Neymar Investor Meeting Santos for Answers on Barcelona Move
Brazilian soccer-player investment group DIS Esporte is seeking to find out if it’s owed more than the 6.84 million euros ($8.9 million) it received following Santos striker Neymar’s move to Spanish champion Barcelona in May, Executive Director Roberto Moreno said.
DIS has been asking to see the contract for a month. The group, controlled by supermarket chain owner Delcir Sonda, paid Santos 5.5 million reais ($2.6 million) for a 40 percent stake in the 21-year-old forward’s transfer rights in 2009.
“I’ve not been shown a single document, so I will go to Santos’s headquarters,” Moreno said yesterday in a telephone interview. “After that we will decide if we need to go to the courts.”
Santos spokesman Arnaldo Hase said Moreno is currently meeting with the team’s Vice President Adilio Rodrigues and said the team doesn’t believe it owes additional money. Santos is one of Brazil’s best-known teams, and is where Pele spent the majority of his career.
Neymar has banked millions of dollars in endorsements for companies including Nike Inc. (NKE) and Volkswagen AG (VOW) since breaking into Santos as a teenager. He was chosen best player at last month’s Confederations Cup, a test event for next year’s World Cup. Brazil beat world champions Spain 3-0 in the final of the Confederations Cup.
Santos transferred 6.84 million euros to DIS Esporte two days ago, Moreno said. DIS officials believe the company is owed more for its stake after a Barcelona director said it cost 57 million euros to secure Neymar’s signing, he said.
Hase said Santos got 17.1 million euros from Barcelona and confirmed 40 percent of that fee was transferred to DIS, and a further 5 percent was paid to a group called Teisa.
“That’s the money we have to pay because it’s 40 percent,” he said in a telephone interview. “There’s no magic in this number.”
As part of the agreement that took Neymar to Barcelona, Santos also negotiated two friendly matches with the Catalan team worth about 4.5 million euros, Hase said. Barcelona will pay a further 8 million euros as part of a three-year agreement giving the Catalan club the first option on any Santos player, he said. The first friendly game will take place at Barcelona’s Camp Nou on Aug 1.
“I need to see proof,” Moreno said. “I’ve read lots of things in the media but seen no documentary evidence.”
It’s common practice for Brazilian soccer clubs to sell transfer rights of up-and-coming players to investors to raise revenue. DIS Esporte, which has a stake in the rights of as many as 80 players, is controlled by Sao Paulo-based supermarket chain owner Sonda.
Barcelona vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu said at a June 3 news conference he couldn’t disclose the breakdown of the Spanish champion’s 57 million euro outlay, citing a confidentiality agreement. Folha de Sao Paulo reported 40 million euros was paid to Neymar as a signing fee. Where the money went is “a good question,” Hase said. “Because it didn’t go to Santos.”
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