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).
On the 20th anniversary of the death of legendary English footballer BOBBY MOORE, FA Chair DAVID BERNSTEIN remembered the former England captain in an op-ed piece in the SUNDAY TIMES. Bernstein wrote, "Bobby was the man who led England to our ultimate moment of football glory. He embodied the best of the game and remains an eternal credit to his family, friends and everyone involved with West Ham United. Twenty years on from his untimely death the nation’s pride in his memory should not be diminished. On the contrary, I believe that over the passing of time the magnitude of his achievements have been put into their significant perspective. He was simply one of the nation’s greatest-ever footballers. I am aware the FA has been criticised over its treatment of Bobby once he retired from football. It saddens me that this is the case, and while I am not privy to exactly what happened at the time, it is clear to me the organisation could have done more. Over more recent years the FA has worked very closely with the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK, also now in its 20th anniversary year. We will continue to work with Bobby’s charity and its campaign this coming year, at England home matches and at the FA Cup semi-finals and final. I encourage all fans to text to donate and Make Bobby Proud in support of the life-changing work being done by Cancer Research UK (SUNDAY TIMES, 2/24).
FA judicial panel member PAUL ELLIOTT, who has been in the vanguard of English football’s Kick It Out campaign since '96, "resigned from the ant-racism organisation" and the FA Saturday "after a row erupted because he called another black man 'n*****,'" according to Peter Boyle of the SUNDAY TIMES. The 48-year-old Elliott, who played for Chelsea, Aston Villa and Celtic, "used the term in a text tirade" against former Charlton player RICHARD RUFUS. Referring to a business venture that went wrong, he told Rufus: "Ur a stupid man n*****." He added, "You dog. Ur history my friend." Elliott, who became the first black player to be made a CBE in the '12 birthday honors list for his services to equality and diversity in football, having been made an MBE in '03, rounded off his message with the warning: "This will follow you scumbag." The row is an embarrassment for the FA and Chair DAVID BERNSTEIN, who recently praised Elliott, remarking that he was "an example to us all" (SUNDAY TIMES, 2/24). A statement released by the FA on Saturday read: "The FA has today accepted the resignation of Paul Elliott from all roles representing the organization. This follows a conversation in which discriminatory abusive comments were made to Richard Rufus." Norwich City Manager CHRIS HUGHTON, the only black manager in the EPL, said: "It is very difficult for me to comment on the circumstances, because I do not know them, but I do know Paul Elliott very well." Ligue 1 Olympique de Marseille midfielder JOEY BARTON tweeted: "Is that the same Paul Elliot that sat on the discipline panel that handed me a 12 match ban? He was taking himself ever so serious back then, with all his clueless FA buddies. I cant help but gloat at his downfall" (London DAILY MAIL, 2/24). A statement from Elliott read: "Earlier this week, a former friend and business colleague, made public a text message I sent him, in which I used a term which is widely known as being derogatory to my own community. I regret using it; it is inappropriate and not part of my everyday vocabulary. As an advocate of high-standards of public behaviour, and integrity in public life, I know the use of this word sends out mixed messages and contradicts my position as a Kick It Out trustee" (BBC, 2/23). Bernstein said, "The use of discriminatory language is unacceptable, regardless of context. It has made Paul's position untenable. I wish to thank Paul for his dedicated and unstinting work, particularly in the area of anti-racism. I am saddened by this turn of events. It is with regret we accept Paul's resignation" (London INDEPENDENT, 2/24).
Nimbus Sport has appointed SUNIL MANOCHA, an experienced sports industry professional with more than 20 years of experience across sales, business development, TV production, rights distribution and sponsor servicing as chief operating officer. Manocha replaces YANNICK COLACO completing a leadership transition at Nimbus Sport. Colaco has joined the NBA as its India managing director (Nimbus Sport). ... Retired freestyle skier JEAN-LUC BRASSARD "will serve as Canada's assistant chef de mission" for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics (CANADIAN PRESS, 2/22).
Premier League Swansea City Manager MICHAEL LAUDRUP has assured supporters that he has "no ambition to manage clubs like Real Madrid or Chelsea, both of whom he has been linked with recently." Laudrup said, "I have a lot of ambitions with the team I have, but I have no special dream to go to a top team" (London INDEPENDENT, 2/24). ... ANDY MURRAY and TIM HENMAN are "set to team up to help raise money for the cancer centre treating Murray's good friend," ROSS HUTCHINS. The Aegon Championships will play host to "Rally Against Cancer" -- with an all-star doubles match scheduled to take place on finals day to raise money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which supports The Royal Marsden, the world-leading cancer center (London MIRROR, 2/21). ... Real Madrid striker CRISTIANO RONALDO is "refusing to extend his contract" with the club with a source close to the Portuguese saying that he "would jump at the chance" to rejoin ManU. He remains "unhappy with many aspects of his experience at the Spanish champions" and ManU, Paris St. Germain and Manchester City are all monitoring his position (SUNDAY TIMES, 2/24). ... Boxer DAVID PRICE's promoter FRANK MALONEY collapsed in the Liverpool Echo Arena after the post-fight press conference. Price had been stopped in the second round by American TONY THOMPSON suffering a perforated eardrum, "his hopes of a world title shattered" (London TELEGRAPH, 2/24). ... Lawyers predicted the family of killed model REEVA STEENKAMP "could start a civil legal case" against OSCAR PISTORIUS. JUNE and BARRY STEENKAMP could launch an action for negligence because Pistorius "admitted he shot their daughter through his toilet door without first checking where she was in his home in Pretoria." A British lawyer said, “From what Pistorius has revealed so far, there are certainly very strong grounds for her family to seek compensation for her death on the grounds of his negligence” (London EXPRESS, 2/24). ... Three member pop group JYJ, consisting of KIM JAEJOONG, PARK YOOCHUN and KIM JUNSU have been named as publicity ambassadors for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games (Incheon Asian Games). ... Martin Offiah MBE will be the official ambassador for the Rugby League World Cup 2013 tournament that kicks off on Oct. 26. Offiah will promote the tournament, particularly in London ahead of the RLWC2013 semifinals at Wembley Stadium (RLWC2013).
Sunday Times' DAVID WALSH: "Feel sorry not for LA but for those who didn't dope and never had a chance. The people he would have regarded as losers."
Sky Sport News HD's TORBEN HOFFMANN: "Gratulation Jupp #Heynckes zum 1000. Bundesligaspiel als Spieler und Trainer! Chapeau! 6:1 #fcbsvw #fcb #ssnhd #Sky" ... ("Congratulations Jupp #Heynckes to your 1,000th Bundesliga game as player and coach! Chapeau! 6:1 #fcbsvw #fcb #ssnhd #Sky")
The Independent's SAM WALLACE: "Can't wait for those big heaters on the touchline on the tunnel side of the Wembley pitch to come on. It's freezing here"
The Guardian's DAVID CONN: "Swansea Supporters Trust was crucial in saving the club in 2001, have owned 20% since, elect a director, instrumental in all the club does."