BARCELONA: Legal problems are far from over for Barcelona’s Brazilian superstar Neymar amid ongoing speculation that he may be looking for a route out of Spanish football at the season’s end.
Neymar, his parents, Barcelona and Santos, current and former Barcelona presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell plus ex-Santos president Odilio Rodrigues have been named by a High Court court statement as being scheduled to face a corruption trial in Spain.
This concerns the ongoing confusion around the value placed on Neymar’s 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona.
Altamiro Bezerra, a legal adviser to Neymar and the NN holding company put a positive spin on the decision, saying: “We are very happy as this was a favourable decision for us. It has eliminated the question of fraud in the contracts and we are also certain that we will be absolved of corruption.”
The case stems from a complaint by DIS, a Brazilian company that owned 40pc of the rights to Neymar when he was at Santos. It argues it lost out on its rightful cut from the transfer because the true value of the deal was understated.
Prosecutors said in November that Neymar should be fined €10m and handed a two-year jail sentence. For first-time offenders in non-violent crimes, sentences of up to two years are generally suspended so he would serve any time in detention.
Barcelona said at the time of Neymar’s move that the transfer figure was €57.1m of which €40m.
DIS received a 40pc share of the remaining €17.1m paid to Santos but the court has ruled the actual value of the rights transferred at €25.2m euros, and said DIS’s cut should have been based on that amount.
Last June, Barcelona agreed to pay a fine of €5.5m euros to the Spanish authorities to settle a related tax fraud case.