Santos president Odilio Rodrigues has said his club intend to take Neymar Sr. to court to claim a share of a 40 million euro payment he received as part of his son’s move to Barcelona last summer.
The transfer is currently under investigation by a Madrid court over the possible “diversion” of money, but Neymar Sr. defended his role this week, saying that all the money he received had been accounted for.
Neymar Sr. said he received 40 million euros in the form of a “penalty clause” payment, which was apparently owed to the Neymar family as a result of the Brazil international moving to the Camp Nou 12 months earlier than had been previously agreed. According to figures released by Barcelona on Friday, another 11.2 million euros was paid for the marketing, scouting and development work he was hired to do
Santos, meanwhile, received a 17.1 million euro payment for the transfer fee, which the club had to share with third-party investors DIS Esporte and Teisa.
At a news conference in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, Rodrigues said he was not fully happy with the explanations the Brazilian club had been given.
“Yesterday, we asked them to send us all the documents relevant to the negotiation,” Rodrigues said. “Neymar’s father called me and said he would come and see me. He explained the same as had been said in the press, and he gave me some details. I asked him for the documents and he told me that he could not due to the confidentiality clause. He could speak about it, but not hand them over. Santos is going to file a complaint and expect a response.”
Rodrigues said he had been “surprised and indignant” and also “suspicious” when he heard that Barcelona had paid 57 million euros to sign Neymar, as he had previously thought the full fee was just the 17.1 million euros that Santos had received.
“Although he had a contract until 2014, Neymar was not happy and wanted to leave in 2013,” Rodrigues added. “Then he called us, we showed him the two offers we had, and he opted for Barcelona. There the agreement was closed.
“The first proposal was 16 million [euros]. We said no and later they offered 17.1 million, plus two more if Neymar was among the three candidates for the Ballon d’Or while at Barca. We received the money, we paid the percentages to DIS and Teisa, and we were surprised some time later when the Barca vice-president [Josep Maria Bartomeu, now club president] said he had cost 57 million. That provoked surprise and indignation. A difference of 40 million makes everyone suspicious.”
When asked about the 40 million euros, Rodrigues said former Barca president Sandro Rosell had told Santos that this payment was a private affair that did not concern the Brazilian club.
“Sandro Rosell responded to us with a copy [of a letter] he also sent to FIFA in which the 17.1 million for Santos was confirmed,” he said. “It said that the other 40 had nothing to do with our club, because they were personal payments related with the negotiation which he did not identify.”
Barcelona have announced publicly that they paid out a total of 86.2 million euros for Neymar in the summer, although they insist that 57 million euros is the transfer fee for the player and that other sums are for other not strictly related services or issues.
One of these is a “collaboration agreement” with Santos worth 7.9 million euros, which would give the Catalan side first option to sign three further -- unnamed -- young players coming through at the Brazilian club. The two clubs also agreed to play two money-spinning friendlies.
DIS had criticised the transfer early on and warned it could also take legal action. AS reported on Wednesday that Barca had begun ‘secret talks’ with the investment fund to try to reach an agreement that would keep the matter out of the Brazilian courts.