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Barcelona reveals rare details of Neymar deal day after president resigned amid legal case
BARCELONA, Spain - Barcelona offered a rare peek into the obscure world of football contracts on Friday when it revealed details of the deal that brought Brazil striker Neymar to the Spanish champions last June.
Barcelona gave its painstaking explanation of the transfer a day after former president Sandro Rosell resigned after a judge had agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by club member Jordi Cases alleging he had hid the real cost of the deal in false contracts.
New president Josep Bartomeu said that Neymar's father, Neymar Silva Santos, had now freed the club of confidentiality agreements in the contracts, allowing Barcelona to clarify the blockbuster move that has cost Rosell his job and sparked an organisational crisis inside one of Europe's most successful clubs.
Bartomeu insisted Neymar's transfer cost was 57 million euros ($78 million), and not the €95 million as alleged, while revealing that his salary was 56.7 million euros over five years.
Unlike many other sports, for example in the major sports leagues in the United States, player salaries in football are rarely published by clubs and are usually a source of speculation.
When asked why the club had not explained the deal as Cases had requested months before or, above all, during the last week with the pressure growing on Rosell as the lawsuit gained strength, Bartomeu said the club had been bound to silence by the contracts.
He said that the club had not asked Neymar's father to release it from the confidentiality agreements, but rather the father had contacted the club since Rosell's resignation on Thursday.
"Neymar's father has authorized us to ignore the confidentiality clauses of the contracts because he considers what has happened as unfair," said Bartomeu. "We can't be more transparent. We did this for the press, something that we have never done before, and now our rivals know how we do things."
That said, Bartomeu described the operation as "not unique" despite being an "odyssey" to sign the highly coveted Neymar last summer after winning a bidding war with other clubs, including Real Madrid.
Bartomeu said that Rosell's decision to step down was not solely based on the Neymar case, but was also for his family's security — without going into further detail.
Of the €57.1 million paid for Neymar, Bartomeu said that €40 million went to the company N&N, owned by Neymar's parents as a guarantee that Neymar would sign with Barcelona. The other €17.1 million went to Neymar's former club, Santos.
As he did last June when he presented Neymar on his arrival to the Catalan capital, then as a vice-president under Rosell, Bartomeu said that Neymar and his family had rejected much higher bids from other clubs. On Friday, he said they had reached €100 million and twice the salary Barcelona could offer.
"Neymar preferred to come to our club instead of accepting other offers that would have paid him more," said Bartomeu. "Neymar came here because he believed in our values and, as he has said, to play with (Lionel) Messi."
Among the new information revealed by the club is that the transfer contract included a clause of an additional 2 million euros if Neymar is a finalist for the Ballon d'Or award during his 5-year contract.
Neymar's salary of €56.7 million over five years includes a €10 million signing bonus and €2.7 million for his father who acts as his agent.
Related to the Neymar transfer, Barcelona also agreed to pay €4 million over five years in a marketing deal to "give incentives" for companies who use Neymar in their advertising to include Barcelona's image in Brazil, where it hopes to reap returns in merchandising.
Barcelona agreed to pay €2.5 million over five years to collaborate with Neymar's charity institute for social projects in Brazil.
Barcelona signed a deal with a scouting company run by Neymar's father worth €2 million over five years.
And, finally, Barcelona paid Santos €7.9 million for the first right to sign or match offers for three youth players.
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