A Guide to Neymar's Transfer & Ensuing Legal Battles

A Guide to Neymar's Transfer & Ensuing Legal Battles

The entire Neymar transfer and ensuing legal action can be confusing. This should help clarify matters a little bit. There’s still a lot of extraneous detail omitted from this summary but I've linked to a chronological guide of every court action in the conclusion if you're interested. Case 4 is the one to pay attention to.

KEY PLAYERS

Santos owned 55% of Neymar's rights. They sold 40% to DIS Esporte in Feb 2009 and 5% to Teisa in Nov 2010. Both are private investment firms. Other key players are Barcelona FC, the Neymar family and Jordi Cases, a Barca socio. Jordi's complaint kicked of a lot of investigations.

Sandro Rosell was President of Barca and Josep Bartomeu was his VP. Now Bartomeu is President and Javier Faus is his VP. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is Bayern Munich's director.

Judge Pablo Ruz initially led Spanish investigations, now they're being led by Judge Jose de la Mata. Brazil investigations into Neymar are being run by Judge Carlos Muta. Jose Perals is a Spanish prosecutor.

BASICS

It was reported in Dec 2011 Barca paid Santos €10m for preferential rights i.e. the right to sign Neymar at any point upto 2014. Some reports said €14m, some reports said that a fee of €58m had been agreed at the time.

West Ham, Bayern, Chelsea, City and Madrid all bid for Neymar at various points between 2008-2013.

Neymar moved to Barca in June 2013, for a reported fee was €57.1m. Initially, Barca reported a €17.1m payment to Santos who paid 45% out to DIS and Teisa, Barca also reported a €40m payment to Neymar's family. They later admitted the actual fee was €86.2m

CASES

1. DIS Esporte v Santos.

DIS' investors were angry they only got €9.7m out of the deal. They didn't believe Santos when Santos said they only received €17.1m for the transfer.

The week after the transfer in June 2013 they got a court order for Santos to show their financial documents and found out that Santos had in fact only received €17.1m for Neymar.

BUT, they also found a €7.9m payment from Barca for the preferential rights to 3 other players. Santos/Barca claimed this was unrelated. There is also a clause that if Barca doesn't play a friendly vs Santos while Neymar is a Barca player, Barca will have to pay €4.5m.

IMO, sounds like a dubious way for Santos to keep money away from DIS/Teisa who should normally get 45% of the cut.

2. Jordi Cases v Barca

Jordi Cases is a disgruntled socio (club member), a pharmacist from the town of Olesa near Barcelona. In Dec 2013 he sued the board for misappropriation of funds claiming Barca paid more than €57m. This civil case started off investigations by the state.

Judge Pablo Ruz agreed to hear the case, Sandro Rosell resigned the next day in Jan 2014. In the wake of this resignation, Barca (Bartomeu who just came into power) paid a quick €13.5m payment to make case number 5 go away in Feb 2014 (see below).

The courts found the actual fee was €86.2m. Jordi wanted Bartomeu (new President) and Javier Faus (the VP) to be part of the investigation too. He had sued the board the year before as well as co-head of a supporters' group.

Jordi dropped the suit in Oct 2014 because didn't want people using the case to opportunistically sue Barca. He didn't expect he'd actually manage to get Rosell to resign that easily.

3. Spain v Bartomeu and Faus

Judge Pablo Ruz from case 2 decided to investigate Bartomeu and Faus. Prosecutor Jose Perals dropped the case in Sep 2014 and Judge Pablo Ruz agreed. Bartomeu is facing investigation in regards to this transfer under the bigger case that includes Rosell (see below).

Prosecutor Jose Perals said in the case of the alleged tax crimes, responsibility falls to the club as a whole and Rosell, as he was president at the time.

Judge Pablo Ruz said there was no point pursuing charges against Bartomeu and Faus who had signed certain incriminating documents. Ruz ruled there was not enough evidence to suggest that the two had “actively participated in the facts under investigation”.

