offpitch | 2016-09-23
National Court orders the Neymar Case to be reopened
The controversy continues after it looked finally over
The National Court has ordered judge José de la Mata to reopen the Neymar case so that the Brazilian forward, his parents, the former FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, the current president Josep Maria Bartomeu, the Catalan club itself, Santos FC and the company N&N stand on trial for the alleged crimes of private corruption and fraud that DIS (the company that owned 40% of his federative rights when he was at Santos) had filed a complaint for.
The Fourth Section of the Criminal Chamber has revoked judge De la Mata’s ruling to archive this case and orders him to take the necessary steps for a summary procedure.
Therefore, the National Court has admitted the appeal of the prosecution, who was also joined by the Federação das Associações dos Atletas Profissionais and DIS, against De la Mata’s decision to archive the case after he considered that the denounced actions – the contracts for the transfer of the player signed in 2011 and 2013 – could have “sporting, ethical and disciplinary repercussions”, but weren’t penal offenses. In his ruling he had also recommended that DIS complain to civil courts about its grievances.
Judges Ángela Murillo, Carmen Paloma González and Juan Francisco Martell disagreed with this reasoning and ordered De la Mata to continue with this trial because they consider that there are reasons to believe that the crimes of private corruption and fraud were committed.
The Court has first examined the contracts signed on November 15th and December 6th 2011 to know the conditions of the player’s transfer and concluded that there are reasons to believe that a crime of corruption took place because “through the signing of these contracts the free market of players transfers was altered.”
The first contract stated that Barcelona would pay N&N €40 million and a salary of €36.1 million in 5 years to the player when he moved to the Catalan club in 2014, year in which his contract with Santos was ending and DIS would no longer have any rights over him.
The second contract is a loan deal through which Barça paid N&N €10 million and which the prosecutor José Perals considers to be a fake contract designed to hide an anticipated payment that was meant to guarantee the player’s transfer to FC Barcelona.
The Court understands that Barça, represented by Rosell, along with Neymar and the company N&N (owned by his parents in equal shares), agreed to assure the player’s transfer in 2014 with this advanced payment, which, according to the prosecution, altered the free market because when Santos were presented with a better financial offer, like for example from Real Madrid who were offering €36 million to the Brazilian club, “the player decided in favor of (…) the other route which isn’t allowed under FIFA regulations.”
In the other contracts, signed in 2013, when Barça decided to move forward Neymar’s transfer by a year, the judges find that, in principle, Santos FC transferred the player’s rights to FC Barcelona in exchange for €17.1 million, operation of which DIS was informed and of which they received their agreed 40%.
But the judges also say that “on this premise, other contracts are signed too” and while Judge De la Mata had considered those to be normal contracts in the world of football “this court sees reasons to believe that the contracts were simulated in a conscientious way in order to commit fraud.”
Of these 2013 contracts, they mention the contract through which FC Barcelona and Santos FC agreed to play a friendly game, which specified that if the game didn’t happen while Neymar Jr. was a Barça player then the Catalan club would have to pay Santos the “not inconsiderable” amount of €4.5 million.
“From this contract we can easily see two things: the repudiation of DIS’s rights and the link between this contract to the transfer of the player that had just occurred,” the judges say, while adding that to this day that game has not been played.
Anything wrong? Send your correction.
WRITTEN BY: Diana Uzum
Barcelona fan since the days of Kluivert and Rivaldo. Been here for the good, the bad and the ugly.