Neymar caught plenty of the limelight with his high-profile switch from Santos in Brazil to Barcelona.
Only now peeking through is how little Santos really benefitted.
Barcelona’s reported €57 million ($74.7 million) transfer fee has found its way mostly into the pockets of the agents, including Neymar’s father Neymar da Silva Sr.
According to Spanish paper AS, which published images of the contract, of the €57 million Barcelona paid for Neymar, €39.9 million ($52.3 million) went directly to the agents, including Neymar’s father, leaving just €17 million ($22.3 million) to Santos. Then, Santos had to pay €7.65 million ($10 million) to an investment group who partially owned Neymar’s rights.
That leaves just €9.35 million ($12.3 million) to the club, a measly 16.4%.
One of the largest players representative firms in the world, FIFPro, has taken notice. Secretary General of FIFPro Theo van Seggelen tweeted “third party ownership damages football” and “financial transparency in football is crucial to safeguard the sport.”
It’s a huge loss for Santos, who basically received pennies on the dollar for their most prized asset, with basically nothing they could do about it. In that sense, van Seggelen makes an entirely valid point. Agents lined their pockets, Neymar made his move to the world’s biggest stage, and his former club are left to lick their wounds.