Barcelona to stand trial over tax fraud in Neymar transfer
Despite sitting atop the La Liga table and primed to advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, Barcelona could be in a bit of trouble.
Today a Spanish judge ruled that the club, club president Josep Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Romell must stand trial in court over alleged tax fraud during the signing of Neymar in 2013.
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When Neymar was signed from Brazilian-club Santos two years ago, Barcelona reported the transfer fee at around $60 million.
However, an investigation states that the true cost of the transfer was closer to $100 million, with Barcelona paying Neymar with various bonuses in an effort to circumvent taxation.
While the club denies intentionally committing any crimes, it is not the first time the club has gotten into trouble over transfers. UEFA has placed a ban on all transfers for Barcelona until 2016 after the club illegally signed underage players.
With the transfer ban in effect, Barcelona must rely on the side it has now, as well as the youth players developing in the academy.
Manager Luis Enrique is not thinking about the situation in court, saying “What we have control over are the training sessions, everything else is in the hands of the justice system.”
Barcelona are enjoying another amazing season, and are looking to capture the treble as they did in 2009. The club currently sits first in La Liga, is in the finals of the Copa del Rey and is still alive in the Champions League.