A Spanish court has ruled in favor of Barcelona Football Club in a dispute with former player Neymar over a signing bonus paid in part to the Brazil striker before he left for Paris Saint-Germain. Neymar will now have to pay Barcelona €6.7million (£6m).
The court on Friday rejected Neymar’s suit that Barcelona owed him 43 million euros from part of a signing bonus that they never paid the player.
The player had signed a new contract at the Nou Camp in 2016 that included a signing bonus of 64 million euros payable in installments. The club paid the player 22.5 million euros in July 2016 and was supposed to pay him the remaining 43 million euros by July 2017. Barcelona refused to pay the last installment after Neymar switched to France.
The French club ended up signing Neymar on August 3, 2017, after paying a world-record 222 million euros to trigger the buyout clause in his contract.
He wanted the final payment paid while the club wanted some of the money they had already paid him reimbursed. Regarding this on Friday, the judge came down in the
In a statement, Barcelona said: ‘The judgment dismisses the player’s claim in its entirety, which demanded the payment 43.6m euros (£39.5m), and upholds a large part of the claim filed by FC Barcelona, according to which the player must return the club 6.7m euros.’
The legal dispute comes amid ongoing media speculation that Neymar and Barcelona would like to rejoin forces at some point.
This is yet another chapter in the often bizarre relationship between player and club. Last summer Barcelona were criticized by a large sector of their support for trying to re-sign Neymar while he was taking the club through the courts.
Last July it was also suggested if Neymar did win his court case he would not see the money because Barcelona would have to give it straight to the Spanish taxman because of claims Neymar owed money in unpaid taxes.
“FC Barcelona expresses its satisfaction with the verdict announced today by Social Court 15 in Barcelona in relation to the lawsuit involving FC Barcelona and the player Neymar Jr regarding the amount of the signing bonus in the final renewal of the player’s contract. Since the player’s representative is entitled to appeal this decision, the club shall continue to fervently defend its legitimate interests,” read the Barcelona’s official statement.