UPDATE: Beckham signs for PSG
Footballer says he ‘won’t receive any salary – it will all go to a Paris children’s charity’
DAVID Beckham has signed a five-month deal to join Paris St Germain and has said he will take no pay, his salary being donated by the club to a Paris children’s charity.
The 37-year-old former England captain said his move was for footballing reasons as PSG’s Qatari owners had plans to make it “one of the greatest in the world”, but the midfielder added: “One of the reasons why I agreed to come to Paris is that I won't receive any salary. It will all go to a local children's charity."
PSG director of sport Leonardo said that the club had not yet had time to find a suitable charity but, with Beckham’s pay said to be €800,000 a month, it will be a substantial boost for the lucky one.
If he were tax-resident in France that pay packet would make him liable to pay the planned 75% supertax on those earning more than €1m a year but Beckham has signed for just five months and has said wife Victoria and their three children will remain in London so the boys can stay in their schools.
PSG are at present in second place in Ligue 1 and are through to the knock-out stages of the Champions League.
For the Qatari owners, the signing is both a publicity and a commercial coup as the charity gesture will help clean up its super-rich image and Beckham’s name on the back of thousands of strips at €110 will net a retail fortune worldwide. He will also help improve Qatar’s image in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup.
After posting a picture on his Facebook page heading to Paris, Beckham told his "Friends" later he had already got strips for his three boys. “Blown away by the reception of the people in Paris.
“Glad to get so many positive comments about the donation. Victoria and I made the decision to give the wages away to a children's charity. We are incredibly fortunate so we are glad we could do this with the club's blessing. Thanks as always for your support, I will always do my best for you.”
Online at 16.45 - January 31:
FORMER England captain David Beckham is on his way to Paris - and likely Paris St Germain - after posting pictures on Facebook of himself on his private jet with the message: “On way to Paris, excited.”
He arrived in the capital this morning and is expected to sign for PSG later today after reports said he was seen at the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital, where he may have undergone a medical.
Beckham and PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti already know each other as Ancelotti was boss of Italian AC Milan when Beckham played there.
The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan midfielder is a free agent after seeing out his contract with LA Galaxy. He has been with the American Major League Soccer team for six years.
Since leaving LA Galaxy in December he has been training with Arsenal, although manager Arsene Wenger said he had no plans to sign the “Spice Boy”.
The 37-year-old turned down a chance to join PSG in 2001 after the club was bought by Qatari Nasser al-Khelaifi. However, if he signs he could add the Ligue 1 title to the other league successes he has already claimed – in England, Spain and the US.
Photo: David Beckham's Facebook page