NEYMAR CASE

Neymar in court to explain role in transfer from Santos to Barcelona

The striker arrived at the Spanish High Court just before 5pm to explain his role in alleged corruption and fraud carried out during his transfer to Barcelona.

Neymar took the stand at the High Court in Madrid this afternoon as an 'investigated party' in relation to private corruption and fraud charges arising from the contracts signed between Barcelona and Santos for the transfer of the player.

DIS, the company that held 40% of Neymar’s rights when he was transferred have argued the real price was far higher than the 17.1 million Barcelona say they paid Santos for the registration rights, and that DIS are due money from the deal. The Spanish court supports this argument, having valued the transfer at 83.3 million euros. 

Neymar arrived in Madrid’s Calle Genova just before 5pm, having caught a private jet from Barcelona. Dressed in black jeans, with a white shirt and black jacket, topped by mirrored sunglasses, he climbed out of black people-carrier, with blacked out windows.

As soon as he got out of the car he spotted a young boy with a sign: “Neymar, I’m your friend”, and the Brazilian star went over to sign an autograph and have his photo taken with his young supporter. Afterwards the striker slowely walked the 30 metres to the High Court door, accompanied by his father and advisers. He appeared relaxed and constantly checked his mobile.

After the hearing, which lasted around an hour and a half, the player left the court to head back to Barcelona where Valencia await in Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final. The player's father stayed behind in the court-house. 

Neymar, who joined Barcelona in 2013, was meant to have taken the stand at 10am this morning, The player was originally called to take the stand at 10:00 but his lawyer, José Ángel González Franco, requested a delay in the player’s court appearance.

Neymar’s defence strategy appears straight forward: all the player’s business related matters are handled by his father. Judge De la Mata has also called for both Neymar’s father and mother to declare as co-owners of the company N&N which supposedly received the majority of the cash that was siphoned out of the deal and away from DIS.

The Neymar case has been split into two areas. One relates to alleged corruption and fraud carried out against the company DIS, who were due to collect 40% of the transfer fee that FC Barcelona paid to Santos for Neymar’s signature. DIS maintains that they should secure 40% of 83.3 million euro, which is the fee the court maintains was the transfer fee and not the 17.1 million euro that Santos declared as part of the deal.The other legal avenue open, which will be heard in Barcelona, relates to tax and financial wrong-doings.

The 40 million euro that was paid to N&N will be studied to reach a decision on whether it was salary or an upfront payment and the tax implications of the conclusion either way. Neymar’s father spoke about this on Globo TV: “The companies were created in 2006, when Neymar was 14 years old. He was too young to work and I am his father. Where’s the problem here? I wanted to protect my son’s image rights”.

For the moment the image going round the world is that of Neymar at court accused of being involved in corruption and fraud.