Neymar is right about Barcelona's board but don't believe a word he says

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The Brazilian criticised his former employers on Sunday but his remarks should be put in context following his controversial move to PSG


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Neymar has spoken out. The Paris Saint-Germain forward took a swipe at Barcelona's board on Sunday night and claimed that his world-record transfer to the Parc des Princes was the fault of the directors at Camp Nou. Do not believe a word of it.

"I was very happy in Barcelona," the Brazilian forward said after starring in a spectacular 6-2 win over Toulouse on his home debut. "But not with the board.

"I'm very sad with the board at Barcelona. They are not people who should be there. Barca deserve much better and everybody knows it."

Most Barcelona fans would agree. The current board have come under fire for the team's gradual decline on the pitch, the lack of talent coming through at La Masia, sub-standard signings, the sacrifice of a playing style and, most recently of all, the failure to get Lionel Messi's new contract signed despite the fact it was announced amid much fanfare in July.

Neymar Barcelona stats

So, Neymar is right. His words echo those of his compatriot and current team-mate Dani Alves, another who complained about Barca's board after leaving the Catalan club.

Furthermore, many of the Barcelona players probably think the same after a two-legged defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercopa which caused Gerard Pique to conclude: "For the first time in my nine years at the club, they are superior to us."

However, Neymar has his own reasons to criticise Barcelona's board. First of all, the Brazilian is unhappy after the Catalan club refused to honour a loyalty bonus of €26 million after he signed a new contract in late October 2016. In the meantime, he may also be trying to clean his image after the controversial manner of his exit.

Barca held back the €26m payment agreed with the player's father, leaving the cheque with a notary as the forward's move to Paris Saint-Germain was negotiated, considering that the club were within their rights to do so given that the 25-year-old had departed less than a year after putting pen to paper on a fresh deal.

Neymar signed for Barca back in 2013, but the forward's family have been using the current Blaugrana board as a cash cow ever since 2011, when the club paid out €10m to his father in order to guarantee the player would end up at Camp Nou.

Barca, with Sandro Rosell as president back in 2013, then negotiated a fee of €17.1m with Santos, a surprisingly low amount for the world's most talented young player, allegedly in order to cut supermarket chain DIS (who owned a percentage of the player's rights) out of the deal. Instead, Neymar's family were paid another €40m by the Catalan club as part of the transfer.

Sandro Rosell Neymar FC Barcelona 06032013

Josep Maria Bartomeu Barcelona

Neymar's father also now takes home another €40m as part of his move to PSG and most believe it was the player's parent who pushed for his son to leave Barcelona.

In an emotional Instagram post after his exit, however, the forward claimed Neymar Sr. had wanted him to stay at Camp Nou in what looked like an attempt to exonerate his father. The same message also spoke of "new challenges" and his love for the Catalan club.

Essentially, a transfer that had begun with money laundering (for which Rosell is now in prison), ended up with a good measure of image laundering. But it just doesn't wash.

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Later, at his unveiling in Paris, Neymar claimed the first person he had told he was leaving Barca was coach Ernesto Valverde when, in fact, he had previously spent 15 minutes in the Real Madrid dressing room after the Miami Clasico collecting shirts for souvenirs.

The Selecao star insisted that the decision to depart had been taken just two days beforehand but, in reality, he had made his mind up long before that and, in the meantime, the 25-year-old had misled his team-mates into believing he would stay, prompting Pique to post a celebratory message on social media over which he has since been mocked.

So, it is difficult to believe anything Neymar says. While he is absolutely right that Barcelona deserve better than the current board, it is clear he has other reasons for saying so - 26 million of them to be precise.

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