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Stewart Coggin

Exciting Times for A-League, With Beckham Linked

By November 22, 2012

David Beckham has announced that he will leave the LA Galaxy next month, with Australia's A-League one of his mooted destinations.

Despite a spokesman for the player claiming last week that he had 'no plans' to move to Australia, Melbourne Heart say they are in talks over a 10-game stint in the A-League.

Heart chief executive Scott Munn told BBC Sport: "We are incredibly serious and working tirelessly with David's representatives to table a compelling offer which is commensurate with the international player that David is.

"We're talking to David about a 10-game stint. Football is the third code behind Australian Rules football and rugby league. We think David takes it to the next level."

Beckham would be the latest big-name player to join the A-League and would follow in the footsteps of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono who all recently moved.

Del Piero's arrival at Sydney FC has triggered much excitement and will certainly raise the profile of a league that was only re-launched in 2004. He scored a superb free-kick on his debut as he helped draw a record regular-season Sydney crowd of 35,419. This was a match against the Newcastle Jets in which Heskey also featured and scored.

If Del Piero, who is making $2 million a season as FC Sydney's marquee player, can have the desired impact - a TV rights deal to show his matches in Italy is already being talked about - imagine the hysteria that would be triggered by Beckham's arrival.

When he played a friendly for the Galaxy against Sydney FC in 2007, 80,295 fans turned up to watch and they went home satisfied as he curled home one of his trademark free-kicks.

The long-term effects of Beckham's possible arrival could be extraordinary - highly profitable overseas TV deals, sponsorships, the possibility of attracting other stars, bumber gates and even more interest in a game that is gaining momentum down under.

The Football Federation Australia (FFA) have just announced a four-year $160 million TV deal, which will see, for the first time, one live A-League game broadcast on free-to-air television every Friday night.

This represents a significant increase on the previous deal that saw the A-League receive just over $21 million a season from Fox Sports, who will continue to broadcast all A-League games live over the duration of the deal.

More on the Australian A-League and Del Piero's arrival

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