- POSTED: 22 Jul 2014 19:02
- UPDATED: 22 Jul 2014 19:19
Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell was questioned in a Spanish court on Monday over the 86-million-euro ($117 million) signing of Brazilian striker Neymar.
MADRID: Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell was questioned in a Spanish court on Monday over the 86-million-euro (US$117 million) signing of Brazilian striker Neymar.
Rosell did not speak to journalists as he arrived at the Madrid headquarters of the National Court, Spain's top criminal court, to be questioned by investigating judge Pablo Ruz. The judge in June issued a summons for Rosell and the football club, through its legal representatives, to appear in court as tax crime suspects over the Neymar deal.
The Spanish taxman lost out on up to 11.8 million euros in total, according the the summons. A tax office report cited by the judge listed lost revenues of 2.4 million euros in 2011; 6.8 million euros in 2013 and as much as 2.6 million euros in 2014.
Rosell resigned from Barcelona in January as he faced legal action accusing him of misappropriation of funds for not disclosing the destination of all the money spent on bringing the 22-year-old Brazilian forward to the club last summer.
Subsequently, the club revealed all the figures and clauses involved in the deal, which totalled 86.2 million euros, far above the 57-million-euro price tag the club originally announced. As a result Barcelona were then indicted for alleged tax fraud linked to the signing.
The Catalan giants made a voluntary tax payment of 13.5 million euros in February over the signing to avoid the club's name being tarnished. But Barcelona have protested their innocence and say they are confident of getting that money back. In April, the Spanish league said it believed there was nothing irregular about the Neymar signing.
The Neymar transfer case was started by one of Barca's own club members, Jordi Cases. He accused Rosell of misappropriation for not declaring publicly that 40 million of the 57.1 million figure initially quoted by Barca was paid to N&N, a company controlled by the player's parents.
Following Rosell's resignation, the club revealed the entire cost of the operation including Neymar's signing bonus, commissions, marketing deals, a donation to the player's foundation and other agreements.