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Barcelona denies tax fraud allegations over Neymar transfer

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Barcelona denies tax fraud allegations over Neymar transfer
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Barcelona denies tax fraud allegations over Neymar transfer

Barcelona has strenuously denied allegations of unpaid tax in relation to the transfer of Neymar last summer.

Barca socio Jordi Cases originally brought the case of the Brazilian's move to Camp Nou to court after complaining of a lack of transparency of the fees involved in the forward's 57.1 million euro switch to Spain.

Former club president Sandro Rosell stepped down from his role after being accused of the misappropriation of funds involved in the deal, but the case hit the headlines again last week after prosecutors alleged that Barca owes 9.1 million euros in unpaid taxes and failed to declare two payments made to fiscal authorities — something the club firmly denies.

A statement released on their official website reads: "The board of FC Barcelona, following the opening of a criminal case by a prosecutor in relation to the various payments in the signing of the player Neymar, met yesterday at the club offices and came unanimously to the following conclusions:

"1. The board denies the existence of any tax related crime in relation to the fiscal obligations arising from the signing of the player. Throughout the process, the club was receiving expert advice and at every moment the club's auditor was informed and had access to all the documentation concerning the negotiations.

"2. As we have done so far, the club will continue to give maximum collaboration to the Law Courts in order to clarify the facts of the case.

"3. The club will present a legal defence in the case opened against it and members can be assured that the club has always acted within the law and that the Board will defend the club's reputation – one of the most emblematic in our country – until the final consequences and in whatever legal context required.

"4. We wish to make clear that FC Barcelona has always fulfilled its tax obligations, both in terms of time and method, and has enjoyed close collaboration with the Spanish Tax Authorities. FC Barcelona has no tax debts.

"5. The board again insists that in relation to this signing, the club has scrupulously fulfilled its fiscal obligations in line with its awareness at the time of the contracts and agreements signed in good faith.

"6. Given the existence of a possible divergent interpretation of the exact amount of tax responsibility arising from the signing and to defend the club's reputation and good name, FC Barcelona has this morning made a complementary tax declaration of a total of €13,550,830,56 (thirteen million, five hundred and fifty thousand, eight hundred and thirty Euros and fifty-six cents) to cover any potential interpretation made concerning the contracts signed in the transfer process for Neymar, although we remain convinced that the original tax payment was in line with our fiscal obligations.

"7. This voluntary contribution should not be understood as in any way affecting the club's right to have its tax obligations in this matter determined by the competent authorities, concerning which the club reserves the right to further action.

"The board of directors will meet this evening as scheduled in an ordinary session and will deal with issues arising from this question, as well as others included in its agenda."

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