Barcelona’s Brazilian forward Neymar arriving to Spain’s national court in Madrid. The Spanish court validated on December 20, 2016 the agreement between the prosecution and FC Barcelona to avoid a trial for the signing of Brazilian Neymar in which the club pleads guilty to two tax offenses. The pact reached in June exonerated the president of Barca, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and his predecessor, Sandro Rosell, and imposed a fine on the club of 5.5 million euros for these crimes against the public treasury.
/ AFP PHOTO / CURTO DE LA TORRE
A Spanish court on Tuesday ratified a deal that leaves Barcelona with a 5.5-million-euro ($6.2 million) fine but avoiding trial on tax evasion charges over Neymar’s contested 2013 transfer.
The agreement, reached in July, lifts any threat of Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell facing possible criminal proceedings that could lead to jail terms.
The deal between the club and Spanish prosecutors was confirmed on December 14 after an appeal against it by another former president, Joan Laporta, was rejected.
Neymar’s arrival from Brazil’s Santos has been a huge success for the Spanish champions on the pitch but a judicial nightmare off it.
The 24-year-old Brazilian striker is being investigated in Brazil and Spain over his move to La Liga.
Barcelona originally published the transfer figure as 57.1 million euros, with 40 million euros of that given to the player’s family.
But Spanish authorities believe the true transfer figure was at least 83 million euros.
In November, Spanish prosecutors recommended that the Brazil striker be handed a two-year jail sentence and a fine of 10 million euros for alleged corrupt practices.
The case initiated with a complaint from Brazilian investment company DIS, which owned 40 percent of Neymar’s sporting rights at the time of his transfer.
DIS received just 6.8 million euros, 40 percent of the fee paid to Santos, with the company claiming it was cheated of its real share because part of the transfer fee was concealed by Barcelona, Santos and the Neymar family.
Sentences of two years or less are habitually suspended for first time offenders in Spain.