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Neymar Sr. defends hefty Barcelona fee

Neymar’s father says he is happy to have all the details of his son’s complex transfer to Barcelona out in the open, and that the family actually gave up some money so that the player could move to Europe 12 months earlier than had been expected.

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The deal that brought Neymar Jr. to the Camp Nou last summer from Brazilian club Santos is now the subject of a court investigation in Madrid into possible “diversion” of money, with Sandro Rosell resigning as Barca president in the wake of the case.

Rosell and other Barca figures have always maintained that Neymar cost just 57 million euros, with the club taking the unusual step last Friday of revealing details of the transfer, saying that other payments made to Santos and Neymar Sr. were not strictly part of the main deal.

Neymar Sr news conference
Neymar Sr. is adamant he and his agency have done nothing wrong.

These “extras” included 40 million euros in “compensation” paid to N&N [the agency run by Neymar’s parents], 2.7 million euros paid to Neymar Sr. as commission, as well as other “commercial agreements” with “organisations connected to the player” -- covering areas such as marketing, scouting and development work in Brazil, which totalled another 8.5 million euros.

Neymar Sr. told ESPN Brasil that he was breaking his previous silence to clear up any confusion, and that if his son had waited another 12 months to leave Santos the final deal would likely have been even more lucrative.

“I am coming here to clear up all the situation of the contract,” he said. “Neymar was only going to leave Santos to go to Barcelona. My work was to strengthen the agreement. These 40 million euros were received because he left Santos before [his contract there ended].

“We had better offers. I do not want this to generate confusion. He could have left for free in 2014 and I would have made 120 million euros, because there were offers from other clubs of this value. I hope this is the last time I have to come out in front of the cameras to clear this up.”

On Tuesday, Neymar Sr. refuted allegations made by Santos president Luis Alvaro de Oliveira that negotiation with Barcelona was done without Santos' consent by publishing a copy of a letter, alleged to be from Nov. 8, 2011 from Santos and authorizing Neymar to negotiate with other clubs.

Neymar Sr. said he had agreed to the ending of a previous “confidentiality clause” -- allowing new Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu to make public that they were paying N&N a total of 51.2 million euros – in order to protect the family’s reputation, while maintaining that he had no worries about any tax issues which might now arise in either Europe or South America.

“I asked Bartomeu to take out the contract to protect the image of Neymar’s family,” Neymar Sr. said. “I repeat that I owe nothing to the taxman, not in Brazil nor in Spain, absolutely nothing. I hope they believe me as I want peace so that Neymar can play the World Cup this year free of speculation.”

The final deal between Barcelona and Santos was agreed in summer 2013, Neymar Sr said, and it was then that he had approached the Catalan club to get the 40 million euros in “compensation” which he was due.

“In 2013 Santos and Barcelona reached an agreement,” he said. “We just asked that Neymar was not placed towards another club before Santos. We asked again for Neymar’s choice, and he said Barcelona. The only thing missing was the agreement between Santos and Barca. It was reached for 17 million euros. I waited for the agreement between the clubs to lift my hand and ask for the compensation of 40 million euros which Neymar had.”

Neymar Sr. also had a message for Santos, whose president Odilio Rodrigues is under pressure to get a bigger share of the money that changed hands -- at least 86.2 million euros.

“We all want to take advantage of the sale of Neymar,” Neymar Sr. said. “Some wanted to row in one direction, others in another… I always said these negotiations would turn on the decision of Neymar. What are Santos complaining about? They took in a lot of money, and did not have to pay anything for him.”

Meanwhile, AS has reported that DIS, an investment fund that held 40 percent of Neymar’s “playing rights” until last summer, has opened “secret talks” with Barcelona, which could see the total cost of the player rise still further.

The Madrid-based paper claims that Barca have offered eight million euros, but DIS wants 20 million euros, or they will bring a case to court in Brazil.

DIS has far received 6.8 million euros [40 percent of the 17.1 million euros that went to Santos as the “transfer fee” part of the deal], but is reportedly confident that much more is due as it believes  neither Barca nor Neymar Sr had the right to negotiate over their “share” without the fund being involved.


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