Mystery surrounds David Beckham's wages pledge as Paris children's charities are left waiting by PSG

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Former England captain joined the French league leaders in January

Paris

At the end of January, David Beckham and his new club, Paris Saint-German, made a public promise. All his wages – rumoured to be around €200,000 (£170,000) a week – would go to a children’s charity in the Paris area.

Ten weeks later, the charities, and the children, of Paris are still waiting.

“No decision has yet been made. We are considering various options,” Yann Guerin, the spokesman for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) told The Independent.

Should we expect a decision soon? Mr Guerin could not say. A spokesman for David Beckham says that a decision is likely in the next two or three weeks.

An investigation by The Independent this week has picked up no trace of any attempt by PSG to invite, or study, candidatures by children’s charities in the Paris area. Groups which have written to the club have received only a brief, pro-forma letter in response. No follow-up approaches have so far been made.

PSG is reported to have been “inundated” with requests from associations working with children, not just from the French capital but from all over the world. Sources close to the club, and to Beckham, say that PSG is already acquainted with the work of excellent children’s charities in the Paris area. It has no need to ask for specific projects or information. 

Six weeks remain to the end of the French football season and David Beckham’s contract with PSG expires at the end of June. The club would like him to sign again for the 2013-4 season but Beckham has yet to commit himself.

At his introductory press conference at the Parc des Princes on 31 January, Beckham said: “I thought what a great idea it would be, that the salary would go to a children’s charity in Paris… It’s something I’m not sure has been done before, and it’s something I’m very passionate about, children and the charity side of things, and so are the club.”

More than two months later, very little seems to have happened.

“We wrote to them straight away because we have already work for several years with the PSG foundation,” said Malika Tabti, secretary general of Secours Populaire, one of the largest charities in France. “We run several projects for children in the Paris areas, including one which creates sporting opportunities and holidays for deprived youngsters. We could help far more children than we do but we are always short of funds.”

Ms Tabti received a short letter from PSG in early February saying that they would be back in touch. Since then, she has heard nothing,

Is she disappointed at the delay? “This was obviously something decided in a great hurry and it will take time to put into effect,” Ms Tabti said. “After they made so much of the idea publicly, I am sure it will happen eventually. But it’s good that you are reminding them.”

Other children’s groups The Independent spoke to were somewhat less charitable. Martine Brousse is delegate general of La Voix d’Enfant, a nationwide children’s charity umbrella-association, with 12 kids’ projects in the Paris area.

“I can’t say I’m disappointed because it is what I expected,” she said. “I assumed that this was a publicity announcement, rather than anything concrete. I thought all along that if PSG did anything, they would set up their own charity so that they could control everything themselves.”

Sandrine Moutel is spokeswoman for a small charity called “Pas d’enfance sans vacances” – no childhood without holidays. The group gives up to 300 children from the more deprived, racially mixed suburbs of Paris seaside trips and Christmas presents. Its annual budget of €50,000 a year could be increased fourfold with a single week of David Beckham’s wages.

“Tell PSG and David Beckham we know lots of children who would be delighted to hear from them, “ Ms Moutel said.

A  spokesman for David Beckham told The Independent: “We have had hundreds of requests from Paris and far beyond. It takes time to go through all the possibilities and make sure that a seven-figure sum is spent in the best possible way.”

“I think we will be in a position to identify projects in Paris and maybe more widely in France by the end of this month.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment