Barcelona face trial over tax fraud in Neymar transfer
The club could be fined €22 million if found guilty
Barcelona will be facing a trial over tax fraud involved in Brazil star Neymar’s transfer. A Spanish judge ordered the club to stand trial as he believes the club avoided paying tax by citing a lesser transfer fee than what was involved.
Neymar moved to Barcelona from Brazilian club Santos back in 2013 and there have been speculation regarding the transfer fee ever since. The Spanish club had revealed that the figure was €57 million ($65 million or £41 million), with Neymar’s parents receiving €45 million.
However, investigators who looked into the transfer claim that the fee is closer to €83 million, a disparity of €26 million. The tax over this figure would come up to €13 million, which prosecutors allege Barcelona avoided.
Barcelona face a fine of €22 million
Neymar was signed under former President, Sandro Rosell’s reign, who denied any wrongdoing. Rosell and the club’s current President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, have been given 10 days to respond to the court.
Bartomeu insists that the allegations against the club are false and called the findings “open to interpretation”. He even said that he would challenge the claims.
No trial date has been fixed yet and all the parties have 10 days to prepare their defence before the court.
If found guilty, Barcelona face a fine of more than €22 million.
Despite off-field issues, the club are having a spectacular time on the field. They’ve qualified for the final of the Champions League, having beaten German giants Bayern Munich and they are 1 win away from winning La Liga. The treble is also a possibility as they face Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Copa del Rey.