David Beckham signing is small change for mega-rich PSG owners

Qatari backers have spent over €250m in two years to transform club into European force

Nasser al-Khelaifi, the president of Paris Saint-Germain, quite possibly found the money to pay for David Beckham's sojourn in the French capital down the back of one of his smartly upholstered sofas. For a man who last summer oversaw a spending spree virtually unmatched in football and who has counted out more than €250m (£214m) in transfer fees since taking up his position, this is small change. This is the club that has put the riche in nouveau riche.

It may, by Khelaifi's standards, be a cheap deal – Zlatan Ibrahimovic takes home €15m a year having cost €23m as part of last summer's spree – but it is another block laid in the attempt to briskly build a football empire that can challenge any in Europe. The hoo-ha that surrounds Le Spice Boy, the global interest, the global shirt sales, is as much what Khelaifi wants out of the deal as what Carlo Ancelotti gets for use on the field.

Khelaifi represents the club's owners, the Qatar Sports Investments, which in itself is a vehicle for the Qatari government and the country's Olympic committee. QSI took over the club in 2011, initially buying a 70 per cent stake from the US group Colony Capital and then adding the remaining 30 per cent last year in a deal that valued the club at €100m.

The spending since has been heady enough to make even the cash-rich across the Channel weep with envy; €30m on Napoli's young Argentine Ezequiel Lavezzi, €42m on Thiago Silva, €43m on Javier Pastore and finally €45m on the 20-year-old Sao Paulo forward Lucas Moura.

It has yet to earn a return on the field. Montpellier pipped PSG to the league title last year and although they currently top the table, it is on goal difference from Lyons, with Marseilles, and Joey Barton, in hot pursuit. There is a Champions League meeting with Valencia looming this month.

What the influx of Qatari cash has done though, is make domestic domination all but inevitable. Their spend accounted for 70 per cent of the French market in the summer and while clubs like Montpellier, the champions, and Lille, their predecessors, were moving their main men on – Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard respectively – PSG were going against the norm.

The club recently completed a deal worth €150m a year, rising to €200m in year four with – no surprise here – the Qatar Tourist Authority. It means, claim the club, Uefa's financial fair play box will be ticked.

Paris All-stars: PSG signings

David Beckham is the latest high-profile arrival at PSG since the French club were taken over by Qatari investors in June 2011.

Lucas Moura Brazilian cost £38m from Sao Paulo.

Javier Pastore Pacy Argentina midfielder was brought for £35m from Palermo.

Thiago Silva Brazil centre-half, 28, arrived last summer for £36m from Milan.

Ezequiel Lavezzi Argentina winger cost £25m from Napoli last summer.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Temperamental but talented Sweden striker cost £19m from Milan in July.

Jérémy Ménez Joined from Roma in 2011 for £7m.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there