4. Spain v Rosell & pals

THE BIG CASE. This is the one still running. Judge Pablo Ruz from case 2 decided to investigate Rosell as well as Barca, Bartomeu and the entire transfer at National court level. Rosell is very dodgy, he's under investigation in Brazil as well. More on that later.

The prosecution has asked for 2 years and 3 months in prison for Bartomeu, 7 years and 6 months to Rosell, and fines for both of €3.8m and €25.1m respectively. As for Barcelona, the request is that the club return €11.4m to public coffers and pay a fine of €22.2m.

Judge Jose de la Mata is now leading investigations, in early May 2015 he ordered the court to begin drafting a proposed indictment against the defendants and ruled there is enough evidence to begin a trial.

In May 2015 Mata then overturned a decision by Judge Pablo Ruz to have the centralised 'Audencia Nacional' hear the case, opting instead to send it to Barcelona where it will be heard in a Catalan court. Naturally, Barca were delighted. Bartomeu is claiming conspiracy, people are saying this is an attack on Catalonia. IMO, smart move by Mata as it keeps the focus on tax dodging and doesn't let Rosell and Bartomeu cynically use Catalonia tensions to distract from their own mischief.

In July 2015 Bayern Munich's director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge testified in Germany to the Spanish investigation. Bayern had an interest but never formally submitted a bid. Mata is seeking documentation from Real Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Manchester City regarding offers they made to Santos for Neymar between 2009-13 to determine Neymar's market value. Real Madrid have complied but neither Chelsea nor City have responded.

In Sep 2015 a Freezing Order was issued by Judge Carlos Muta of a federal Brazilian court due to alleged Tax Evasion between 2011-2013 by Neymar in relation to money paid to him by Barca. (see case 8 below)

In Oct 2015 Mata used 2 appeals committees in Brazil to request testimony from the former Santos directors Luis Alvaro de Oliveira and Odilio Rodriguez, but has not received a response. He's willing to take statements or send a judicial committee to Brazil to hear testimony like he did for Rummenigge.

5. Spain vs Barcelona FC re tax

In Feb 2014 Judge Pablo Ruz charged Barca with "an infringement against the tax authority." Barca allegedly committed tax fraud claiming the transfer fee was €57.1m, later admitting this was €86.2m.

Barca director Raul Sanllehi stated the transfer on its own had cost €57.1m including €17.1m to Santos and €40m as a "compensation fee" paid to the company owned by Neymar's parents. He also detailed other payments around the transfer such as a signing bonus of €10m and various other fees paid to the family that took the total cost to €86.2m.

In Feb 2014 Barca voluntarily made a €13.5m tax payment. This particular case was soon dropped. Barca in an official statement claimed they did nothing wrong but that they were just making the payment:

"to cover any potential interpretation made concerning the contracts signed in the transfer process for Neymar, although we remain convinced that the original tax payment was in line with our fiscal obligations."

Imo, utter bullshit. They got caught, taxman got paid, everyone walked away but the club's hands are not clean at all. It's going to bite them in the ass with the current open big case. (see case 4 above)

6. Santos v Neymar & pals

In May 2015, in the wake of info uncovered by the Spanish investigation by Judge Pablo Ruz, Santos filed a complaint with FIFA against Barca, Neymar, Neymar jr and the company Neymar Sport and Marketing.

This is a contractual dispute. They want a sports court/tribunal organised by FIFA to settle their claim because they had been paid €17.1m under the assumption the total fee was €57.1m. Now that it's known that the fee is €86.2m they believe their contract entitles them to a greater share. Naturally, DIS and Teisa are very interested in this since hey get 40 and 5% respectively of anything Santos wins.

The terms of the contract are not public and the ruling, if it makes a tribunal, will hinge on a matter of construction so we have no idea of who's probably in the wrong and who's likely to succeed.

