Judge demands Barcelona hand over Neymar contracts
A Spanish judge has ruled that Barcelona must submit the contracts that brought Brazilian star Neymar to the club in May to ascertain if president Sandro Rosell has a case to answer for misappropriation of funds.
Barcelona have publicly stated that the money from Neymar's signing was distributed among four companies at a total cost of 57.1 million euros (USD 78.6 million, 48.2 million pounds).
However, the club have claimed a confidentiality clause in the contract prevents them from saying how much each of the parties received of the overall fee.
That led to a Barca member Jordi Cases launching a case against Rosell for misappropriating funds.
According to Cases' complaint, only 17.1 million euros was paid for Neymar's registration rights whilst the other 40 million euros went to a company called N&N, which is owned by the player's father.
Earlier in the week prosecutors had asked the judge in the case, Pablo Ruz, to demand Barcelona hand over the contracts involved in the player's signing, as well as the club's accounts for 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Ruz has now acceded to that request and Barca have five days to submit the contracts in question to the court.
Once Ruz has studied the content in the contracts, he will then decide whether the case will proceed.
Barcelona spokesman Toni Freixa described the complaint when it was first presented as a "reckless and unfounded complaint that damaged the club's image."
However, he insisted at a press conference on Monday that the club would fully co-operate with the authorities.
"We will treat the case with the transparency with which we have acted from the beginning. We have said that for confidentiality reasons we have not given more details, but we are fully willing to provide any judicial entity the details they require from us."