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Barca pays $35m Neymar tax

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BARCELONA, Spain - Barcelona has paid 13.5 million euros ($F35.2million) to Spanish tax authorities to cover any potential irregularities in their signing of Neymar while maintaining their innocence of fraud charges.

The Spanish champions said in a statement yesterday they had paid the "complimentary" amount to cover any "eventual interpretations that could come out of the contracts signed relating to the transfer of Neymar".

"Meanwhile, we are convinced of the legality of our initial fulfilment relating to our tax obligations."

Barcelona's actions take the price of Neymar's transfer to 100 million euros ($F435million) after the Catalan club initially said they had paid 57.1 million euros ($F147million) for the Brazilian forward.

That sum does not include bonus payments made by Barcelona or the 22-year-old's salary, meaning his total cost likely exceeds the record-breaking 100 million euros-plus spent by rivals Real Madrid on Gareth Bale last summer.

Spanish tax authorities charged Barcelona with fraud on Thursday, alleging they swindled the state of 9.1 million euros ($F23million) through payments to varying companies and false contracts.

Barcelona said they had scrupulously met financial obligations in signing the player from Brazilian club Santos and would continue to work with the state authority in the matter.

Neymar's signing forced the resignation of Sandro Rosell as president last month, after one club member's petition to learn more about the intricate details of what had become a club-record signing were kept in the dark.

Rosell had preached financial prudence while signing lucrative sponsorship deals to put advertising on the front of Barcelona's jerseys for the first time in the history of an institution that considers itself more than a club and a symbol of Catalan values.

Rosell is being investigated by the same Spanish court that laid the fraud charges against the club.

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