Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match … [+]
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Barcelona has come out the winner in a dispute with Neymar over a loyalty bonus. A Spanish court has ruled that Neymar must repay Barcelona $7.5 million. (Neymar can appeal the decision.)
The dispute before the court related to a loyalty payment of $45 million. Neymar had signed a 5-year contract with Barcelona in 2013 but the club offered the Brazil striker a new 5-year deal in 2016. Part of the new deal included an increase in Neymar’s release clause, a loyalty payment, and bigger pay packet.
Less than a year later, Neymar left to join Paris Saint-Germain after the French team triggered a release clause of $250 million.
Barcelona was required to pay Neymar $15 million upon contract signing in 2016 and a second installment of $30 million. But the timing of the second payment overlapped with PSG’s move for Neymar and Barcelona withheld the payment. At the time Barcelona’s justification was that Neymar had not honored the two conditions required to trigger the second payment.
The two conditions were:
- Neymar would not negotiate with another club during a specified period
- Neymar would announce publicly his intention to finish out his contract with Barcelona
If Neymar had complied, Barcelona would have been obliged to make the required second and final payment.
Both parties subsequently sued.
Neymar claimed he was owed $30 million plus interest of $3 million by Barcelona; Barcelona upped the anti with a total claim of $84 million – all income paid to Neymar from October 2016 to the time of his signing with PSG, plus $10 million in damages.
In early 2018, FIFA refused to consider the case and the Spanish court system was left as the final arbiter. After two postponements the decision was finally rendered last week.
The judgement appears to be largely based on a prorating of the total bonus payment from the date of the contract to the time Neymar signed for Paris Saint Germain.
There are some that may think that Barcelona lost because it sued for $84 million but only got $7.5 million. The $84 million was simply posturing and the club will be happy to get back what it did.
Neymar and Barcelona In Court
In 2016, Barcelona paid a fine of $6 million to settle a fraud case relating to the accounting of Neymar’s 2013 transfer from Santos. The team accepted wrongdoing in the 2011 and 2013 years by failing to correctly make withholding payments to a corporation operated by Neymar.
The transgression came to light when a question was raised as to how much Neymar’s signature cost Barcelona. Originally, the club said $64 million only to admit later that the cost was closer to $100 million.
In 2015, Neymar was charged with tax fraud by a Brazil court and a year later he was found guilty and hit with a $50 million judgement. The case involved undeclared earnings from Santos, Barcelona, and Nike. The penalty was halved on appeal, but the possibility of a criminal prosecution remained until it was dropped in 2017.
Two weeks ago, Neymar was the subject of a criminal complaint. The Office of the Sao Paulo Prosecutor received a complaint against Neymar for homophobia by a Brazilian gay activist.
The Spanish tax authority has also been investigating Neymar for possibly tax irregularities relating to income in 2017 when the player was a Spanish resident.
Neymar and Barcelona To Make-Up?
If you are thinking that this is somehow a set back for Barcelona and its attempt to resign Neymar, it isn’t.
It isn’t, because despite what your read, there is no realistic chance that Barcelona will sign Neymar under present circumstances.
Barcelona did not have the money to do the deal last summer and they still don’t have the money.
Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional.
Oh, and one more thing. The Webster ruling is not a cut price option despite Neymar’s agent’s “reveal”.