Neymar Sr accuses Barcelona of 'blackmail' over €26m loyalty bonus
"I could not submit to blackmail. At that moment, Barcelona lost my support," says Neymar Sr over Barca's loyalty bonus stance.
Neymar's father has accused Barcelona's board of engaging in "blackmail" over his €26million loyalty bonus and says their decision to contest the payment ended his support for the forward staying at the club.
Following the Brazil international's world-record €222m move to Paris Saint-Germain, Barca confirmed they will not pay the loyalty bonus to the player and his father after accusing the younger Neymar of breaching his contract with the club.
It was reported the 25-year-old's father and agent held up the deal in order to trigger a loyalty payment that would be owed after July 31, as part of the new contract the player signed with Barca last October.
However, Barca spokesperson Josep Vives claimed Neymar's talks with PSG prior to that date and the forward's failure to publicly express his commitment to the Catalans meant he was in breach of the terms of that agreement.
The moment Barca made it clear they would contest the payment was when Neymar Sr decided to end his support for a Camp Nou stay.
"If they weren't going to pay us, I couldn't do anything," he said to COPE.
"I could not submit to blackmail. At that moment, Barcelona lost my support.
"Until then, they had it. I was on the side of Barcelona trying to convince Neymar to stay. But with the attitude of the board I could not put myself on their side because the contract is very explicit and clear, and at no time was it proposed to honour that clause."
Neymar Sr added: "It is a contract signing bonus. The player's clause increased, so if Neymar had to leave, it would be a reason for the increase in the penalty clause, but that is a topic to discuss in the future, not for now.
"I know what we talked about and I can look you in the eyes and say what was said and what was not said - I know what we did. Now, if people do not respect what we say, I will not respect what they write."