In Oct 2015 it’s been reported that one of the parts of Santos’ complaint involves asking for Neymar to be suspended for 6 months. Santos accuse Neymar of acting in bad faith and infringing Article 62 of the Disciplinary Code FIFA, which deals with corruption.

Santos also accuses Neymar of breaching arts. 17(3) and 17(5) of the Rules of FIFA Players Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP). Article 17 deals with “consequences of terminating a contract without just cause.” It’s “provisions apply if a contract is terminated without just cause.”

Art 17(3) In addition to the obligation to pay compensation, sporting sanctions shall also be imposed on any player found to be in breach of contract during the protected period. This sanction shall be a four-month restriction on playing in official matches. In the case of aggravating circumstances, the restriction shall last six months. These sporting sanctions shall take effect immediately once the player has been notified of the relevant decision. The sporting sanctions shall remain suspended in the period between the last official match of the season and the first official match of the next season, in both cases including national cups and international championships for clubs. This suspension of the sporting sanctions shall, however, not be applicable if the player is an established member of the representative team of the association he is eligible to represent, and the association concerned is participating in the final competition of an international tournament in the period between the last match and the first match of the next season. Unilateral breach without just cause or sporting just cause after the protected period shall not result in sporting sanctions. Disciplinary measures may, however, be imposed outside the protected period for failure to give notice of termination within 15 days of the last official match of the season (including national cups) of the club with which the player is registered. The protected period starts again when, while renewing the contract, the duration of the previous contract is extended.

Art 17(5) Any person subject to the FIFA Statutes and regulations (club officials, players’ agents, players, etc.) who acts in a manner designed to induce a breach of contract between a professional and a club in order to facilitate the transfer of the player shall be sanctioned.

This 6 month ban action is … reaching tbh. They’re not using art 17 in a way that’s likely to be successful. Prima facie it seems vexatious but it’s hard to take a stance on construction without being able to see the actual contract in question. It’ll be interesting to see what evidence they present in regards to Neymar’s violation of contract.

7. DIS Esporte vs Neymar & pals

DIS have also taken legal action against Barcelona, Neymar, Neymar jr and the company Neymar Sport and Marketing in light of this new transfer fee information.

In June 2015 Judge Jose de la Mata agreed to hear the case.

8. Brazil vs Neymar & pals

In Sep 2015 a Freezing Order was issued due to alleged Tax Evasion by Neymar in relation to Barca money.

A São Paulo federal court froze assets of Neymar, his family and related businesses valued at 188.8m Brazilian reals (£31.3m). Neymar is alleged to have evaded 63m reals (£10.5m) in Brazil taxes between 2011 and 2013.

Judge Carlos Muta said Neymar declared assets worth only 19.6m reals (£3.2m), adding that “he is solely responsible for the income declaration.” The judge accused the 23-year-old of “omitting sources of income from abroad”. Barcelona Football Club was cited as the source of unreported money.

The judge froze three times that amount for security reasons and to cover potential interest and fines, according to a judicial order explaining the seizure. The action covers property and vehicles and is a preventive measure to stop the player selling assets before the case is settled. He will still have access to bank accounts and other liquid assets. Fun fact, Neymar's Brazilian assets total 244.2m reals (~£41.5m). Probably worth a lot more across the board with European assets and assets hidden under trusts, other family members’ names, shell corporations etc.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

This was fun, here’s a handy chronological guide in Catalan but Google translate handles it well enough.

The Messi tax evasion and fraud is even more complicated and dodgy. Never a dull day at Barca.

BONUS ONGOING ROSELL SCANDAL, Brazil v Portugal friendly in Nov 2008

Ricardo Teixeira. President of WC organising committee, member of FIFA's executive committee, chairman of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) since 1989.

Article, The Economist:

Teixeira’s associates received millions from the event. Around the same time they appear to have signed contracts committing them to pay large sums to Mr Teixeira for purposes that remain obscure.

