Barcelona has been charged by the Spanish High Court for tax fraud in its signing of Neymar from Santos last year.
The Catalan club was hit with news of the latest probe on Wednesday as prosecutors claimed Barca failed to pay a sum of 9.1 million euros owed on a taxable payment of 37.9 million euros, and despite the club pleading its innocence in a statement released on its website, judge Pablo Ruz said Thursday that the Blaugrana will be charged in court.
The charges concern alleged fiscal irregularities from 2011 to 2013, relating to the Brazilian's controversial transfer.
In a document submitted Wednesday, prosecutors claimed Barca failed to pay a sum of 9.1 million euros owed on a taxable payment of 37.9 million euros to the player's parents, with the judge considering that Neymar — as a non-Spanish resident — would be obliged to pay tax on that sum in Brazil or Spain.
"We express our total willingness to collaborate with the Justice authorities in this matter, as we have done since the first moment the issue arose and in any other area in which our presence may be required," Barca's statement read Wednesday.
A complaint by Barca socio Jordi Cases over the lack of transparency in the controversial deal led to an initial investigation into club president Sandro Rosell and saw the 49-year-old tender his resignation last month. New president Josep Maria Bartomeu then presented documents at a press conference later that week that broke down the costs of the transfer.
Those revealed that Barcelona had in fact paid out 86.2 million euros in the total cost of the operation, although the Catalan club insisted that the transfer itself remained at the oft-quoted figure of 57.1 million euros. Bartomeu has vowed to fight all charges in the controversial case.
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- Spanish High Court