David Beckham to give £4m PSG salary to children's charity

Former England captain joins super-rich Paris club on five-month deal - but could earn from merchandising

Paris

David Beckham's €10m-a-year (£8.5m) salary for his new club Paris Saint-Germain will be given to a children's charity here in the French capital, the player has announced.

After being presented like a rock or film star to a crowded press conference at the Parc des Princes, Beckham, 37, parried questions suggesting that he was now a highly paid icon rather than a footballer. "It's always for me about playing football," he said. "But 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."

Cynics might suggest that this is a neat way of avoiding the punitive new taxes on the super-rich which are to be introduced in France later this year. Beckham – greeted even at the press conference with cries of "Daveed, Daveed" and "Bravo!" – insisted that he had chosen PSG because he wanted to be part of the Qatar-funded plans to make the club "one of the greatest in the world".

Although Beckham signed only a five-month contract, he said that he had "discussed" the possibility of staying at the club in some sporting or promotional capacity when his playing career ends. No mention was made of what Beckham might earn from image and merchandising rights. His wages, which he will not claim, are understood to be around €800,000 a month.

After training with Arsenal in recent days, Beckham said that he hoped to make his debut in Ligue 1 "in the next few weeks" – but not this weekend or next. With only 15 league games remaining this season, Beckham's career with PSG – his fifth professional club – may amount to only a handful of matches.

Asked what he thought that he could bring to PSG on the field, Beckham said: "I have won 13 or 14 championships. I have played with some of the greatest clubs and greatest players in the world. I am still fit. I can run around and play just like I did when I was a 21-year-old. I haven't lost any pace because, to be quite honest, I was never a player who had much pace."

Beckham said that his wife and family would remain in London so that their three children could remain in their present schools.

Wearing a grey suit and grey tie, a big grin and a small beard, Beckham was asked if he could remember any French from his school days in Leytonstone. "Bonjour," he said. Asked why he had refused all offers from Premier League clubs, Beckham said: "I'm very lucky. I am 37 years old. I got a lot of offers [since his contract with LA Galaxy ended last month]. I got more offers than I ever had. At my age!

"I chose Paris because I can see what they are trying to do. This is an exciting city. It always has been. Now there is a club here which is going to be one of the top clubs in the world in the next 10 to 15 years. I don't say that I'm still going to be playing myself in 10 years' time."

He said there was never any question of his going back on his pledge when he left Manchester United that he would never play for another English club. "I had a wonderful time and lots of success at United," he said. "It's the team I support. I couldn't play for another club in England."

Beckham's arrival at PSG – with the club second in Ligue 1 and qualified for the knockout phase of the Champions League – received mixed reactions here. Some fans were delighted at the reversal of the usual one-way traffic in football talent across the Channel.

Others said that they thought Beckham was here for commercial and publicity reasons – for Qatari purposes as much for the promotion of PSG. "The fans will take a lot of persuading about Beckham," said Jean-Luc, proprietor of a sports bar in the shadow of the Parc des Princes, last night. "This is a PR deal, not a football deal. He will sell a lot of shirts but how many goals will he score?"

Arts and Entertainment
Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
Sport
Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast
Sport
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?