Friday 21 September 2018

Barcelona in the dock over Neymar transfer


Barcelona president Jose Maria Bartomeu, his predecessor Sandro Rosell and the club are set to stand trial for alleged “crimes against the Treasury and corporate crime” over the signing of Neymar.


Judge Jose de la Mata called for the opening of the trial yesterday and the three parties accused have 10 days to respond to Spain’s National High Court.

The trial centres around investigators’ allegations the club only declared that they paid $57.1million for the player when they actually paid “at least” $83.371m.

A statement from the court read: “Judge Jose de la Mata has issued a decree for the opening trial against the president of FC Barcelona, Jose Maria Bartomeu, his predecessor, Sandro Rosell and the club itself for crimes against the Treasury and corporate crime.”

All three parties have denied any wrongdoing on several occasions.

It’s all good new on the pitch for Barcelona, though, with coach Luis Enrique in ecstatic mood after his side reached the Champions League final after ousting Bayern Munich from the competition.

Luis Enrique, whose team remains on course for a treble-winning campaign, led his side to a 5-3 aggregate win, despite losing Tuesday’s second leg 3-2 in Munich.

“It’s mission accomplished,” Luis Enrique (pictured right with Bayern boss Pep Guardiola) said. “Our next objective is to be European champions. “We’re one win away from winning each of the three competitions we are in. It’s a nice moment but we still have to seal the deal.

“We deserve to be in the final. The team did well and getting to half-time with a lead was important.

“It was a game that was determined by our rival’s need to take risks and attack. We lost a lot of possession in the second half and I felt we had slipped into the idea that we were already in the final.

“But we know our players’ abilities and what they can do and I am very happy with their performance.”

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