Friday, February 21, 2014

Barcelona FC charged with tax fraud over Neymar's transfer

A spansih court has filed a suit against FC Barcelona for committing tax fraud over the transfer of Brazilian forward, Neymar. From inception, there has been questions surrounding what exactly was paid, to whom and when regarding Neymar's high-profile move to the Catalan capital from Santos in the close of the season.

Barca admitted Neymar had cost 86.2 million euros ($118.6 million), including payments to the player and his family, and not 57.1 million as they originally said, after the club’s former president, Sandro Rosell, stepped down last month amid allegations of misappropriation of funds.

Barça denied wrongdoing after local media reported on Wednesday that Spain's public prosecutor had asked Judge Ruz to lay fraud charges against the club.

"Judge Pablo Ruz has charged FC Barcelona with an infringement against the tax authority relating to the purchase of the Brazilian player (Neymar)," a spokesman for the Madrid court hearing the case said on Thursday.

"The club's actions have, at all times, regarding that operation (to sign Neymar) and in line with the available information, been fully compliant with existing law," Barça said in a statement. The Spanish champions added they would be sending legal representatives to court "in the coming days" to defend their rights and interests. "At the same time [Barça] states its complete availability to collaborate with the justice authorities in this process, as it has been doing from the first moment, or in any other that might require its intervention."

Sandro Rosell, who was named in the lawsuit but denies wrongdoing,stepped down as President last month. In his statement after his resignation, he said wanted to protect the club's image and alleged he and his family had been threatened. Rosell was replaced by his deputy Josep Bartomeu who said Neymar cost Barca €86.2m, including payments to the player and his family, and not €57.1m as they originally said.