Chinese football is mired in scandal. After Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba bolted back to Europe in light of payment issues, China’s top soccer official resigned in disgrace and 58 others were banned for life thanks to a sweeping match-fixing investigation. The Chinese Super League could do with a bit of good pub. Luckily, they know just how to get it: Pay David Beckham a truckload of money to be an “ambassador.” Boom, don’t call it a comeback. Well, actually, do.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “But didn’t Beckham just sign with PSG?” Yes, he did. But it’s only a five month contract, and besides, this is David Beckham. He can be in Paris playing for PSG and getting super slomo’d on French television one minute, and in China being super ambassador guy at the kickoff of the CSL the next.
The former England captain, who has recently moved to Paris Saint-Germain for six months, will get the amount for a part-time job attending photocalls and parties to restore the sport’s shattered image in China after devastating match-fixing scandals, the Daily Star reports.
Beckham, who is nicknamed as ‘Little Becks’ in China, has been invited to the CSL’s opening ceremony on March 8, the report added.
According to sports marketing expert Rod Kohler, Beckham’s appointment is another winning move from the star’s management team.
Kohler added that with his reputation in China, Beckham will be taken on by Chinese football authorities for any amount, and will probably be paid as much as a world-class player.
Wait, “Little Becks”? Why is he “Little Becks”? Do the Chinese people know something we don’t? Have those underwear ads been lying to us all these years?
The price tag for David Beckham to single-handedly revive the fortunes of your soccer league is £50,000,000. It appears that the ambassadorship is the idea of IMG, the sports management group that recently joined forces with the Chinese state television network to promote Chinese soccer. And he doesn’t even have to play.
I have no doubts that Beckham showing up at the CSL’s opening ceremonies (location TBS; apparently no club wants to host them) will make everyone forget about that troublesome not-paying-their-players thing and the small issue of rampant match-fixing. Seriously, no doubts.