The Barcelona club member who filed a lawsuit over the cost of Neymar’s transfer fee said Tuesday he has asked his lawyers to withdraw the suit. Jordi Cases brought the suit claiming that former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell had misappropriated funds by hiding the real cost to the club behind false contracts, a criminal offense punishable by up to six years of prison.
The lawsuit led to the resignation of Rosell in January. “I can affirm that no behavior that would constitute a crime has been observed,” Cases wrote in a letter released by the Catalan club. “For this reason I have instructed my lawyers to end the penal and civil suit.”
Barcelona said it paid 57.1 million euros ($74 million) for the Brazil striker. While denying any irregularities, the Catalan club later revealed a series of agreements for bonuses and side-deals with Neymar’s father and former club Santos that could cost the club another 31 million euros ($39.5 million).
The choice to drop the case does not mean the end of Barcelona’s legal problems regarding the Neymar deal, however.
In February, Spanish tax authorities charged Barcelona with fraud, saying it owed 9.1 million euros ($12.5 million) through payments to varying companies and false contracts.
Of the initial transfer fee, Santos received 17.1 million euros ($23 million) while Neymar’s father, who also goes by Neymar, earned 40 million euros ($55 million). The tax authorities considered the amount paid to Neymar’s father as a salary.
Barcelona paid 13.55 million euros ($18.6 million) to tax authorities to cover any potential irregularities in its signing of Neymar, while maintaining its innocence of the fraud charges levied against it.