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SBD Global/February 25, 2013/People and Pop Culture

French Tax Authorities Probe Deal That Brought David Beckham To PSG

Less than a month after his arrival, France's tax authorities "are probing the multi-million pounds deal" that brought DAVID BECKHAM to Paris St. Germain, according to Peter Allen of the London DAILY MAIL. PSG Dir General JEAN-CLAUDE BLANC admitted that a "formal discussion" was already taking place with France's "fiscal administration." Beckham has "strictly limited his contract to five months, kept his family based in London, and -- most crucially of all -- said that he will pay his nominal salary to charity." All of this enables both Beckham and PSG to "concentrate on making millions from the player's image rights and other commercial activities, while paying far smaller taxes abroad." Blanc said, "PSG wanted to keep government charges to a minimum, claiming that 'the largest possible amount' would go to a children's charity." French conservative MP GERALD DARMANIN mocked Beckham's "charity" salary, saying: "He will be paid less than my parliamentary assistant!' Be serious!." A spokesperson for the French Treasury said, "we cannot discuss individual cases," but confirmed that all "high-worth" individuals working in France would be "scrutinised" (DAILY MAIL, 2/24).

CHINA COMING:
CHINA DAILY's Sun Xiaochen reported Beckham is coming to promote the Chinese Super League, but how far his ambassadorship role will go toward helping cure Chinese football's "damaged image abroad remains to be seen." Although the Chinese FA has not made the official announcement, Beckham's "highly-anticipated China tour, in which he will be appointed the CSL's ambassador," was confirmed by the Int'l Management Group. an IMG official said, "Yes, we are indeed organizing his visit to China as the ambassador." According to a Beijing Youth Daily report, the CFA "expects Beckham to attend the opening ceremony of the 2013 CSL season on March 8 as the league celebrates the 20th anniversary of the country's top-tier league" (CHINA DAILY, 2/22). The AFP wrote fans say rebuilding the football's shattered image in China "may be too big a challenge even for him." Installing Beckham as an international ambassador "will do little to address the core problems of the competition, which is battling to overcome match-fixing and bribery scandals" (AFP, 2/22).

FIRST TIME: MARKETING MAGAZINE's John Reynolds wrote supermarket chain Sainsbury's is to use brand ambassadors David Beckham and swimming Paralympian ELLIE SIMMONDS for the first time in a TV ad for its Active Kids campaign. The TV ad kicks off on Tuesday and features both individuals supporting the nationwide initiative that "helps children lead healthier and more active lives" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 2/22).

BECK-CAM: In London, Lee Bryan wrote Beckham's anticipated debut for PSG has "whipped French football fans into such a frenzy that a dedicated 'Beck-Cam' has been set up to follow his every move." A total of 40 cameras and 300 technicians were drafted "to cover Beckham's big day, but there will be an additional camera focused entirely on the man himself." Beck-Cam followed the former England captain's every movement, "from the moment he turns up at the Parc des Princes to the point he enters the field of play, whether from the start or as a substitute, as is expected" (DAILY MAIL, 2/24).
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