Barcelona takes deal over Neymar transfer case

FC Barcelona has taken a deal over the transfer deal over their star forward, Neymar’s transfer case.

The Catalan club will pay a €5.5m fine over “an error in tax planning” following the signing of Neymar from Brazilian club Santos in 2013.

Earlier this month, Spanish prosecutors called for Neymar to be tried for fraud in relations to the case. They alleged that the player and his father hid the true value of the transfer from Santos to Barcelona.

The transfer fee paid by the La Liga club at the time was reported to be €57m, with €17m going to Santos and the remainder to Neymar’s parents.

Brazilian investment fund DIS, which held 40 percent of Neymar’s sporting rights at Santos, said it was deprived of its full share of the transfer as Barcelona had concealed the actual value of the deal.

Investigators have since claimed that the actual value was closer to €83m. The club denied the claim.

FCB made a voluntary tax payment of €13.5m in 2014 after being charged with tax fraud over the signing, but denied any wrongdoing.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu informed reporters there had been “a mistake… in tax planning” in connection with the transfer.

“We have had to accept paying a €5.5m fine due to a mistake in the 2011 and 2013 tax planning in the signing of Neymar,” Mr Bartomeu said. “It was better to accept this agreement than continue on with the uncertainty that has dragged on for a long time over the Neymar case.”

The deal was made after a vote by Barca’s board approves a pact to absolve both current president Josep Bartomeu and former president Sandro Rosell of wrongdoing with regard to the transfer.

Bartomeu was a vice president under Rosell when Neymar was signed in a complex deal involving multiple contracts. A tax probe was launched after a club member questioned the figures given for the Neymar deal.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian international is also being investigated for tax evasion in his home country.

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