Barcelona Reportedly Approaches Authorities Over Neymar Deal; Club Issues Denial
Barcelona "wants to close the case against the club over suspected fraud in the signing of Neymar as soon as possible," according to Fernando J. Pérez of EL PAIS. Legal sources indicated that Barcelona "expressed its willingness to reach an agreement in which it would admit to defrauding the tax authorities and pay the remainder of the taxes on the club's contract with Neymar." The club paid Spanish tax authorities €13.5M ($18.7M) in February. Barcelona denied attempting to reach an agreement in a statement on its website on Tuesday (EL PAIS, 3/11). Barcelona said in its statement, "FC Barcelona would like to categorically deny that they have communicated to the Public Prosecutor a commitment to reach an agreement confirming the existence of any misdemeanour in relation to the tax authorities, in order to close the case brought before the National Courts relating to the signing of Neymar" (Barcelona).
'EMBARRASSING' INVESTIGATION: The BBC's David Bond reported Barcelona President Josep Bartomeu has admitted the saga surrounding the transfer of Neymar has been "embarrassing." However, Bartomeu said that the club "had done nothing wrong." Bartomeu: "It's embarrassing because we think we are right. We think we did things properly, that everything was done in the correct and best way" (BBC, 3/10).