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Who is to blame in the Beckham botch-up?

Published: 6:06AM Friday February 20, 2009 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

The finger-pointing has begun over who to blame for the David Beckham football game debacle.

There is high level criticism of the Auckland Regional Council and it's handling of the visit which resulted in a $1.79 million loss from the venture.

David Beckham and his soccer team the LA Galaxy were flown in to play an Oceania All Stars team, but a pitiful crowd turn out meant the Auckland Regional Council took in less than half the revenue needed to cover their costs. But the council is assuring ratepayers they will not have to foot the bill.

Auckland mayor John Banks says the council's staging of the match between Beckham's LA Galaxy and the Oceania All Stars was a disaster.

Local government minister Rodney Hide also says it shows a cavalier attitude to ratepayers money.

Hide says the streamlining of Auckland's local government should put an end to such things happening again.

Meanwhile, the Auckland Regional Council is trying to pin some of the blame for the failed David Beckham football match on Oceania Football.

Chief Executive Peter Winder says the public did not rate the Oceania All Stars team that was put up as opposition to Beckham's LA Galaxy.

Former All White Sam Malcolmson was commentating on the match that night and says that the Oceania All Stars did not capture the public's imagination and that while Edgar Davids and Mark Bosnich were good, that was all.

He says they needed former All Whites such as Wynton Rufer or others that New Zealanders could identify with.

Following legal advice, Oceania Football is refusing to comment until after the Auditor-General's inquiry is released.

Winder says other contributing factors to the loss is that ticket prices were too high, that marketing did not achieve what it should have and that there was also significant competition by other events.

Where do you think the ARC went wrong with the Galaxy match? Tell us below

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