Professor Says Case Involving Neymar Signing Shows How Players Channel Earnings
The case regarding Barcelona’s signing of Neymar, which recently saw Spain’s Attorney General request contractual documents, is, according to Barcelona University Professor Jose Maria Gay, an "indication of how soccer’s top players channel earnings through a labyrinth of companies," according to Duff & Panja of BLOOMBERG. Barcelona indicated in a statement that it paid €40M to a company owned by Neymar’s parents as part of a €57.1M outlay. Gay, who writes an "annual report" about Spanish football finance, said of top players, "They have become a type of financial instrument. You invest in them like you invest in the oil industry." Helena Passarelli, a spokesperson for NR Sports, Neymar’s marketing company, "declined to comment, saying the family doesn’t speak about financial agreements" (BLOOMBERG, 1/14). ESPN’s Dermot Corrigan reported Neymar said that there was "nothing illegal" in his transfer to Barcelona. Neymar: "I know there has been a lot of talk about my contract. My father signed the contracts and he is obviously a person I have full confidence in. There is nothing illegal. In any case if there is any doubt you can ask my father, because I just focus on my job -- which is playing football" (ESPN, 1/15).