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French politicians call for salary cap on Beckham’s expected €10m at PSG

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-12-30

As Parisians await the arrival of English football favourite David Beckham with bated breath, some French politicians have voiced concerns over his expected €10 million salary, which they say should be capped.

David Beckham, his designer wife and their four children are eagerly awaited in Paris, where they are expected to move once a deal has been signed between the football star and Qatari-owned team Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG).

One of the world’s most famous footballers, Beckham is already a multi-millionaire; believed to be worth around 170 million euros. French newspapers report that his contract with PSG (yet to be finalised), will total 700,000 euros a month, or nearly 10 million euros a year, sparking outcry among some French politicians.

Beckham in numbers

• Beckham’s contract with Adidas could be worth around $160million dollars over his lifetime – the biggest endorsement deal ever signed.
• During his four years at Real Madrid Beckham earned the club a total of €440million in merchandise sales.
• According to the 2011 Sunday Times Rich List Beckham is worth an estimated $219million


Conservative UMP member Jacques Remiller started the ball rolling last week when he proposed an enquiry into footballers’ salaries, saying that he, “like most other citizens”, was “stupefied” by Beckham’s expected salary.

Socialist parliamentary leader Jean-Marc Ayrault agreed, telling French TV channel iTélé that his own party had already put forward a proposal to cap footballers’ wages. “I’ve had enough of these enormous salaries,” he said. “We must revisit this [issue].”

Frédéric Lefebvre, a UMP member and secretary of state for business, was less critical, suggesting that while footballers received “unbelievable” salaries, their careers were also “very short”. “Let’s see what Beckham brings to [PSG] before we decide whether it’s in the club’s interest or not,” he added.

Conservative Nicolas Dupont-Aignan offered one answer to that question. Saying he was “more than a little shocked” by Beckham’s expected salary, the former UMP member suggested the 36-year-old player had been recruited for his ability “to sell T-shirts rather than play football”.

French Industry minister Eric Besson, played down the concerns, saying that the global football icon would pay almost half of his salary to the taxman.

But "if he comes to France, Beckham will pay around 50 percent in tax in France”, Besson said on the fringes of a visit to a French commerce website on Thursday.

"Would it be better for him to pay it in (tax) London rather than Paris? Personally, I'd prefer if he paid it in Paris."

Date created : 2011-12-30


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