Any legal battle can be fixed by an agreement between the parties, except where one side feels personally injured. That's the case with the action the DIS Group are taking in the Spanish High Court against Neymar, FC Barcelona, former Barça president Sandro Rosell and his successor Josep María Bartomeu.
DIS v Neymar: it's personal
That this is a personal matter was clear from the tears in the eyes of Delcir Sonda, the founder of the Brazilian supermarket chain, who back in 2009 bought 40% of the player's rights when he still hadn't made his debut for Santos, as he gave a press conference to explain why he won't be taking any prisoners.
Sonda never imagined suing Neymar
Clearly upset, Sonda said: "I never thought I'd sue the boy I loved so much, but Neymar, his father and his mother betrayed me, they've committed a crime with the help of Barcelona and they've committed fraud. I know corruption is very wide spread in the world, and maybe in Brazil and in the world of football it's worse, and that's why I'm going to do everything possible to fight it. Supporting Neymar is supporting corruption and he's a terrible example to the children who wear his shirt".
DIS accuse Neymer of fraud on transfer to Barcelona
DIS have accused Neymar of fraud for having negotiated behind the fund's back with Barcelona to falsify the price of the transfer from Santos to Barcelona. DIS received 40% of the transfer. The aim of DIS is to show at the trial that former Barça president Sandro Rosell bribed Neymar's father with 40 million euros to avoid the player going on the open market by ensuring the player would only negotiate with the Catalan club. In the end Barcelona signed Neymar - for 17.1 million euros according to the club - when the player's buy-out clause was 65 million.
Moreover, as DIS pointed out, "Neymar played the Club World Cup final against Barcelona having already received 10 million euros from Barcelona, breaking all FIFA rules, and with Neymar saying he didn't know what he'd signed. He knew exactly what he was signing on Barcelona headed notepaper. If a politician had done what Neymar has done, he'd be forced to resign, but because he's a footballer other rules apply".
Not about the money for DIS over Neymar
The money of course is one thing, but for Sonda the question is a far bigger one. If in the Godfather any criminal action could be justified by "it's nothing personal, it's business", here it's the opposite. Because what really hurt Sonda over and above the supposed fraud Neymar and his father committed by negotiating in secret with Barcelona is that Neymar told the judge that he'd never had a relationship with Sonda.
"How could he say that? He was nearly living in my house. He had his own cabin on my boat for his family. I looked after him and his family. I paid for them to go to London, to Jerusalem. We had barbecues together. We signed the contract when he still hadn't debuted with Santos. We backed him and he betrayed us", said Sonda.
Neymar sold his rights for an upfront payment
The contract Sonda referred to is the one Neymar signed as a 17 year old, exchanging 40% of any future transfer fee for the equivalent of his salary at that point, multiplied by 18. Roberto Moreno, executive director of DIS, explained: "He was a player who was already earning as a professional, but he wanted to change the uncertainty for certainty, ensuring an injury or other problem couldn't ruin things. So we paid him up front for 18 years as a footballer. We trusted him, he let us down, and now we want justice. We don't want money".
DIS want justice, not cash
To prove it, DIS make it clear in their legal action that the monies they are suing Barcelona for, no less than 195 million euros, will go to the Brazilian state if they win. What they really want is a tougher punishment: jail for those involved. Including Neymar. They are demanding five years of prison and a ban on playing for any club in the European Union. For Rosell and Bartomeu, DIS have asked the court for eight years of jail-time, and a five-year ban on being a director of a company. With all the accused's appeals rejected (apart from Bartomeu's, still awaiting a pronouncement from the court), the trial of Neymar and company will take place this year on a date to be decided by the Spanish High Court. DIS and Delcir Sonda want justice, terrible vengeful justice.
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