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Volume 6 No. 213


Jordi Cases, the Barcelona member who took "legal action" against former Barcelona President Sandro Rosell, "insisted that he will not withdraw the lawsuit" until the club "provides him with written guarantees that no retaliatory action will be taken against him after he steps back," according to Santi Giménez of AS. Cases: "Barça was threatening that it was going to seek a lot of money in damages. I'm calm, but [Barça spokesperson Toni] Freixa has refused to give his agreement in writing, so we're not withdrawing the lawsuit. We're going to hit 'stand-by,' remain passive and wait for movement from Barça." Cases "feels that there must be a pact between each party" and that if this does not materialize, "it's down to the justice system to decide." Cases lawyer, Felipe Izquierdo, "denied that they had been responsible for the leaking of Neymar's contract." Izquierdo said that "it would be worse for Rosell if we were to keep on going. We don't understand Barça’s change in strategy." Izquierdo and Cases "arranged to meet on Sunday to sign a pact but Freixa cancelled the meeting" (AS, 1/27).

BARTOMEU PROMISES CHANGES: In Barcelona, Albert Rogé reported Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu "made a series of statements to the media on Sunday." Bartomeu said of the club's board, "Over the coming days there will be some changes. It's possible that some directors will drop certain responsibilities and take up others. We are very satisfied with the board's work" (SPORT, 1/26).

INVESTIGATION TO CONTINUE: The EFE reported Spanish prosecutor José Perals will "continue to review the case of Barcelona's signing of Neymar." The "court will continue investigating the accusation of possible misappropriation of funds by Rosell" (EFE, 1/27).

N&N HEADQUARTERS VACANT: AS reported N&N Sports, the company owned by Neymar's father and which pocketed €40M in "commission for the purchase of the player last summer, is located in a small unused warehouse, with no doorbell, mailbox and with little sign of human activity," Brazilian website Globoesporte reported. A reporter for the website went to N&N's office and said that the locals "had never seen Neymar, his father or any other famous person" in the vicinity. The business is registered to the ground floor of a two-story house and a "woman who lives in the flat above claimed to 'have only seen a lorry around five times to unload material.'" When contacted by Globoesporte, Neymar's father "declined to comment on the matter" (AS, 1/27).

Spanish third division side Racing Santander's players "have delivered an ultimatum to the club's directors," according to the EFE. Racing Santander captain Mario Fernández read from a statement on Monday "announcing the the decision to not take the field of play for the team's next game -- a Copa del Rey second leg quarterfinal match against Real Sociedad on Thursday -- if Racing's directors do not resign in the 'upcoming hours.'" The players have not been paid since September. Due to "owed payments and false promises, the players took the decision to make a stand." Fernández said that he hopes the club's fans "understand and support the decision." The statement said, "The lack of an adequate response from the Administrative Council and the grave economic situation in which we find ourselves have forced the roster to unanimously adopt the decision to request the immediate resignation of the president and the Administrative Council." The "proposal from Racing's first team has had an echo with the team's junior clubs." The coaches of the Racing Santander youth teams said that "they will also not compete until the board resigns" (EFE, 1/27).

La Liga side Valencia President Amadeo Salvo has criticized the club's lender, Spanish bank Bankia, "saying a football club is not a 'chorizo business,'" according to Dermot Corrigan of ESPN. Bankia and accounting firm KPMG have "reportedly already discarded the public offer made by Peter Lim as the Singapore businessman did not follow the requested procedures." Salvo and Valencia majority shareholder VCF Foundation President Aurelio Martinez are "upset at not being included in the sale process," but Bankia feels it can "make a unilateral decision as the football club have long stopped making repayments" on a €300M-plus loan. No "details of the other bidders have been made public," but Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported that U.S. investment fund Texas Pacific Group, Qatari investment fund QIA and a "group called 'Always Valencia' headed by former player Fernando Gomez Colomer are still in the running" (ESPN, 1/27). In Madrid, Conrado Valle reported Salvo "wants VCF to lead the process." Salvo "explained that he wants to defend what is best for the club." Salvo promised "not to give a single document to any person club executives do not know for the club's financial situation to be examined." Salvo: "Valencia is a 'feeling' that you cannot sell like a chorizo business. From now on, it is us who are in charge of this sale, not Bankia" (AS, 1/24).