Scandal surrounding Neymar's transfer to Barcelona grows

David Ramos

A report published in El Mundo combined with a court investigation apparently has Barcelona club president Sandro Rosell on the verge of resigning his position.

It's a been a busy week for Barcelona on and off the field. On the field the title race continues to tighten while the team is on the verge of claiming a spot in the Copa del Rey semifinal. Off the field, the growing scandal around just how much the team paid for the transfer of Neymar of the summer continues to grow, and now is threatening to force the resignation of club president Sandro Rosell.

At the heart of the issue is a debate over the exact amount of money spent by the club to bring Neymar to the club over the summer. For the past few weeks, Barca have stubbornly insisted that the reported €57 million price tag was accurate despite more and more reports claiming the number is closer to €95 million. In addition, there are documents that have been leaked that appear to show Neymar and his family receiving nearly €51 million in fees and commissions.

A story published on Tuesday by El Mundo combined with a Madrid-based court beginning an investigation this week has brought the story to a full boil. Now on Thursday there are reports from Spain that Barcelona's board has called an emergency board meeting this evening -- Catalan time -- and that the resignation of club president Sandro Rosell is imminent.

According to the El Mundo report the €95 million deal included €40 million for the Neymar, €17 million to his former club Santos, €7.9 million for the right to three young Santos players, €9 million for a friendly between the teams, €8.5 million in commissions to Neymar's father, €2.6 million in agent fees and another €10 million for a signing bonus.

The club's initial response to the story was to claim it was false but as the week has progressed, it's starting to look more and more like it's quite true.

As for the court investigation, judge Pablo Ruz agreed to accept a petition requesting that the contract be looked in to. The judge has requested documents from FIFA and Neymar & Neymar -- an agency run by Neymar's father -- for documents related to the transfer. In addition, the court has asked to see information related to the reported side agreements made between the Santos and Barcelona.

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