A Brazilian court has rejected an injunction brought by Neymar’s former club Santos requesting access to all the documents relating to the player’s controversial transfer to Barcelona last summer.
Santos announced this week that the club had taken legal action to secure the documents after contacting both Barca and Neymar’s father to try to clarify exactly how much was paid to whom during the transfer, but failing to receive satisfactory explanations.
Santos have said they will now appeal the verdict.
Barca -- who have admitted that they paid out a total of 86.2 million euros when signing Neymar last summer but say the “transfer fee” constituted only 57.1 million, with only 17.1 million of that going to Santos. Figures released by the Spanish side said Neymar Sr. received the other 40 million as a “penalty payment” that was due because the transfer broke an earlier agreement that the move should take place after the attacker's contract with Santos ended in 2014.
The player’s camp continue to maintain that everything in the transfer is above board, and the player’s official website has published a scan of the court verdict rejecting Santos’ request to see all contracts signed between Neymar and Barcelona.
“It does not seem at this moment that [Santos] has a legal right to obtain this paperwork,” the document says, while also appearing to suggest Barca had a legal right to negotiate directly with Neymar even when he was under contract at Santos. Under FIFA rules, players may not talk to other clubs until they enter the last six months of their existing deal unless their current club gives permission for negotiations to take place.
Santos immediately announced via their official website that the club would appeal the latest court decision, adding that their suit had sought “to obtain said documents so they can be analysed” so that the club would have “knowledge of the reasons that justify the receipt of sums by the companies mentioned without the knowledge of Santos FC and the other parties with an economic interest in the athlete Neymar Jr.”
The details of the complex deal released by Barca also include a “collaboration agreement” with Santos worth 7.9 million euros, as well as 8.5 million euros paid to Neymar Senior for services related to marketing, scouting and development work in Sao Paulo.
Sandro Rosell, who stepped down as Barcelona club president in the wake of the controversy, and successor Josep Maria Bartomeu could still both be called to testify in a court investigation into the transfer, which is ongoing in Madrid.