Barcelona president Bartomeu bites back in tax dispute

The Brazilian's move to Camp Nou has resulted in the Catalan club being charged with fraud but the Blaugrana supremo says "everything was done within the law.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has insisted he would not change a thing about Neymar's transfer, despite the controversy and legal issues generated by the deal.

The Catalans were charged with fraud by the Spanish High Court on Thursday for allegedly evading paying 9.1 million euros in tax in association with the Brazilian's move to Camp Nou last summer.

Bartomeu, who took over the Liga giant when Sandro Rosell resigned in January in the midst of the Neymar controversy and looming legal charges, is adamant that the club will be found innocent of the tax fraud claims.

"We are calm, we are one of the few clubs who are up to date with tax payments," he told RTVE. "I think in this way the club are exemplary. Let us hope that before the courts everything will be found, as expected, to back up our story.

"The contract we signed with Neymar and with Santos were totally legal. The negotiations, the financial transactions, the contracts... everything was done within the law.

"We would do exactly the same thing if given the chance to sign Neymar again. The goal was to sign a once-in-a-generation player like Neymar to play with the best in the world: Lionel Messi.

The revelation that Barca actually spent 86.2 million euros on Neymar - not the official 57.1 million - was publicly revealed after Blaugrana member Jordi Cases' complaint against the monetary logistics of the transfer.

Bartomeu admitted his frustration that, as a result, Barca's rivals have been given an insight into how to sign Brazilian youngsters after it emerged that the club gave Neymar's parents 40 million euros to secure his loyalty to the Catalans.

"No other member of Barca except Jordi Cases - who has every right to do what he did and against whom there will be no retaliation - requested a financial explanation for the signing of Neymar," the club president continued.

"I understand that certain contracts must remain confidential. We have already given a lot of information on how to sign our rivals in Brazil."

Santos is currently involved in a legal battle to obtain the documents that Barca signed with Neymar's father regarding the 40 million euros payment upon his signing.