The Neymar-to-Barcelona transfer has been an opaque web of possible tax evasion, corruption, and “creative book-keeping,” and at least one of the parties involved is fed up with the whole ordeal. Delcin Sonda, the founding partner of investment group DIS Esporte, spoke out this week against Neymar and his family, stating that he believes DIS was cheated out of a substantial amount of money when the former Santos star transferred to Catalan giants Barcelona.
Neymar is currently scheduled to stand trial for corruption charges stemming from his 2013 move to Spain. Among the reasons for the charges is that Neymar’s father, Neymar Sr., supposedly received the large majority of the money for the move, while his former club received a paltry (in comparison) $17.1 million.
How does DIS feature into this situation? When Neymar was 17 years old, DIS bought 40% of his rights, in a practice that was formerly widespread in South America before being outlawed by FIFA in 2015. That meant that they received 40% of the $17.1 million figure, a figure that Sonda believes was crafted in order to betray and undermine the agreement between DIS and Neymar himself.
The most common number accepted for Neymar’s transfer is $57.1 million, with $40 million being paid directly to the player’s parents, which circumvented DIS’s 40% ownership claim. This, combined with the fact that Sonda feels like the family used him prior to the sale, led to this week’s comments, where the businessman said that Neymar “can’t be an example to our children.”
“We trusted Neymar. […] We invested R$5.5 million [€1.63m], we made friends with the family, we paid for trips to London for his dad and Jerusalem for the family,” said Sonda. “How can this kid say he doesn’t know me? I was stabbed in the back.” The emotional Sonda went on to say that Barcelona aided in the corruption, and that, simply, he wants justice for his part in Neymar’s development.
The convoluted transfer has been a sore spot for Barcelona over the last 3-plus years. the president of the club at the time of the transfer, Sandro Rosell, resigned shortly after the first corruption and tax fraud accusations became public. That Neymar is being taken to court in 2017 over those charges only reinforces that, whether DIS is right or not about his actions, something fishy happened on the way from Brazil to Catalonia.