BARCELONA: The Spanish tax authorities are claiming that Barcelona evaded the payment of €9.2m in the signing of Brazilian World Cup superstar Neymar last summer writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The law states that a court can impose a fine of up to six times the sum defrauded. Hence, if guilty, Barcelona could have to pay a fine of up to €54.
This is alleged in a charge document handed over to Judge Pablo Ruz in the High Court. This is slightly more than the original estimate on which the case was initiated.
Judge Ruz has summoned former club president Sandro Rosell plus a legal representative of the club to appear before him on June 13. The taxman will have considered by then whether to include a further €2.6m claim for tax due this year.
It has yet to be decided whether current president Josip Bartomeu, finance director Javier Faus and Neymar’s father/agent should also appear.
Further uncertainty concerns sums referenced in some of the other contracts undertaken in the transfer of Neymar from Santos.
According to the tax authorities, Barcelona owe €9.2m for not declaring sums paid under contract to the player before his formal arrival at the club. These totalled €10m in 2011 and another €27.92m last year.
The €9.2m represents 24.75pc of the €37.9m which Barcelona paid to businesses controlling Neymar and which the tax office believes were not part of the transfer fee but salary cor the player.