FC Barcelona acquired the services of the burgeoning football player, Neymar, back in 2013 for a whopping $64 million. However, with the passage of time, it is understood that the transfer fee could be much more than that. Fast forward to the present, after much legal wrangling, it appears as though the transfer fee could skyrocket up to $300 million+.
Initially, not many were optimistic about FC Barcelona´s plans to acquire Neymar from Santos FC for such a hefty fee. In a way, they were right to feel that way, as Neymar hadn´t proven himself on the European stage and many were of the opinion that the skinny teenager didn´t possess the physical attributes to go toe-to-toe with the heavy weights of the world. Many people speculated that Barcelona paid over the odds for the services of Neymar. However, Neymar has proved his doubters wrong and has blossomed into one of the most marketable athletes in the world, only increasing the brand value of the club, FC Barcelona.
Neymar was not only the number one target of FC Barcelona; he was Real Madrid´s priority target too. Therefore, when FC Barcelona notched his services and went coy about his transfer fee, Real Madrid cried foul. However, after much pressure, the club was forced to reveal the actual transfer fee, and to everyone´s surprise, the fee was much higher; the club paid a full $32. 6 million more than initially stated. A year after signing Neymar, Barcelona revealed that they had paid an astounding $96.6 million.
After the news broke out, Sandro Rosell, the former president of FC Barcelona was forced to resign. The country’s tax enforcers didn’t take to it too kindly. Understandably, the club was forced to pay a further $15.1 million in taxes. During the time, it was also disclosed that Barcelona had paid around $7.2 million in uncovered contracts to Santos.
When we add the figures, it adds up to $119 million! But, wait, that’s not the end of it. As things got messy, there were legal battles. As there were legal battles, there were legal fees. Over the course of the entire scandalous period, FC Barcelona ostensibly paid around $136.8 million in legal fees. There were further repercussions too. Since the club had committed tax fraud, Barcelona was ordered to cough up around $57.3 million as fines.
The senior authorities at Barcelona should have known better. In reality, Neymar’s transfer fee of $64 million could rise to as high as $313 million, making him the most expensive player in the history of the sport! A lot of people messed up big time with his deal. Nonetheless, they did manage to capture Neymar’s services but, we are certain the hierarchy at Barcelona have learnt an important lesson too.