul says:

    No matter how many anti-beckham posts you put, there is no denying he was a man united legend. No 2 ways about it, the circumstances he left could have been better for both, but he went. It will be a shame for us, if we write some one as legendary as Beckham in a bad light. He had his personal choices and priorities and went for it. His emotional return to OT last season was testimony to that, United will and always be in his heart, and in ours too.

  11. user404 says:

    I will always love Becks
    but United>Becks no doubt.

  12. MG says:

    Cue the apprentice music

    Scott I regret to inform you after everything that is taken into consideration – you are fired.

    Now the ROM can close up shop and no one has to disturb anyone anymore

    Ok?

  13. wiuru says:

    A great article , bang on in my opinion . He was swayed by Posh and the adulation . Although a great player for us , i was sad to see him leave but knew his heart and therefore his game wasnt with us . He did the right thing until he layed blame with the manager . History has now revealed it all .

  14. James Ryddel says:

    Scott,

    I haven’t read through all the comments, but I totally agree with you that Beckham worked his ticket out of Old Trafford….but I’d like to add that it isn’t a well known FACT that prior to United selling Beckham, they sent a high profile club official to sound out the opinions of a section of the “hardcore fans” about the potential reaction because the club were mulling over selling Beckham.

    The said official was told in no uncertain terms that there would be no rebellion because like Fergie, they’d grown sick and tired of the bollocks and the circus which surrounded the player: There was no mass revolt and Beckham was sold without so much as a whimper from the Red Army.

  15. mattbw7 says:

    He had the chance to be a UTD legend now he is nothing more than an ex player, a bloody great one in his time but never a legend are we really saying he should be held in the same regard as Best, Law, Charlton, Cantona, Giggs, Scholes come off it.

  16. utd will never die says:

    no one seems to care anymore if someone lies or bullshits,say whatever in the moment.just a reflection of diminishing morales in society.beckham is no different to tons of people,especially celebrities and politicans

  17. kel says:

    Now i understand why scott you are so angry with him. If this is the reason then i have to change my mind as i dont think he is being force out of the club but i still support him as a player. Although i do not like his hollywood image and player bigger than club attitude, he still my idol during my younger days. Like history be history and he will stay in one side of my memories.

  18. hmmmmmz says:

    Dear Scott

    I do enjoy reading ur blog, but i guess its time to drop this Beckham thing.
    Not trying to protect David or anything, but when he said :

    “I’d have loved to have stayed at Manchester United for my whole career and never gone anywhere else,” Beckham said last January.
    “When you are a Manchester United player and a Manchester United fan you never want to play for any other club,” he said in the February.

    maybe it was because he regretted his decision to leave United and have realised what a mistake he has made, rather then trying to “rewrite history”.

    Ill just say that i remember him for the time at United + his contribution to the team during those years , and the rest of his career dont mean much to me.
    Thx for the years at United Dave.

  19. eplfan says:

    While becks is no saint and goes where money and his wife take him, Fergie isn’t Mr.Goody-Two-Shoes either. Fergie doesnt like any player being bigger than him at Man U. And as they get bigger, they leave the club. In the pretext of getting “good value” for the player, Fergie ensures that he is the only legend around. This happened with Beckham, Ronaldo and almost did with Rooney.

    You need to two hands to clap and in this case both Beckham and Fergie played their part.

  20. smartalex says:

    eplfan
    Our incredible success is largely due to Sir Alex.
    Beckham did not toe the line so he got the boot.
    We would have won little under SAF if he hadn’t been in control.
    Fergie decides, players perform, United wins, fans live the glory.

  21. eplfan says:

    smartalex,
    I agree that Fergie is a terrific manager, among the best that have plied the trade. But if every player who has left the club, irrespective of their contributions to Man U are vilified for every statement made, then I think Fergies part in their departure should come under scrutiny or at least discussion :-) .

    But you are absolutely right that the manager needs to have complete control over the club. Though fearing vilified myself, I think Fergie will not always find it easy to get legendary, skilled and obedient footballers like Giggs or Scholes in the modern day of big money football. He will probably retire around that time I suppose. :-)

  22. smartalex says:

    eplfan
    As fans are not really privy to what goes on, and the media is self serving I take the attitude that Sir Alex is right no matter what I hear.
    That is me being self-serving, as SAF is Father Christmas around here.
    It seems that the Manager has already mellowed and grown with the times, without losing any of his power.

    Sir Alex may carry on for a lot longer, maybe until the end of time.
    At least, that’s what it will feel like.

  23. Gaudy says:

    The Beckhams are just a couple of jumped up chavs !!! They are the most pretentious and social climbing vile characters you could ever wish to lay your eyes on. I have seen through Vicci Sicci Beckham, a nasty piece of manipulative old haggard bone and crocodile skin and her tramp stamp husband is so full of himself and her and look at us all the time by posing in the media , it is beyond gaudy and horrendous. Money cannot buy class in this case and for eternity. They are still just a self-obsessed chavy couple who jump on the bandwagon and use people to get what they want and to social climb, only the dumb or dumber can’t figure this out!!. People can see through their constant facades and posing and cruelness against others whom are not all sheep and who can think for themselves against this celeb obsessed world !!

  24. a decent person among the rabble says:

    Becks the red bull clown of a chav !!!

  25. jace14 says:

    Come on now…. what do you expect him to say? Beckham and Ferguson have huge amount of fans and they’re pros so whatever happened they’ll not start pointing fingers at one another blaming each other. If you have watched the film Manchester United Beyond The Promised Land you’ll see that in the year of 2000 they started arguing and then people got their confusions of him leaving the club. I don’t know what lies Beckham said through the years but I know for sure that:
    1. Beckham truly loves Man United and you can see that everytime he talks about the club (watch his interview after MU – Milan in 2010)
    2. He’s one of the best players ever played and if you don’t think so then explain to me how a shitty player would find a place in Man United, Real Madrid and Milan? 3 of the greatest clubs in hystory of football!

  26. vampire says:

    Cannot stand him, so highly irritating , he reminds me of a primadonna princess. Beckam and wife are soo highly irritating and chavy, she is as common as muck, just open that big mouth of yours luv.

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