David Beckham accused of ‘Probity-Ringing’
The former Manchester United star admitted his charitable work was a conscious effort to win an honour
David Beckham tried to use his UNICEF charity work to win a knighthood, explosive emails reveal shocking alleged probity-ringer real David Beckham
David Beckham’s multi-million pound image was shattered last night after damning emails revealed he used charity work as part of a desperate campaign to win a knighthood.
In a series of bombshell leaks, the football legend branded the honours committee “unappreciative c****” and dismissed lower awards, ranting: “Unless it’s a knighthood f*** off.”
As reported by a number of European media outlets, including L’Equipe, the furious star also:
- Initially refused to use his own money to fund his charity and turned down millions of pounds in work to raise money for UNICEF
- Demanded UNICEF pay for a £6685 business class flight despite his sponsors splashing out on a private jet
- Set up a sham segment on the Jonathan Ross chat show to raise the prospect of a knighthood
- Backed the “stay” campaign in the Scottish independence referendum to win favour with “the establishment”
- Moaned that his involvement in the Ingenious tax avoidance scheme was hampering his chances
- Raged when singer Katherine Jenkins was handed an OBE
- Wants to add to his fortune by being one of the first civilians to go into space
The former England captain turned philanthropist and businessman raged at the failure of officials to make him Sir David and admitted his charitable efforts were a conscious effort to win an honour.
One of his closest advisers even said his work with UNICEF and other good causes had “a halo effect” for the 41-year-old star.
The cache of leaked messages between Beckham, who currently holds an OBE, and his closest aides could see his reputation shattered as it reveals the concerted efforts to win favour from the honours committee and the public.
Messages also suggest he forcefully backed the ‘stay’ campaign in the 2014 Scottish referendum in a bid to appeal to “the establishment” and raise his chances of being rewarded with a gong.
After missing out on a knighthood in 2013, the footballer – who has an estimated net worth of £280million – wrote a furious email to his long-time PR man Simon Oliveira, raging that classical star Katherine Jenkins had been handed an OBE writing: “Katherine Jenkins OBE for what? Singing at the rugby and going to see the troops plus taking coke. F***ing joke.”
Jenkins has previously admitted to taking drugs in her past, including cocaine and ecstasy, and confessed “curiosity got the better of me”.
And railing at the honours committee, the organisation who recommend worthy recipients for titles, in December 2013, Beckham also blasted: “They’re a bunch of c**** I expected nothing less. Who decides on the honors?
“It’s a disgrace to be honest and if I was American I would of got something like this ten years ago.”
In response, Oliveira wrote to Beckham’s agent and best friend David Gardner: “This gives us even more reason to work this year on Unicef, the armed forces, and other charitable commitments.”
He also advised Becks to “remain positive” in public, and avoid the temptation to direct jibes or critical comments at the committee in public adding: “We need to remain dignified if asked, but if you want me to work up something cutting I will work up one, but my advice is it’s not productive.”
But his efforts hit a road block when HMRC clamped down on the use of the Ingenious scheme used by a host of celebrities, including Beckham, to reduce their tax bill.
The financial loophole involved investing in loss-making companies to offset tax obligations, and officials are said to have been concerned that his involvement was not compatible with him becoming Sir David.
The shocking dossier about the star, considered the golden boy of British sport and an international charitable icon, was obtained by the European Investigative Collaborations network and Der Spiegel, which were then published yesterday across Europe on respected newspaper websites including L’Equipe in France and El Mundo in Spain.
The UNICEF ambassador told host Kirsty Young: “It’s not for vanity. I want to get involved, it’s important that I do this.”
Last night Oliveria told The Sun the information was “stolen and hacked”.
David Beckham was also warned from posting a pic of his gold laptop by his advisers – who wanted him to be a “man of the people”.
David Beckham became involved with UNICEF in 2005, launching his own fund with the charity in 2015 to help protect children in danger.
He also met with the UK’s former Prime Minister David Cameron, calling for more action to help children affected by malnutrition.
As part of his work with the charity, Beckham has visited the Philippines after it was hit by Typhoon Haiyan, as well as visiting South Africa to raise awareness for children living with HIV and AIDS.
The Beckham family are said to have a wealth of more than £500million – equal to that of the Queen.