Barcelona speaks: Spanish club confirms they paid Neymar’s parents $56 million

Leave a comment

Thanks to authorization from Neymar’s father lifting a confidentiality clause, Barcelona took the liberty of releasing some shocking figures on the Brazilian’s transfer fee, a major point of contention recently.

The La Liga giants confirmed today they paid a total of €56.7 million ($77.5 million), of which €40.9 million ($56 million) went directly to the player’s parents.

Santos, Neymar’s former club, received just $23.2 million (29.9%) of the total transfer fee.

This scandal comes to an apex on the heels of former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell’s resignation under accusations that he misappropriated funds and paid more than the reported €56.7 million.

New President Josep Maria Bartomeu (pictured with a paper copy of Neymar’s contract breakdown) said at a press conference to unveil the figures, “we have not lied. Football games are won on the pitch, not behind closed doors in offices.”

The new club President also claimed that many “top teams” had submitted higher offers than that of the Catalan club, some claimed to be over €100 million, but Neymar chose to come to Barcelona.

In the press conference, the club confirmed Neymar’s salary figure, coming to €57.6 million ($78.8 million).  This number is split up into a €10 million signing bonus, €44 million over the five years of his contract, and €2.5 million in agent fees.

Bartomeu also referenced the controversial 1953 transfer of Alfredo Di Stefano to Barcelona, saying “We lost Di Stefano in an office, but we have not lost Neymar.” The reference alludes to Di Stefano’s switch from Colombian club Millonerios to Catalonia, which Spanish Football Federation decided to strike down, allowing him to move instead to Real Madrid.

In the release, Barcelona conveniently shoved this statement at the bottom:

“FC Barcelona have also struck a number of agreements with organizations connected to the player, such as the Fundació Neymar Jr., a commercial agent to link Neymar’s image with the Club’s in Brazil, an agreement with Santos concerning academy players and with N&N [Neymar da Silva and Nadine, the player’s parents], who will scout young talent at the Brazilian club.”

Many have believed that Barcelona used precisely these “agreements” to provide discrete ways of paying Neymar, Santos, and his family more than the reported official transfer amount.

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
Leave a comment

Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
1 Comment

Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.