FC Barcelona club member Jordi Cases has decided to widen his legal action over the team’s signing last year of Brazilian striker Neymar to include Barça’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and its economic vice president, Javier Faus.
Attorney Felipe Izquierdo confirmed his client’s decision in statements to TV3.
Cases does not want supporter-owned FC Barcelona - named as a defendant in the case - to be hit with fines and sanctions but rather for Bartomeu and Faus to bear that expense out of their own pockets.
Cases’ decision comes a week after FC Barcelona’s former president, Sandro Rosell, and its managing director, Antoni Rossich, said during questioning by Spain’s National Court that Bartomeu and Faus were not involved in the transaction.
Rosell told the court on July 22 that the club paid 57.1 million euros ($76.6 million) in transfer payments to sign the Brazilian star to a five-year deal in June 2013: 17.1 million euros to Brazilian club Santos and 40 million euros to N&N, a company owned by Neymar’s father that has exclusive control over the player’s image rights.
The former Barça president resigned on Jan. 23, a day after a Spanish judge agreed to investigate Rosell for misappropriation of funds in connection with the transaction that brought Neymar to Barcelona.
Figures subsequently released at Bartomeu’s introductory press conference on Jan. 24 seemed to indicate the total outlay for Neymar was 86.2 million euros ($115.6 million), although the club says other expenditures, including scouting deals, were not part of the transfer itself.
In February, FC Barcelona deposited 13.5 million euros to cover additional taxes the club may owe in connection with Neymar’s signing.
That payment was made just days after a National Court judge filed preliminary charges against the club for allegedly defrauding the Spanish Treasury out of 9 million euros.
Management used multiple parallel contracts and “financial engineering” to understate Barcelona’s tax liability, prosecutors said in February.