BARCELONA: Spanish champions Barcelona have agreed to pay a fine of €5.5m as punishment for two charges of tax evasion over the transfer of Brazilian superstar Neymar from Santos in 2013.

In a short hearing legal director Roman Gomez Ponti submitted to a Barcelona court an agreement which had been in negotiation since last July.

Under its terms the club accepted having committed two criminal offences, in 2011 and 2013. President Josep Maria Bertomeu and his predecessor, Sandro Rosell, have both been acquitted after denying charges which could have carried jail terms.

The Catalan club had already paid €13.5m in damages and costs and recognised this deal as final and binding.

Income stream

In 2011 Barcelona paid €10m as a down-payment to the player’s family company, N & N (Neymar and his father) on a subsequent transfer of the player and then a further €40m in 2013. The prosecution had objected that the sums were effective salary payments rather than transfer fees.

An action for tax evasion in 2014 was dropped.

** Spanish newspaper El Mundo has said that it is considering a request from the tax authorities to hand over documents, published in the last fortnight, concerning the tax affairs of Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The newspaper is among 12 media outlets, including Germany’s Der Spiegel and the UK’s Sunday Times, to have reported on the financial affairs of a numebr of high-profile clients of Jorge Mendes’s Gestifute agency.

All have denied wrongdoing.