Barcelona to face trial over Neymar signing tax evasion

 
Joe Hall
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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. (Source: Getty)
Barcelona will stand trial for tax fraud and administrative irregularities following an investigation into their signing of Brazilian forward Neymar.
The four-time European champions, who describe themselves as “more than a club”, are alleged to have evaded around €9m (£6.4m) of tax in the 2013 signing of Neymar from Santos.
The Catalan’s current and former presidents - Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell - will also face their own trial.
Judge Pablo Ruz from Spain’s Nation Court agreed to send Barcelona to trial following the urges of prosecutors who allege the club avoided paying taxes on the transfer.
Controversy has surrounded the Neymar deal after Barcelona admitted they paid more for the player than initially disclosed. The club initially stated the transfer was worth £41m but later released documents revealing a further £30m payment to the players’ parents.
The alleged fraud concerns taxes unpaid on this payment.
Former president Sandro Rosell resigned last year over the issue, but maintains his innocence - as do current incumbent Bartomeu and the club itself.
In making his decision Judge Ruz called both men and Neymar’s father to give evidence, and later decided that the club should stand trial for “crimes against the public tax agency” and for “dishonest” management.

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