Even in the crazy world of football, to pay someone £170,000 a-week, at the age of 37, is pushing the realms of incredulity to breaking point. But David Beckham is not just a footballer – he is a brand, a carefully created brand, a cash cow.
Beckham in his prime, it must be remembered, was a good footballer, but not a great one. Therefore it is testament to Beckham and his well-oiled marketing team that he can still demand the kind of wages that a top footballer gets now.
Beckham’s playing days, in the truest sense of the word, were at Manchester United and Real Madrid. So when he knew that his skills were on the wane, he joined LA Galaxy in the MLS retirement home to sell some shirts.
Incredibly that was not the end, as PSG offered him an amazing deal to play for them. And when Beckham pronounced that he would donate his wages, to a children’s charity, in France, the world swooned at this altruistic gesture.
However, by giving all his wages away, he will avoid the super-tax that France has levied on its super-rich. He has also only signed a five-month contract, which means that he is not classed as a resident, thus avoiding tax on his worldwide income.
His saintly attitude has gone down well everywhere but France. French MP Gerald Darmanin said: “I’d rather get 50% of a lot than 75% of nothing. He will be paid less than my parliamentary assistant!”
It gets worse: Le Figaro has started to refer to Beckham as a second-hand Rolls Royce. But Beckham fans do not worry. As a result of giving up his wages, PSG is going to put Dave up in the £15,000 a night Hotel Le Bristol, in the Imperial suite, while his family live in London to avoid the non-resident tax.
Bless you, David Beckham