Leiweke Smacks Strike Talk

AEG President/CEO Tim Leiweke isn’t known for his reticence.

So it should come as no surprise he very publicly said he considers pro soccer players threatening to strike to be “disrespectful” of what owners have put into Major League Soccer over the years.

“Here’s our issues, and I’m speaking on behalf of AEG,” Leiweke told the Los Angeles Times. “We have spent to the tune of $300 [million] on soccer. We have spent money on facilities. We at one point owned six of the 10 teams to keep the league alive. I don’t even know how to react when I hear the players now saying that we have treated them poorly and they’re going to strike.”

If he doesn’t “even know how to react,” it certainly didn’t stop him from, well, reacting. He continued to vent his frustrations with the Times, saying the L.A. Galaxy MSL team owned by AEG will lose money this year, Beckham or no Beckham, and “only a couple” of MLS teams will turn a profit this year.

AEG has built several soccer-specific stadiums in recent years, most notably the Home Depot Center in the L.A. suburb of Carson, Calif. And despite an apparent snag in contract talks between the players’ group and MLS, Leiweke said that AEG Chairman and owner Philip Anschutz “remains as committed as ever to soccer.”