6 months before the match Sandro Rosell became a director of Ailanto, a sports-marketing firm in Rio de Janeiro set up shortly beforehand.

Rosell has been doing business with Teixeira for years: he moved to Brazil as Nike's director of sports marketing in 1999 to manage the company's relationship with the CBF.

A week before the match, the government of the Federal District signed a contract to pay Ailanto 9m reais ($4m at the time) for the marketing rights and for other loosely defined services, including arranging transport and accommodation for both teams' players. (The then governor of the Federal District, José Roberto Arruda, was later imprisoned and charged by the Federal Police over corruption relating to other matters.)

That deal is now being investigated for padding and corruption. The public prosecutor's office in Brasília says that receipted expenditure relating to the game was only around 1m reais—and that in any case the Football Federation of Brasília (FBF), an affiliate of the CBF, had paid. It also says that, although the Federal District government bought the rights to the game, the money from ticket sales went to the FBF.

Brasília's police force searched Ailanto's premises in Rio de Janeiro, seizing documents.

Alongside these deals run three others whose purposes are not immediately obvious. The Economist has copies of what appear to be the contracts for all three. One dated March 2009 commits Vanessa Precht, a Brazilian who formerly worked at Barcelona FC and who was Mr Rosell's partner in Ailanto, to leasing a farm in the state of Rio de Janeiro from Mr Teixeira for 10,000 reais a month for five years. Rede Record, a Brazilian television network, visited the farm in June and could find nobody who had heard of Ms Precht. Two Brazilian congressmen have called for an investigation to establish whether the deal was a way for Ms Precht to return to Mr Teixeira some of the money Ailanto earned from the Brazil-Portugal friendly.

The other two contracts were signed separately in July 2008 by Mr Teixeira and Mr Rosell with Cláudio Honigman, a financier who is a partner of Mr Rosell's in a different Brazilian sports-marketing company, Brasil 100% Marketing. Mr Honigman undertook to pay each man 22.5m reais to buy back options on 10% of the shares in Alpes Corretora, a São Paulo brokerage, which the contracts state he had previously sold to them. A spokesman for Alpes Corretora has told The Economist that Mr Honigman never had any interest in any shares in the company.

So when are these kind of things going to be incorporated into career mode on FIFA

Lol updates to career mode, good one.

Thanks so much for this. You put a lot of time and effort into it and it shows <3

It's much more detailed than what I've written about the main investigation (case 4) and fairly objective/factual summary of the case.

The author doesn't really make any subjective statements, she's literally just summarising the facts of the case.

Username checks out

this is brilliant and complicated I will have to look more into it later. I wonder if they're sweating because of all the corruption cases at FIFA. unfortunately I dont think we will be seeing anyone getting punished. maybe some fines they wont have trouble paying or some poor guy will take all the blame and the others will plead ignorance

OP, I'd add Barça's explanation on the total cost of Neymar: http://i.imgur.com/6vakNRG.jpg

Basically:


Compensation to Neymar: 40M
Friendlies: Free (they say free but they have to play 2 friendlies, one in Barcelona and one in Brazil. They've only played the 1 in Barcelona, if they don't play the other one in Brazil this next summer they'll have to pay 4.5M more)
Bonus if Neymar finish in the Top 3 Fifa World Player: 2M
Tranfer fee for Santos: 17.1M
Signing bonus for Neymar: 10M
Agent comission: 2.7M
Marketing agreement with Neymar's Company: 4M
Payment to Neymar's Foundation: 2.5M
Agreement with Santos for preferential rights in 3 future signings: 7.9M
Payment to Neymar's father to scout players in Brazil: 2M


TOTAL: 86,2M + 13.5M in not payed taxes = 99,7M + (4,5M if they don't play the friendly in Brazil next summer + 2M Top 3 FWP + future fines (25,1M for Rosell + 3,8 for Bartomeu + 22,2M for Barcelona))

