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Latino Daily News

Wednesday June 4, 2014

Spanish Agency Reports Barça Dodged $12.5 Million in Taxes on Neymar Signing

FC Barcelona evaded 9.1 million euros ($12.5 million) in taxes on the deal that brought Brazilian striker Neymar da Silva to the club, according to a report from Spain’s tax agency, judicial sources told Efe Tuesday.

The report was submitted to National Court Judge Pablo Ruz, who concluded in February that there was sufficient evidence of wrongdoing by Barça to warrant a judicial probe.

Prosecutors will ask the judge to subpoena Barcelona directors and the club’s former president, Sandro Rosell, the sources said.

The tax investigation began weeks after Ruz agreed to investigate charges that Rosell profited personally from Barça’s acquisition of Neymar for a transfer fee of 57 million euros ($78.2 million).

Rosell resigned the club presidency a day after the judge named him as a defendant in that matter.

In late February, FC Barcelona paid the Spanish treasury 13.5 million euros ($18.6 million) to cover additional taxes the club may owe in connection with the Neymar transaction.

Club directors remain “convinced of the legality of the initial compliance with tax obligations,” Barcelona said then in a statement, attributing any discrepancies to differing interpretations of the relevant laws and regulations.

Barça has sought to settle the tax dispute via administrative channels. While the money paid to the treasury in February does not discharge the club’s potential criminal liability, it ensures that any eventual fine will be smaller.

Without the administrative payment, FC Barcelona could have faced a fine of up to 54 million euros.


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