Former Barcelona Presidents facing 8-year jail term over 'fraud' in Neymar transfer

According to reports, Josep Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell are the verge of a conviction for fraud by Neymar's 2013 transfer to Barcelona.

Josep Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell are the verge of a conviction for fraud by Neymar's 2013 transfer to Barcelona

The signing of Neymar in 2013 continues to cause legal problems for FC Barcelona even after 5 years since his exit.

The National Court in Spain has ruled that the Brazilian club Santos must pay the Treasury €2.7 million for the transfer of the footballer to the 'Blaugrana' club.

The sentence deals a serious blow to the finances of the South American giants but may have worse consequences for Barcelona and the club's former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, who on October 17 will appear in court for a criminal case related to the hiring of the striker.

Bartomeu and Rosell are accused of the crimes of corruption between individuals, fraud, and could bag up to eight years in prison.

According to El Confidencial, the part of the sentence with the greatest implications has to do with the calculation of the fee to be paid by Santos.

At the time of Neymar's sale, the club owned 55% of its federative rights. Another 40% was in the hands of a Brazilian company called DIS and the remaining 5% belonged to different investors grouped in the commercial Teisa.

The National Court attributes to Santos the non-payment of taxes corresponding to 55% of the 17.1 million euros officially paid by Barça for the striker, but also considers part of the sale price other amounts signed exclusively between Santos and the Catalan team and that are the subject of the other criminal procedure that will be elucidated in October.

The report adds that FC Barcelona additionally compensated Santos with another two million euros for Neymar's nomination to the Fifa World Player trophy; with €4.5 million for a friendly match that did not take place, and with €7.9 million for a right of preference over three players from the Brazilian club's youth academy.

In the opinion of the National Court, those extraordinary €14.4 million also make up the price of the sale, although they were camouflaged through three other concepts.

In total, according to the judgment, the selling club must enter the Tax Agency a total of €2.7million.

The company that owned 40% of Neymar's rights and the Public Ministry have managed to sue Rosell and Bartomeu and also involve the player himself and his family, as well as Barcelona football club and Santos FC as legal persons, for two alleged deceptions committed in the signing.

In that criminal case, the Prosecutor's Office asks for Neymar two years in prison and a fine of €10 million.

DIS raises the application against the current Paris Saint-Germain star to five years in prison.

In Rosell's case, the Public Ministry demands that he be sentenced to five years in prison. For its part, DIS claims for Rosell and Bartomeu eight years in prison.

As for Barcelona, the Public Ministry requests that a sanction of €8.4 million be imposed.

The defenses of Rosell, Bartomeu and Barça have always denied that these three complementary contracts were part of the purchase operation, assuring that they were different operations.

Barcelona was already convicted in 2016 by the Provincial Court of Barcelona for two tax crimes in the signing of Neymar.

The club then had to pay €5.5 million after reaching an agreement with the Tax Agency that allowed Rosell and Bartomeu to avoid a more than likely trial in which they would also have faced prison sentences.

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