KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS —- A day after the resignation of Sandro Rosell, Barcelona’s new president Josep Maria Bartomeu has come clean: The Neymar deal will end up probably costing €95m and NOT the €57m originally claimed.
Bartomeu had been vice-president under Rosell who quit on Thursday evening after a catalogue of controversies topped off by the Neymar transfer over which the club faces a court claim for misappropriation of funds.
A string of recent media revelations indicated that Rosell, former ISL Spain and Nike executive, had become so determined to outflank deadly rivals Real Madrid in pursuit of Neymar that Barcelona agreed a complex network of advance payments and commissions to the Santos club and various agencies associated with the Brazil superstar.
Rosell had insisted to the last, in his resignation statement, that “the signing of Neymar Junior has been correct and his signing has caused despair and envy among some of our adversaries.”
The new revelations by regional football director Raul Sanllehí, at Bartomeu’s direction, exploded that claim.
Sanllehi said he was able to speak up because Neymar’s father – the player’s personal manager and business partner – had waived confidentiality clauses in the various contract documentation.
The final nail in Rosell’s presidential coffin had been a report in El Mundo on Monday claiming that the true cost of the transfer was €95m. The club has admitted now to €86m leaving a difference of €9m which corresponds to the sum due if Barcelona do not play two contracted friendlies.
Incorporated in the deal was a €10m pre-transfer deposit plus €40m to N&N (Neymar & Nadine), the father and mother’s own management company. Sanllehí also clarified that the player was guaranteed a minimum salary of €8.8m for each of his five seasons at Camp Nou plus a signing-on bonus of €2m for each season plus an agent’s commission worth €2.7m. There was also a down-payment to Santos on first right to sign three other players from the Brazilian club.
The new figures indicated that the total operation, without counting the cost of the friendlies, would be €86.2m. Also on offer is a €2m bonus if Neymar is a finalist in the FIFA World Player of the Year awards.
Bartomeu also addressed the court case prompted by club member Jordi Cases and which named the new president, the former president and finance director Javier Faus.
He said: “Javier Faus and I signed the contracts about which the club is accused but that does not mean we did anything wrong or anything of which to be ashamed because it was for the good of the club and was undertaken perfectly legally. We have no doubt that it is correct. Do we resign? No way. We did not do anything wrong.
“Of course we respect the judges and the member who brought the complaint but we think we’ve done the right thing.”
Bartomeu, who has said he wishes to see through the Rosell mandate to 2016, said he saw “no reason for early elections.”
The new vice-president will be Jordi Mestre, previously responsible for youth football and Barcelona B.