FC Barcelona fined, but avoids trial on Neymar transfer deal
A Spanish court on Tuesday ratified a deal that leaves FC Barcelona with a 5.5-million-euro ($6.2 million) fine but avoiding trial on tax evasion charges over Brazilian footballer Neymar’s contested 2013 transfer.football Updated: Dec 20, 2016 20:21 IST
A Spanish court on Tuesday ratified a deal that leaves FC Barcelona with a 5.5-million-euro ($6.2 million) fine but avoiding trial on tax evasion charges over Brazilian footballer Neymar’s contested 2013 transfer.
The agreement, reached in July, lifts any threat of Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell facing possible criminal proceedings that could lead to jail terms.
The deal between the club and Spanish prosecutors was confirmed on December 14 after an appeal against it by another former president, Joan Laporta, was rejected.
Neymar’s arrival from Brazil’s Santos has been a huge success for the Spanish champions on the pitch but a judicial nightmare off it.
The 24-year-old Brazilian striker is currently being investigated in Brazil and Spain over his move to La Liga.
Barcelona originally published the transfer figure as 57.1 million euros, with 40 million euros of that given to the player’s family. But Spanish authorities believe the true transfer figure was at least 83 million euros.
In November, Spanish prosecutors recommended that the Brazil striker be handed a two-year jail sentence and a fine of 10 million euros for alleged corrupt practices.
The case initiated with a complaint from Brazilian investment company DIS, which owned 40 percent of Neymar’s sporting rights at the time of his transfer.
DIS received just 6.8 million euros, 40 percent of the fee paid to Santos, with the company claiming it was cheated of its real share because part of the transfer fee was concealed by Barcelona, Santos and the Neymar family.
Sentences of two years or less are habitually suspended for first time offenders in Spain.