The move that helped David Beckham reclaim his spot as the highest-paid soccer player in the world -- his 2007 transfer to the L.A. Galaxy brought a contract worth as much as $250 million over five years -- may be costing him now. Costing him plenty, actually.
According to Bloomberg.com, Beckham's income from endorsements fell 6.6 percent in 2007. His London-based company, Footwork Production Ltd., paid Beckham and his staff $8.4 million, 49 percent less than the previous year.
The report also states that the company's revenue -- which comes from endorsements from Adidas, Gillette, and Pepsi, as well as from Beckham Brand Ltd., a company he owns with his wife, Victoria -- fell to roughly $17 million, down for a third straight year.
According to a Beckham spokesman, these figures do not include the $5.5 million base salary Beckham receives from the Galaxy or the various other benefits he receive from the team, such as cuts from jersey and ticket sales.
These lowered numbers seem to imply that Beckham's status as an endorsement magnet has diminished since his move from Spanish giants Real Madrid to the Galaxy. He certainly hasn't been helped by the Los Angeles' dismal performance, including a second straight year missing the playoffs.
On Thursday it was announced that Beckham will go on loan to AC Milan in January. And a question must be asked: Is the jump to Italy the move of a savvy soccer player trying to stay fit and impress his national team manager, or is it the power play by an equally astute businessman who knows that part of his worth has nothing to do with what he does on the field?