MADRID: The Neymar tax fraud case is continuing to distract Barcelona’s directors while the football team look forward to the Champions League Final in Berlin next month writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
President Josep Bartomeu, his predecessor Sandro Rosell and the club have all been committed to stand trial on charges of tax evasion by Judge Jose de la Mata. Bartomeu, Rosell and the club all deny any wrongdoing.
Bartomeu was a vice-president under Rosell when Neymar was signed from Santos in 2013 in a complex deal involving multiple contracts with the player and his father.
The two and the club are alleged to have defrauded the tax office of €13m. Prosecutors are seeking jail terms of two years three months for Bartomeu and 7-1/2 years for Rosell, plus fines and payments of outstanding taxes totalling more than €60m
The cost of the Neymar deal has been calculated at €95m, a sum denied by Barcelona which had claimed an initial valuation at €57m. Later the club conceded that the contract had been worth €86.2m.