Neymar and Barcelona face another uncomfortable moment this Wednesday in the legal nightmare that began when the Brazilian player signed for the Catalan club in 2013.
Representatives of DIS, the investment fund that held 40% of Neymar's rights before his transfer, will hold a press conference ahead of the court case at the Spanish High Court that will put Neymar, his parents, FC Barcelona, Santos, Sandro Rosell (former Barcelona president) and Josep María Bartomeu (current Barcelona president) in the dock. They are all accused of corruption and fraud by the investment group and face prison sentences and stratospheric fines.
DIS seeking five years in jail for Neymar
For Neymar alone, lawyers for the fund are seeking five years in jail, an 8.4 million euro fine and a prohibition on playing for any football club in the European Union (certain Premier League clubs might be looking at Brexit in a different light...) They are also seeking eight years in jail for both Rosell and Bartomeu, and compensation of some 195 million euros from Barcelona.
The court's prosecutors, as expected, are demanding far lighter punishments, but these still run to prison and serious fines for the main accused.
DIS herald rejection of Neymar appeal
DIS, a investment fund owned by the SONDA Group (whose main business is a chain of supermarkets in Brazil) plans to hold a major press conference to herald the court's decision to reject the appeals from each of the accused against the repoening of the case. DIS are taking this step as a strategic triumph, because it means it's almost certain that Neymar and the club's executives will end up in the dock.
DIS are therefore plannng to bring out all their big guns for the press conference, starting with Delcir Sonda, founding partner of the group. He's fabulously wealthy and almost never appears in the media. This will be his first press conference on the matter on Brazilian soil and he'll be accompanied by Roberto Moreno, executive director of DIS and the lawyers Eliseo Martínez of Ius Aequitas and Paulo Nasser, from Miguel Neto's law firm.
Why are DIS bringing the case?
DIS owned 40% of Neymar's rights, and considers it was defrauded out of serious sums of money by the Neymar family, Santos and Barcelona agreeing to transfer the player for a price far below what the actual transfer value eventually paid was.
Barcelona maintains that the transfer was for 17.1 million euros, and don't include a further 40 million euros the club paid to Neymar's father and other amounts the Catalan club paid to Santos for diverse items such as playing a friendly match or to have an option on another three players. DIS calculates that the total price paid for the transfer was 83 million euros. And it's clear, without needing to be a legal genius, that 40% of 17 isn't exactly the same as 40% of 83.
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