offpitch | 2016-11-23
Prosecutor asks for Neymar to be sentenced to two years in jail
The controversy continues with the investment fund that owned part of Neymar's rights
After the case related to Neymar Jr.’s transfer from Santos FC to FC Barcelona in 2013 was reopened last week, prosecutor José Perals and the investment fund DIS have each presented their accusation papers for the trial phase.
The prosecution asks for a sentence of 2 years in prison for the player and his father, and one year for his mother, plus a fine of €10 million from each of them for the alleged crime of private corruption. It also asks that former Barça president Sandro Rosell to be sent to jail for 5 years and pay a fine of €10 million for the aforementioned crime of private corruption and for fraud, and for former Santos president Odilio Rodrigues to be sentenced to 3 years in prison for fraud. The prosecution asks that FC Barcelona be sentenced to pay a fine of €1.440.000 for corruption and a fine of 7 million for fraud, amount which is also asked from Santos for the same alleged crime.
According to the public prosecutor the current FC Barcelona president should be cleared of all charges, because he signed the contracts that are the grounds for these proceedings as a sporting vice-president and wasn’t directly involved in the negotiations for the transfer.
In addition to all the prison sentences and fines, the prosecutor is also asking for a civil responsibility bond in the amount of €3.2 million to be imposed on Rosell, Rodrigues, Barça and Santos in order to pay DIS what they were allegedly owned.
In its accusation Perals recalls that DIS acquired 40% of Neymar’s rights in 2009 in exchange for 5 million reals and that this contract was still in force in 2011 when Barça, through Sandro Rosell, reached an agreement with Neymar by which they would pay him €40 million so that he would play for Barça after his contract with Santos ended in 2014. After this deal was reached the player was paid an advance of €10 million. According to the prosecutor, this deal impeded “other clubs from participating freely in the market to acquire the federative rights of the player.” The contracts were also signed by the Neymar family company, N&N Consultoria Esportiva e Empresarial, of which Perals asks for a fine of €1.440.000.
In 2013 Rosell and Bartomeu decided to bring Neymar Jr. to Barcelona before the established time. In order to make this happen they reached an understanding with Santos that made the Brazilian club receive a part of transfer fee directly, by disguising it through other contracts and “avoiding to pay DIS its 40%.” This means that the total transfer fee paid was €25.1 million (not €17.1 million as the clubs claimed) and that DIS is owed an additional €3.2 million.
On its part, the investment fund DIS is asking for Neymar, his parents, Bartomeu and Rosell to be sentenced to 5 years in jail for corruption, with an additional 3 years for Bartomeu and Rosell for fraud. They’re also asking that Neymar be suspended from playing football during his sentence and that Barça pay them a compensation of €159 million to €195 million for damages sustained as a result of the transfer.
It is once again important to note that this case is a separate one from the tax investigation in which FC Barcelona reached an agreement with the prosecution last June.