David Beckham putting pen to paper in a five-month unpaid deal with Paris St. Germain raised more questions than it answered.
The highly respected Englishman left LA Galaxy in November with the intention to embark on “one final challenge” before he brings his playing career to a close.
It was revealed that Beckham would play for free, with his would be salary being kindly donated to a children’s charity located in Paris. Nobody is questioning Beckham’s own generosity in this issue but one must address the club’s motives behind signing the 37-year-old in the manner in which they have.
Firstly, Beckham has been a free agent for months, so why didn’t PSG snap him up as soon as he was out of contract with LA Galaxy? Unless of course, there were multiple offers Beckham was considering, the entire move was an ingenious way to get the ambitious French team the global exposure they desire on one of the busiest days in the annual footballing market.
Beckham is unlikely to be match fit for at least another couple of weeks, and even when he is, it is unlikely he will be in the starting XI given the intensity of midfield competition. Of course, there is plenty Beckham can bring to the training ground – in his experience, professionalism and charisma – but the deadline day move was clearly a publicity stunt to trump the big money moves of Mario Balotelli to AC Milan and Christopher Samba to QPR.
As mentioned, nobody is questioning PSG’s and Beckham’s generosity in donating his wages to a children’s charity. But PSG are a club who is gaining an increasingly bad reputation for forking out astronomical amounts of money for their first team players, and donating Beckham’s wages to charity serves as a friendly reminder that the club aren’t just all about paying footballing mercenaries such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura to collect a couple of items of silverware.
The links with Qatar also have to be addressed. With PSG’s owners part of the Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) and the country being set to host the World Cup in 2022, signing Beckham on a five-month contract will reap rewards long after his time at the club expires. Qatar are looking to increase their international image through football, so what better way than to sign the ultimate shirt seller?
In his press conference, Beckham made it clear he wanted to be a part of the club’s future and it could well be the case that the former England captain adopts a role similar to the one Patrick Viera currently holds at Manchester City.