Spanish court to hear Neymar investor claim for more transfer money
A Spanish judge has agreed to hear a legal complaint filed by Brazilian third-party investors DIS, who claim they are owed many millions of euros from the controversial transfer of Neymar from Santos to Barcelona.
Reports in Spain say that a Madrid court has admitted a new lawsuit filed by DIS, who retained 40 percent of Neymar's rights before the move, with outgoing Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, predecessor Sandro Rosell, the club, the player, and his father all named in the suit.
The Spanish judge also ordered Manchester City, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to disclose the total of any bids they made for Neymar between 2009 and 2013 to determine whether Barcelona underpaid when signing him.
DIS alleges it was paid much less than it was entitled to when the player agreed to join the Spanish and European champions in 2013.
Barcelona, former president Sandro Rosell, incumbent Josep Maria Bartomeu, who is standing for re-election in July, Neymar, his father, Santos and two of the Brazilian club's executives were all named in the lawsuit, according to a court statement published on Wednesday. This is reportedly the first time that Neymar himself has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit linked to the transfer.
The suit is linked to another case being taken in the Spanish courts, in which prosecutors allege that the deal was structured in such a way to avoid the full taxes being paid. Barca initially claimed that the 'transfer fee' part of the deal was €17.1 million, with extra sums paid over being the player's salary and ancillary payments to a company owned by Neymar senior. It was recently announced that this case would now proceed in the Catalan courts.
The DIS case is, for the moment, being heard at the Madrid-based Audiencia Nacional (High Court). The investment group's chief Jose Domingo Barral has said that his company was paid just €6.8 million in total, and that Barca had initially offered some extra money when they first complained. A court will now decide if DIS should receive a much greater share of the full total which changed hands -- a sum which is now widely accepted to end up being close to 100 million euros in total.
Santos executives have also complained that their share was much smaller than it should have been.
Bartomeu, Rosell (who resigned in January 2013 when the investigations were beginning) and Neymar senior all maintain that, while the transfer was unusually complicated, no wrongdoing took place. Blaugrana directors past and present have also maintained that the inquiries into the deal by Madrid-based investigators are politically motivated.