I was assailed by some as a hopeless cynic last week when I dared wonder about David Beckham’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain – specifically about the philanthropic salary handoff.
At last week’s introductory news conference, Beckham said his salary would go to a local children’s charity. In fairness, any amount of money donated to service and good cause is certainly a worthy thing.
But was the gesture a little less grand and noble as it seemed? It’s not so far-fetched. After all, Beckham does have a full roster of handlers, agents, reps and story spinners who are invested in reaping as much sweet publicity fruit from every vine in the (now diminishing) Beckham vineyard.
How much, I wondered, of his total compensation was “salary,” and how much was in apparel sales, bonuses or some other high-dollar hocus pocus?
The Times of London did a little digging and, voila!
David Beckham’s financial footwork in moving to France was hailed as equal to his football skills yesterday after experts suggested that the deal had been structured to avoid a big tax bill.
The former England captain’s move to Paris Saint-Germain saw him dribble past France’s tax regime last week while portraying himself as a philanthropist.”
This piece from the Sports Business Daily is a good summation of the structure and numbers within Beckham’s deal.
Again, charity is charity and everything helps. And we could be talking about a lot of money going to local children. Still, it always seems tacky when athletes or celebrities want credit for their good works without being quite so open about the true details or the actual intent of the effort.