The Spanish version of the IRS hit FC Barcelona with a €13.55 million ($18.6 million) fine on Monday for falsifying information regarding the purchase of Brazilian winger Neymar Jr. over the summer. FC Barcelona claimed to have initially paid €57.1 million ($78.5 million) for Neymar’s transfer, but Spain’s tax officials are saying the actual transfer fee surpassed €100 million ($137 million).
While club officials have maintained innocence throughout this ordeal, Spain charged FC Barcelona with tax fraud alleging the team ducked out on approximately $12.5 million owed to the Spanish government. When the allegations came to light last month, Sandro Rosell resigned as president of the club as he is facing a separate investigation regarding the Neymar transaction.
The €13.55 million fine was paid in full by the club this morning, though they’ve adamantly proclaimed they were in the right and will fight the case. FC Barcelona made an official statement on their website this morning stating how they plan to correct this dilemma.
FC Barcelona is currently sitting in second place in La Liga with 60 points, three less than current leaders Real Madrid. Neymar has contributed seven goals in Barcelona’s Spanish campaign since he was bought from his Brazilian club, Santos, over the summer.