The Neymar Case

The Neymar Case

The scandal involving the transfer of Neymar from Santos FC to FC Barcelona has reached a new pinnacle. As the German Internet sport’s portal Transfermarkt.de reported on Tuesday the actual sum of the transfer could now reach €158.3 million, which will make this move the most expensive transfer in football history. The reason for the sharp increase in transfer costs is not the actual sum that Barcelona transferred to Santos in the summer of 2013, but the financial penalties that have accumulated due to the fact that Barcelona did not pay the proper taxes on the original transfer. According to the Spanish sports paper Marca, the original transfer of the player consisted of two components: €17.1 million to Santos FC and €40 million to N&N, a company run by Neymar’s parents. But on top of the €57.1 million come additional costs, which include a €10 million bonus payment to Neymar, and another €2 million because Neymar was voted as one of the 23 finalists in this year’s Ballon d’Or. Marca also mentions additional costs and bonus payments, which add up to a staggering €106.2 million. Former club officials are now under investigation as these costs far surpass the transfer costs that the club claimed to Spain’s tax authorities. The transfer is now scheduled to go before court, and the Spanish tax authorities have asked for a penalty of €25.1 million from former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, as well as a €22 million penalty from the club itself. Current president Josep Maria Bartomeu is also under investigation for the transfer, as he purposely understimated the value of the transfer €13 million below the actual costs. For this he may receive a penalty of €3.83 million. Both Rosell, and Bartomeu also face potential prison sentences over the transfer as prosecutors have asked for 7 years from Rosell, and 27 months for Bartomeu. But more importantly all these additional coasts will bring up the transfer sum to €158.3 million. While the overall transfer costs of one of the worlds largest stars have risen to a level that could see Neymar being the most expensive signing in football history, his home club Santos has received a relative small share of the actual fees. Santos received €17.3 million - a laughable sum for a player of Neymar’s calibre. In actual fact, however, Santos may have earned even less on the transfer as Neymar had signed a secret agreement with Barcelona in 2011. In this agreement Neymar’s father received €10 million from Barcelona, in order to guarantee the signature of the Brazilian who at the time was still under contract at Santos. Initially Neymar was supposed to move on a free contract to Spain in 2014, as his contract would have been up. Neymar’s father used this clause, which is strictly speaking considered illegal by FIFA, to force Santos to sell the player in order to receive transfer compensation from Barcelona. While the Neymar Case is perhaps the most high profile transfer scandal, the dealings around the Neymar transfer are in many ways exemplary for the murky transfer practices that involve the transfer of South American talent to European club football in general. By Manuel Veth-

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The scandal involving the transfer of Neymar from Santos FC to FC Barcelona has reached a new pinnacle. As the German Internet sport’s portal Transfermarkt.de reported on Tuesday the actual sum of the transfer could now reach €158.3 million, which will make this move the most expensive transfer in football history.

The reason for the sharp increase in transfer costs is not the actual sum that Barcelona transferred to Santos in the summer of 2013, but the financial penalties that have accumulated due to the fact that Barcelona did not pay the proper taxes on the original transfer.

According to the Spanish sports paper Marca, the original transfer of the player consisted of two components: €17.1 million to Santos FC and €40 million to N&N, a company run by Neymar’s parents. But on top of the €57.1 million come additional costs, which include a €10 million bonus payment to Neymar, and another €2 million because Neymar was voted as one of the 23 finalists in this year’s Ballon d’Or.

Marca also mentions additional costs and bonus payments, which add up to a staggering €106.2 million. Former club officials are now under investigation as these costs far surpass the transfer costs that the club claimed to Spain’s tax authorities. The transfer is now scheduled to go before court, and the Spanish tax authorities have asked for a penalty of €25.1 million from former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, as well as a €22 million penalty from the club itself.

Current president Josep Maria Bartomeu is also under investigation for the transfer, as he purposely understimated the value of the transfer €13 million below the actual costs. For this he may receive a penalty of €3.83 million. Both Rosell, and Bartomeu also face potential prison sentences over the transfer as prosecutors have asked for 7 years from Rosell, and 27 months for Bartomeu. But more importantly all these additional coasts will bring up the transfer sum to €158.3 million.

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Marca’s transfer calculations

While the overall transfer costs of one of the worlds largest stars have risen to a level that could see Neymar being the most expensive signing in football history, his home club Santos has received a relative small share of the actual fees. Santos received €17.3 million – a laughable sum for a player of Neymar’s calibre. In actual fact, however, Santos may have earned even less on the transfer as Neymar had signed a secret agreement with Barcelona in 2011.

In this agreement Neymar’s father received €10 million from Barcelona, in order to guarantee the signature of the Brazilian who at the time was still under contract at Santos. Initially Neymar was supposed to move on a free contract to Spain in 2014, as his contract would have been up.

Neymar’s father used this clause, which is strictly speaking considered illegal by FIFA, to force Santos to sell the player in order to receive transfer compensation from Barcelona. While the Neymar Case is perhaps the most high profile transfer scandal, the dealings around the Neymar transfer are in many ways exemplary for the murky transfer practices that involve the transfer of South American talent to European club football in general.

By Manuel Veth

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