David Beckham is to take over as chief executive of troubled banking giant Royal Bank of Scotland, sources close to the megastar confirmed this morning.
'David feels that he can easily fit in these duties between photoshoots, shopping for his wife, and playing for both LA Galaxy and AC Milan, and after all, could he do a worse job than Fred Goodwin?' said his agent. 'David is reaching the end of his playing career now, and it's only natural for him to start thinking about a management role once he retires'.
Beckham himself was unavailable for comment, but City experts claimed this could be the start of a wide-ranging overhaul of personnel at the top of Britain's financial institutions. In the midst of the worst financial crisis since 1929 and corruption scandals on the scale of Bernie Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme, there is a clear shortage of greedy individuals whose reputations remain intact. The only astronomically overpaid profession left is Premiership football, so competition for top talent is focusing on the beautiful game.
'There is a global market for talent out there', said F. April, an economist at Chase Merchant BackFour in London. 'Financial institutions are desperate to pay over the odds for that person who will go the extra mile, and only footballers can seriously ask for 150,000 quid a week these days'.
Skeptics point out that footballers have no experience of the intricacies of world financial systems, but others suggest this could be an advantage. And perhaps the worlds of football and finance reveal unexpected parallels beyond their taste for generous compensation. 'After all, football managers are rewarded or sacked on a more or less arbitrary basis, and so are managers in the financial world', says Arthur Moustiers of KPMG. 'Avram Grant was fired just because one of his players missed a penalty last year, whereas Arsene Wenger is still in a job even though he hasn't won anything for years.'
Sources close to Manchester United suggest that Rio Ferdinand could be in line for the CEO spot at Barclays, whilst Didier Drogba is in talks with BNP-Paribas and Cesc Fabregas is already a non-executive director of La Caixa.