Apart from the obvious ones to hide money from DIS (those 7.9M to Santos for preferential rights for example) and to hide money from Santos (all the agreements with Neymar's companies), the funniest one IMO are the 40M as a compensation to Neymar. Barcelona signed an agreement with Neymar committing themselves to sign him in 2014 after the World Cup, if either party broke the agreement, that party should pay 40 million to the other. Since there were clubs interested in Neymar in 2013, Barça was forced to sign him in 2014 and signed him in 2013 instead, so they effectively broke the agreement with Neymar and had to pay him 40M. If they had waited one year they could've saved those 40M, if any other team had signed Neymar in 2013, Barça would've received 40M.

edit:

IMO, none of this was done to avoid taxes, after all the taxes aren't that high. All this was done to:

a) Hide money from Santos and DIS by absurd side agreements. Neymar signing cost for Real Madrid was 150M including the 40M Neymar would've had to pay Barça for breaking the agreement. For Real Madrid and for any other team in the world including Barça.
b) Play the 'look at us we are so intelligent card' with their fans. After years of criticizing Madrid's policy of high transfers, it wouldn't look good to suddenly pay 150M for a player, so first they claimed Neymar cost was only 17.1M (lol), then they had to admit it was 57.1, later it was 86.2M and after the fines and taxes who knows.

OP, I'd add on the total cost of Neymar: http://i.imgur.com/6vakNRG.jpg

Basically:

Compensation to Neymar: 40M Friendlies: Free (they say free but they have to play 2 friendlies, one in Barcelona and one in Brazil. They've only played the 1 in Barcelona, if they don't play the other one in Brazil this next summer they'll have to pay 4.5M more) Bonus if Neymar finish in the Top 3 Fifa World Player: 2M Tranfer fee for Santos: 17.1M Signing bonus for Neymar: 10M Agent comission: 2.7M Marketing agreement with Neymar's Company: 4M Payment to Neymar's Foundation: 2.5M Agreement with Santos for preferential rights in 3 future signings: 7.9M Payment to Neymar's father to scout players in Brazil: 2M

TOTAL: 86,2M + 13.5M in not payed taxes = 99,7M + (4,5M if they don't play the friendly in Brazil next summer + 2M Top 3 FWP + future fines (25,1M for Rosell + 3,8 for Bartomeu + 22,2M for Barcelona))

Apart from the obvious ones to hide money from DIS (those 7.9M to Santos for preferential rights for example) and to hide money from Santos (all the agreements with Neymar's companies), the funniest one IMO are the 40M as a compensation to Neymar. Barcelona signed an agreement with Neymar committing themselves to sign him in 2014 after the World Cup, if either party broke the agreement, that party should pay 40 million to the other. Since there were clubs interested in Neymar in 2013, Barça was forced to sign him in 2014 and signed him in 2013 instead, so they effectively broke the agreement with Neymar and had to pay him 40M. If they had waited one year they could've saved those 40M, if any other team had signed Neymar in 2013, Barça would've received 40M.

edit:

IMO, none of this was done to avoid taxes, after all the taxes aren't that high. All this was done to:

a) Hide money from Santos and DIS by absurd side agreements. Neymar signing cost for Real Madrid was 150M including the 40M Neymar would've had to pay Barça for breaking the agreement. For Real Madrid and for any other team in the world including Barça. b) Play the 'look at us we are so intelligent card' with their fans. After years of criticizing Madrid's policy of high transfers, it wouldn't look good to suddenly pay 150M for a player, so first they claimed Neymar cost was only 17.1M (lol), then they had to admit it was 57.1, later it was 86.2M and after the fines and taxes who knows.

he should have just sign for West Ham instead

The Neymar Case Explained

The prosecutor asks for the following sentences:

For FC Barcelona

For tax evasion corresponding to the year 2011, a fine of €4,800,000;

For tax evasion corresponding to the year 2013, a fine of €13,572,105.80;

For tax evasion corresponding to the year 2014, a fine of €3.830,645.68.

