Neymar’s Secret Transfer Deal Irks Brazilian Investment Group

A Brazilian investment group is asking soccer club Santos to disclose financial details of Neymar’s 57 million-euro ($75.2 million) move to Barcelona.

DIS Esporte executive director Roberto Moreno said by phone that in 2009 the group paid Brazil’s Santos 5.5 million reais ($2.6 million) for 40 percent of the 21-year-old forward’s transfer rights, and hasn’t heard anything from Santos since the team agreed to trade the player last week.

“It was in the contract that we should be informed about the negotiations,” Moreno said. “I am going to wait one more week and then I will open a case in court to get access to the information.”

Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported yesterday that Santos will get as little as 17.1 million euros of the fee, with Neymar getting a 40 million-euro signing-on fee.

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 Delcir 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.

Santos officials today referred enquiries to spokesman Arnaldo Hase, who didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail asking him to explain the transfer deal.

“The facts we have are only what we’ve read in the press: that the transfer fee was 57 million euros,” Moreno said. “Right now I don’t know if it’s more or less.”

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