The head of a third party investment fund which previously owned a share of Neymar's playing rights says he is not happy with 'just' the six million euros his company has received as part of the 86.2 million euros deal which brought the player from Santos to Barcelona last summer.
That transfer continues to be hugely controversial in both Spain and Brazil, with a court in Madrid currently investigating the possible “diversion” of money, and Sandro Rosell resigning as Barca president in the wake of the case and being replaced by former vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Neymar Senior defended his role in the transfer this week, but Santos president Odilio Rodrigues has said his club plans to go to court to gain a bigger share of the total monies which changed hands.
Now Jose Domingo Barral, the president of Brazilian supermarket business Sonda which controls investors DIS Esporte, has told Marca that his company wants a total of 18 million euros out of the deal, and a Barca representative has been negotiating a further payment since the transfer took place last summer.
“We began to ask ourselves what to do because if the transfer was for 57 million, then we were not due [just] six,” Barral said. “That is when Andre Cury appeared, representing Barcelona. We had a coffee with him and he made us an initial offer of four million euros to let the matter drop.
“We sat down and discussed to see what figure we were due according to the value of the player. We gave him a figure we believed we should receive. For us, that should be 12 plus the six we had already received. He went to six, that is to say 12 in total. We had three meetings with Andre Cury. The contract was already signed, it was an offer to avoid problems, to close mouths. We did not accept.”
The six million euros DIS have already received appears to be their 40 percent cut of the 17.1 million euros figure paid to Santos last summer, which Barcelona say is all that was due to the Brazilian club. Barral gave details of how his business first got involved in owning a 'share' in Neymar's rights.
“In March 2009, DIS bought from the father 40 percent of the rights of the player, and Santos the other 60 percent,” he said. “We paid five million reales [just over two million euros], plus commission. Neymar was then 15. There was a contract with Santos for five years, which was later extended to August 2015. It was signed by both parties. DIS signed with Neymar, with Santos and with [agent] Wagner Ribeiro.”
Santos subsequently surprisingly agreed to shorten the term of Neymar's deal to end in 2014, according to Barral, who also claims that negotiations and counter-offers for the player's 'rights' have been going on for years, with Barcelona and Real Madrid both involved.
“In September 2011, in three different meetings, Wagner Ribeiro and Neymar senior offered us eight million euros for DIS' 40 percent,” he said. “That was when Real Madrid appeared. Neymar's father wanted to buy the share, in theory, with the deposit he had received from Barcelona. Then there was an offer to Santos from Real Madrid.”
DIS is currently considering legal options as its view was that Santos did not have a legal right to sell a player to another club without the permission of the other 'stakeholders' in his rights, Barral said.
“In sporting matters, Santos is not obliged to tell us anything, but in financial matters they are,” he said. “Brazilian law says that to decide anything unilaterally you must have 75 percent ownership, and Santos only had 55 percent. Any agreement must be communicated to us. Nothing else is possible; it is a financial and civil matter.”
Meanwhile Jordi Cases, the Barca socio whose legal complaint began the ongoing court case in the Spanish capital and is now a household name throughout Spain, has told Marca that he would like to get his normal life back.
“I am very tired,” Cases said. “I would like it all to be over. For some days I have not been able to go to the pharmacy [where I work] because of the number of journalists at the door.”