For Josep Maria Bartomeu

For tax evasion corresponding to the year 2014, a period of two years and three months in prison and a fine of €3,830,645.68;

For Sandro Rosell

For tax evasion corresponding to the year 2011, a period of three years and three months in prison and a fine of €4.8 million;

For tax evasion corresponding to the year 2013, a period of three years and six months in prison and a fine of €20,358,157.62;

For corporate crime, a period of nine months in prison.

TLDR: The prosecution has asked for 7 years and 6 months in prison to Rosell, and fines of €25.1m

Strange to me why such a huge organization would want to cut corners and be as dodgy as they're being. I know they have debt, but this would lead to many more problems.

I always wanted an M rated sports game with a career mode. Can you imagine having to deal with one of your star players killing someone in a drunk driving accident?

"Your forward developed a cocaine addiction, what do you want to do?" or "Your team captain fucked his mate's wife, how do you want to deal with this?" would be fun issues to handle

They did add training this year which I like.

Almost everything in the article is a TLDR of something much bigger, it's hard to sum it up any more without being overly reductionist.

While I enjoy what they have added (preseason tournaments give me a reason to play those games) it's the existing problems that suck such as having to sometimes play 4-5 games in one week.

I'm mean is it really that hard for them to update the broken scheduling AI, or is it a case of that's not a back of the box feature so it doesn't get the time of day.

They're making more money than they can count on Ultimate Team. They want to make that as awesome and enthralling as possible to keep people coming back.

For those who want to play out their fantasy of playing for Scunthorpe United, bringing them to the Premier League, and getting transferred to Barcelona for £50m, well...go fuck yourself.

One (superficial) element of it. It's the angle that can be most easily proven with the most easily available evidence and fewest jurisdictional problems and most potential tax return (litigation can be expensive for the state).

You also have to consider:

Conspiring with Neymar family to hide actual fee from Santos.

Conspiring with Santos to hide actual fee from DIS/Teisa.

Conspiring with Neymar family to hide actual fee from the tax man.

Then there's the Neymar family's own elaborate tax evasion in Spain and Brazil.

Not to mention Rosell and Bartomeu's massive breach of fiduciary duty which is one of the most serious breaches of law you can commit (hence the prosecution pressing for long prison sentences and mandatory jail time)

This article does a good job summarising the reasons for structuring of the initial deal. I suspect there may have been more corrupt motives than simply circumventing board control of spending though if I'm being honest but this will be the argument the prosecution runs with because this can be proven.

Once the negotiations were concluded, Rosell and Bartomeu decided to publicly state that the cost of acquiring the player was €57.1 million (the €40 million agreed on in 2011 and €17.1 million paid to Santos FC for his federative rights). This decision was caused by the fact that on May 14, 2013, the Club’s Board had agreed to spend a maximum of €70 million on the transfers made in the summer of 2013.

The prosecutor considers that the additional contracts signed between FC Barcelona and Santos FC, and FC Barcelona and other companies, were designed to hide the real cost of the transfer and had no real purpose other than paying for said transfer. By claiming that the cost of the operation was lower than it actually was, Rosell caused harm to the club which was controlling its spending in order to reduce its debt.

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West Ham, Bayern, Chelsea, City and Madrid all bid for Neymar

One is not like the others.

Great write up OP. What could the consequences be if Barça are found to be in the wrong.

IMO, none of this was done to avoid taxes, after all the taxes aren't that high

I think it played a part but you're right, the subtext behind Rosell's motivation is pretty clear. I wouldn't be surprised if he and Bartomeu personally profited from this as well. I'm sure there's a trust somewhere in Uruguay funnelled through Jersey and the Caymans holding considerable ill gotten funds for him.

Neymar, on the other hand, was desperately trying to evade taxes. Plain and simple.

