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?"

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss