BARCELONA: Spanish prosecutors have applied to the courts for Barcelona to be charged with tax offences over between 2011 and 2013 over the signing of Brazilian superstar Neymar writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The deal, variously described as worth either €57m or mininmally €95m, led to the resignation last month of Sandro Rosell as president of the Spanish champions.
Prosecutors have submitted a claim that club documents “confirmed the existence of a series of economic transactions with various companies” and evidenced fabricated contracts.
Payments under suspicion of ‘creative accounting’ concerned €10m in 2011 and €27.92m in 2013 which may attract tax but “do not correspond to . . . a number of stated amounts.”
Hence the club owed €9,100,800 in undeclared taxes because it had circumvented rules and regulations about income tax for non-residents.
Barcelona responded with a statement insisting that the club had always been in “full compliance” with the law.
One issue in the latest case is the role of Neymar’s father – who is also his personal manager – in setting up at least four companies which appear to have benefited from the transfer.
The issue came to court initially when a Barcelona member, Jordi Cases, registered a court complaint against Rosell alleging misappropriation of funds in the signing of Neymar from Santos last summer.
Rosell has appointed one of Spain’s most noted criminal lawyers, Ignacio Ayala, to defend him.
Barcelona had hoped that Rosell’s resignation would draw a line under the scandal but the latest application would implicate his successor, Josep Maria Bartomeu and finance director Javier Faus.
Bartomeu had been vice-president when he signed the first transfer deal contract on behalf of Barcelona on November 15, 2011.