FC Barcelona made headlines for all the right reasons this past summer, bolstering their attack with the giant transfer of Brazilian starlet Neymar. Now FC Barcelona is making the headlines for all the wrong reasons; controversy has struck between Barcelona and Santos, his former club, over an illegal transfer. Both sides tell a considerably different story with regards to the Brazilian's transfer fee clause. To add insult to this case, Madrid courts are investigating the situation and believe that the transfer is really worth over a €100 million (ove $136 million USD), as opposed to the €57 million which was declared as the actually fee.
Here are the details on what both parties are asserting, and what consequences FC Barcelona may face if they are in fact proven guilty.
What is FC Barcelona being accused of?
What was allegedly being deemed as a €57 million transfer is now being estimated towards being in the ballpark close to €100 million. The Madrid court has launched an investigation accusing Neymar’s family of collecting over €51 million from FC Barcelona in signing bonuses and fees. The situation got so deep that it forced the resignation of FC Barcelona’s president Sandro Rosell. Santos FC, Neymar’s former team, seem to be taking this situation the worst out of all the parties involved, having received only a mere €9.4 million to this date. The president of Santos FC Odilio Rodrigues calls the sale “the biggest fraud in the history of world football”. The president claims the transfer was done with mass confusion and that it was a disaster to negotiate terms with FC Barcelona executives. Santos FC regard this transfer as being extremely negative to the sport of football and hope FC Barcelona endure consequences for this exploit. There is tremendous confusion in the Santos camp with concerns about where the €57 million is actually going, after only having received €9.4 million thus far. The club expects to be compensated for this loss.
How has FC Barcelona’s new president responded to the situation?
FC Barcelona’s new president Josep Maria Bartomeu was immediately put to work and responded by holding a meeting to show how the transfer really went down. Bartomeu made a breakdown of the transfer fee showing where each dollar went.
This statement of the transfer included:
- €40 million: This compensations was deemed to go to N&N which is property of Neymar da Silva and Nadine (Neymar’s parents).
- €17 million: This was deemed for Santos FC as a payment of the transfer fees. According to Barcelona, the clubs agreed on instalments of the €17 million transfer fee.
- €2 million: This goes to productivity bonuses in Neymar’s contract such as making Ballon d’Or reaching the top 3 at the end of the season.
Bartomeu labels the massive €40 million part of the deal as going to Neymar’s family; this gargantuan commission payment would make it the largest commission transfer in football history, by far. Bartomeu is optimistic that FC Barcelona has done nothing wrong in this transfer and hopes this statement can put an end to the ongoing controversy.
What consequences can this bring to FC Barcelona’s future?
Here are the three main consequences Barcelona may face in the future:
1) Already, the rumor mill has begun to flood over; what could this controversial situation also mean to the future of Barca’s superstar players? One obvious question is how Lionel Messi will react to this situation. Already with Ronaldo making €21 million a year, which is €5 million more than Messi, the terms of Neymar’s contract are still not yet exposed, but are estimated to be a huge sum. Barcelona will have a massive amount of pressure to make Messi content and quickly re-evaluate his wages to match those of the other superstars, such as Ronaldo and now Neymar depending on the terms of his deal.
2) Messi may not be the only problem; other players may be inclined to ask for raises when the details of Neymar’s contract become exposed. Fabregas, Sanchez and Pique are all due to discuss their contracts and may use Neymar’s deal as leverage to their new respective terms.
3) Other teams as well may look to cash in on this situation. Taking advantage of FC Barcelona’s lack of funds and offering their players a greater amount of money might be something other teams will consider. As if going through this scandal wasn't enough, the team also has expenses such as over $300 million dollars in debts and over $600 million going towards renovating the Camp Nou. Look for clubs to take advantage of this information and try and lure Barcelona players away from the club.
4) Perhaps most importantly, there is the rumor that they will be disqualified from the UEFA Champions League over the next two years. If that were the case, an exodus may arise at Barcelona along with the loss of revenue made from the Champions League TV deals.
At the end of the day, this situation has certainly hurt the integrity of the football club and may encourage football players and teams to do their business elsewhere or exploit their current situation. The real terms of Neymar’s contract will be crucial to the entire case and to the future of FC Barcelona as well.
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