IN TERMS of shock rejections David Beckham’s polite rebuttal of the idea of joining Everton may have paled into comparison to FIFA’s World Cup stitch-up on England this week.
But for the money men at Goodison Park, the knowledge that the former England superstar will not be pulling on a royal blue shirt any time soon could understandably spark disappointment.
Because for a football club keen to build its brand into something which can one day pull in the big-money owners or stadium sponsors, a glittering of the Beckham gold dust would have been perfect.
David Moyes was not exactly revealing a burning desire to sign Beckham when he answered a question about the LA Galaxy star last weekend, but he was enthusiastic enough in his response to suggest he had thought about the possibility once or twice.
Consider the financial implications of the David Beckham money-printing industry coming to a football club near you.
When Beckham swapped Real Madrid for Los Angeles in 2007, he increased his already huge personal wealth immeasurably. But he also put Galaxy and Major League Soccer on another financial level in one fell swoop.
His base salary of $5.5million for that first season was easily covered by increased revenue for the Galaxy.
Beckham's first game, an exhibition match on July 21 against Chelsea, sold out the Home Depot Center, a soccer-only stadium that seats 27,000.
Then a July 28 game in the Los Angeles Coliseum against a Mexican team almost sold out the 92,000-capacity stadium, and the rest of the league felt the Beckham factor too.
At the time the New York Red Bulls had already sold about 26,000 tickets to the Galaxy's game at Giants Stadium that August, far more than their top crowd of 15,546 that year. And that was before tickets to that Beckham game had even gone on sale through Ticketmaster yet.
Marc de Grandpre, managing director of Red Bull New York, said the team had included the Beckham game as part of multi-game ticket packages in order to boost sales for other games as well. He added that resulted in a 180% increase in multi-game packages sold this year versus a year ago.
"Beckham represents an extraordinary worldwide brand," he said. "His arrival in the states was unparalleled to any other foreign athlete plying their trade in the US, regardless of sport."
The sales of shirts and Beckham-related merchandise went through the roof at the San Siro in 2009, and no football fan needs reminding of the almost Beatlemania-esque frenzy when the well-coiffured former Manchester United star first departed these shores for Spain.
It’s no surprise then, that Beckham has been singled out as the ideal recruit by new Blackburn owner Ahsan Ali Syed in recent weeks, as he plans trying to turn Blackburn into the kings of the Indian sub-continent.
But Beckham would not have just represented a commercial juggernaut pulling up outside Goodison.
As David Moyes pointed out, he played alongside the midfielder while they were both at Preston North End, the manager even smiled as he recalled scoring from a Beckham cross.
And the truth is that Beckham is every inch a ‘Moyes player’. Despite his 35 years, the OBE winner still has an impressive hunger and zeal every time he sets foot on the pitch, even in the lukewarm environs of the MLS.
He covers ground like a 25-year-old and his right foot remains such a potent weapon that some still hark for him to one day wear an England shirt again.
As an ambassador for the English game too, Becks might have been unsuccessful but he did himself and his country proud.
Sure, the Blues may never have seriously considered a move for him, and the man himself felt it was too close to his spiritual Manchester home, but a brush with Beckham would have been, like the man himself, a winner.