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

Jan 24, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT

Bartomeu AP

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.