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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 19:23 GMT
The 275 million dollar man

By Mihir Bose
BBC sports editor

David Beckham
Beckham's deal could be the biggest of all-time
David Beckham is set to become the first modern footballer to have a stake in the football club he plays for - and share in its profits.

"Golden Balls" - as the tabloids call him - may not have a golden share but he will make money from LA Galaxy, possibly as much as $10m (5.14m) a year in profits.

Insiders I have spoken to have painted a fascinating picture of the astonishing $250m (128m), five-year deal he has signed with the Los Angeles team.

Indeed Beckham could earn more than $250m, perhaps as much as $275m, over the period of his contract.

I understand his yearly income from next season, when he leaves Spain for America, will be:

  • An annual salary of $10m

  • His existing sponsorship contracts with his four sponsors - Motorola, Pepsi, Gillette and Volkswagen - are estimated to be worth $25m

  • His merchandising shirt sales will bring in $10m

  • His share of the club profits: $10m

    That adds up to $55m. Multiply it by five and you get $275m.

    Hence the bold claim made by his commercial agent Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment, who holds the rights for the Beckham brand.

    He told me: "I have long dreamt of being responsible for the biggest sporting deal. With the help of David Beckham and his unique sporting talents I have helped achieve my aim."

    Beckham may no longer dream of playing for England.

    He may end his career in the relative soccer backwaters of the United States.

    But if his agent's calculations are right, he will go out dreaming of the millions that will pour into his bank while he vanishes from the European stage he has dominated for so long.

    The world's highest-earning sports stars

    Below are the highest-earning athletes according to Forbes in June 2006. Beckham's new annual income of $55m would put him third on the list.

    1 Tiger Woods (Golf) $90m

    2 Michael Schumacher (Formula One) $58m

    3 Phil Mickelson (Golf) $47m

    4 Kobe Bryant (Basketball) $31m

    5= Shaquille O'Neal (Basketball) $30m

    5= Valentino Rossi (Moto GP) $30m

    7= Alex Rodriguez (Baseball) $29m

    7= Tom Brady (American Football) $29m

    9 Carson Palmer (American Football) $28m

    10 David Beckham (Football) $27m

    Beckham's rollercoaster ride
    11 Jan 07 |  Football
    Beckham agrees to LA Galaxy move
    11 Jan 07 |  Football
    Beckham tops football's rich list
    06 Dec 06 |  Football
    LA Galaxy admit Beckham interest
    06 Nov 06 |  Football
    Beckham England timeline
    11 Aug 06 |  Football
    MLS paves way for big-name buys
    11 Nov 06 |  Football
    Beckham wants to end career in US
    11 Apr 06 |  Football
    McClaren ends Beckham England era
    11 Aug 06 |  Internationals
    Beckham quits as England captain
    02 Jul 06 |  England
    Beckham puts off retirement talk
    09 Feb 06 |  Internationals


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