Updated: Wednesday, 04 June 2014 00:41 | By Agence France-Presse

Ex-Barca boss suspected in Neymar case

A Spanish judge on Tuesday cited ex-Barcelona president Sandro Rosell as a tax crime suspect over the 86-million-euro ($117 million) signing of Brazilian international striker Neymar.


Ex-Barca boss suspected in Neymar case

Former president of Barcelona football club Sandro Rosell (L) attends a religious ceremony at Barcelona Cathedral on April 28, 2014 - by Josep Lago

Investigating judge Pablo Ruz of Madrid's National Court issued a written summons for Rosell and the football club, through its legal representatives, to appear as suspects on June 13.

The Spanish taxman lost out on up to 11.8 million euros in total, the summons showed.

A tax office report cited by the judge listed lost revenues of 2.4 million euros in 2011; 6.8 million euros in 2013 and as much as 2.6 million euros in 2014.

The judge summoned Barcelona's auditors, Deloitte, to testify as witnesses on the same day.

Rosell resigned from Barcelona in January as he faced legal action accusing him of misappropriation of funds for not disclosing the destination of all the money spent on bringing the 22-year-old Brazilian forward to the club last summer.

Subsequently, the club revealed all the figures and clauses involved in the deal, which totalled 86.2 million euros, far above the 57-million-euro price tag the club originally announced.

As a result Barcelona were then indicted for alleged tax fraud linked to the signing. 

The Catalan giants made a voluntary tax payment of 13.5 million euros in February over the signing. 

But Barcelona have protested their innocence and say they are confident of getting that money back.

In April, the Spanish league said it believed there was nothing irregular about the Neymar signing.

The Neymar transfer case was started by one of Barca's own members, Jordi Cases.

He accused Rosell of misappropriation for not declaring publicly that 40 million of the 57.1 million figure initially quoted by Barca was paid to N&N, a company controlled by the player's parents.

Following Rosell's resignation, the club revealed the entire cost of the operation including Neymar's signing bonus, commissions, marketing deals, a donation to the player's foundation and other agreements.

Neymar's unconvincing first season with Barcelona has thrown up questions over whether he is ready to lead Brazil to World Cup glory.

"This is Neymar's first World Cup and nobody knows exactly what is going to happen. It is a big responsibility for him," Brazil legend Pele said in a recent interview with AFP.

The negative headlines surrounding his transfer from Santos to Barcelona last year have not helped.

Nevertheless, Neymar is carrying the hopes of 200 million Brazilians on his shoulders as the host nation attempt to win a sixth World Cup. 

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