Saturday 21 April 2018

Beckham to donate his PSG wages to charity

Helen William

DAVID Beckham said his move to Paris St Germain is all about the football as he pledged to donate his salary to charity.

The former England captain is at the tail end of a successful career which has seen him become a multimillionaire and win 115 caps for his country.

Beckham, 37, said his five-month contract will raise "a very good figure" for a local children's charity. It would be a "unique" fundraiser, he said.

The charity has not yet been decided upon.

Beckham told a press conference in Paris: "It has always been about playing football.

"I have been very lucky throughout my career to have achieved what I have achieved and earned what I have earned thought out my career.

"We decided on something that is quite unique - throughout this time now, we have decided that I won't receive any salary.

"We have decided my salary will go towards a local children's charity in Paris - that is one of the things that we are very excited and proud to be able do.

"It is something exciting and something I am not sure has been done before.

"It is something I am very passionate about - children and the charity side of things - and so are the club. It all came together and it is something special."

The big bonus of his move to Paris is that his family can stay in London, Beckham said.

There are sons Brooklyn, 12, Romeo, eight, and six-year-old Cruz and daughter Harper Seven who was born in July 2011.

Beckham said he was "excited" to have signed for PSG - but the rest of the Beckham clan will be staying in Britain.

He said: "I am excited. It is something that we have been talking about for quite a while.

"My wife and children will be staying in London because my children go to school there now.

"We are all excited."

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand predicted that PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would love having Beckham on board.

Ferdinand tweeted: "Becks signing for PSG....Zlatan will thrive off of Becks' right foot (right foot Sexy like a Left foot)!!"

The former Manchester United star had ruled out a return to Britain, stating he would never want to play for another English club.

PR guru Mark Borkowski said: "It gives him all the stability he needs.

"It fits in with how important his family is to him. He is back in Europe.

"He is a big brand in a smaller pond.

"It is very close to England with his family and it has all the fashion connections for him to plunder but he also out of the spin he would get in the UK."

The world had been eagerly awaiting Beckham's next move since he left LA Galaxy last November. He has recently been training with Arsenal in a effort to keep up his fitness.

Mr Borkowski said: "It shows the extraordinary continuing strength of the Beckham brand in football.

"He is 37 and people do not just want him for his ability on the field but in buying him as a commodity.

"He still has the pulling power to connect us to his narrative.

"He is still valuable and has retained a sense of awe."

Beckham said his choice was all about the football.

PSG are in the Champions League knockout stage and the prospect of winning a league title in a fourth country proved attractive.

The clincher was the presence of coach Carlo Ancelotti and director Leonardo at the club - Beckham knows both men from their time at AC Milan where he spent time on loan from LA Galaxy.

PSG have the financial clout too - they are Qatari-owned and have been the highest-spending club in Europe in the past year.

Even though Beckham was "probably at the height of his powers" when he played for Manchester United and Real Madrid the world is still interested in him, according to Mr Borkowski.

"He is a role model and has become a star but it is still a young man's sport."

Beckham is a brand that will help give the club further leverage around the world with fans wanting to see the big names.

Mr Borkowski said: "It is a good team. It does position them to build the team's brand across all parts of the world. It is not just about success on the field but also success off the field and David Beckham can help with that notoriety."

In a statement issued this evening, Victoria Beckham said: "Myself and the children are incredibly proud and supportive of David and we are excited about spending time as a family in Paris over the coming weeks.

"We are passionate about supporting children's charities, and donating to a local children's charity in Paris is something we are delighted to do.

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