Otherwise, solid breakdown. This is also a good explanation of the mechanics of the deal:

On Nov. 15, 2011, the first contract of the operation was signed between FC Barcelona (represented by Sandro Rosell as president, and Josep Maria Bartomeu as vice-president), and Neymar Jr., N&N Consultoria Esportiva E Empresarial Ltda. (N&N, represented by Neymar Sr.), and Neymar Sr. as agent of the player.

By this contract, N&N – the company that had claimed to own Neymar Jr.’s economic rights starting in 2014, when his contract with Santos was over and he would be a free agent – agreed to pass said economic rights along with the federative ones of the player to FC Barcelona starting with the 2014-2015 season.

FC Barcelona acquired said rights for €40 million. The contract also guaranteed the player a salary of €36,125,000 in five years. The breach of this agreement by one of the signing parties (FC Barcelona not buying Neymar Jr. until Aug. 25, 2014, or buying him before he was a free agent) would bring with it the payment of a €40-million-penalty to the other party. This contract also stipulated the project for the player’s work contract, image contract, and representation and management contract, by which the player’s agent would get 5 percent of all future payments made to Neymar Jr. and this company.

N&N is a company that was formally established on Nov. 18, 2011, three days after this first contract was signed. The administrators of this company were Neymar Jr.’s parents, each with a 50-percent-part.

The second contract was signed on Dec. 6, 2011 as a “loan contract” by which FC Barcelona gave N&N €10 million, a sum which would be repaid when Neymar Jr. signed for FC Barcelona in 2014.

The prosecutor considers the €40 million stipulated in the first contract to be a signing bonus for Neymar Jr., not a payment made to a company to acquire his rights. It also sees the €10 million paid in December 2011 as a first installment of said signing bonus. In 2011, Neymar Jr. wasn’t a Spanish resident, which means that FC Barcelona would have been under the obligation to pay the Non-Resident Income Tax (NRIT) associated with this payment to the STA. At the rate of 24 percent, this means €2.4 million. The prosecutor claims Rosell was the one who decided against paying the required sum to the tax authority.

In 2013, according to their statements, Rosell and Bartomeu, after a reunion with the first team’s coach at the time, decided to move up Neymar Jr.’s transfer by one year. They didn’t get the approval for this from the club’s board; Rosell was the one leading the negotiations. Moving up the transfer by one year meant that Neymar Jr. wasn’t yet a free agent and they had to acquire his federative rights from Santos FC. Also, in order to incentivize the player to move one year earlier than what was agreed, he was offered additional money that hadn’t been stipulated in the 2011 contract.

Is the article unbiased? It says there writer is Barcelona fan.

Edit: yeah..downvote for asking a honest question..

I mean after the surprise of us getting Tevez and Mascherano (in admittingly dodgy circumstances) why not try again lol.

Football manager could have used some of this. Players were either good or not good enough. A middle ground of fantastic but dressing room poison would be an interesting twist.

Throw in a chance of something truly tragic happening every 10-15 seasons.

Damn they're some big fines thanks OP

You're right but the 3rd party ownerships were a small part of the problem(s).

It's a weak argument because Barca shouldn't have been conspiring with Santos to hide the actual fee from DIS/Teisa anyway. Imagine Barca was buying Sterling and instead of a private investment group it was his youth club who had a 10% sale clause (QPR). It would be a terrible fraud for Rosell to circumvent payment to QPR, just as it's a terrible fraud to circumvent payment to DIS and Teisa.

The rest of the issues have nothing to do with 3rd party ownership:

Conspiring with Neymar family to hide actual fee from Santos.

Conspiring with Neymar family to hide actual fee from the tax man.

Neymar family's own elaborate tax evasion in Spain and Brazil.

Not to mention Rosell and Bartomeu's massive breach of fiduciary duty which is one of the most serious breaches of law you can commit (hence the prosecution pressing for long prison sentences and mandatory jail time)

So it's mostly about lying to the board

it takes like 5 minutes to read, don't be lazy