Just a day after they snagged a Champions League finals slot on Wednesday, Barcelona gets a bit of a nasty spoiler to their celebration, as a Spanish court orders them to face trial for the signing of Neymar.
The Spanish National Court made the development public on Wednesday, announcing that they have accepted the request of the state prosecutor’s office to open a trial against the team, president Josep Bartomeu, and former president Sandro Rosell for allegedly evading tax duties during Nermar’s move in 2011.
The case originated from allegations that Barcelona undervalued the acquisition fee they paid for Neymar. The Barcas are said to have declared the wingers price to be only €57.1 million, but records showed that they have actually paid around €83.4 million.
According to the de3cision made by National Court Judge Jose de la Mata, who replaced Judge Pablo Ruiz in the investigation, they have found enough evidence for a probable cause. De la Mata has also ordered the drafting of a proposed indictment.
Both Rosell and Bartomeu has already denied the allegations. Rosell resigned from Barcelona in January after being named as a suspect and being involved in the investigation.
However, the Barcas vice-president for social affairs Jordi Cardoner was very critical of the move by the court, arguing that it is more than just Barcelona who is under fire. “This isn’t an attack just on Barcelona, it’s an attack against the country, Catalonia, because Barca is the flagship of Catalanism,” Cardoner remarked.. “Nothing is coincidental in these times.”
The vice president also noted that it seemed that, whenever his squad is celebrating a victory, they would then face an issue the very next day.
Barcelona is set to meat Juventus in the finals after sneaking past Bayern Munich through a 5-3 aggregate in the semis. They are also currently just a win away from grabbing the La Liga title.