The Intricate Legal & Other Underpinning Around Soccer’s Biggest Transfer Deal in History: Neymar (Bar-PSG) – Babatope Ore-Adebiyi


Neymar’s Buyout Clause (BOC) amount :£200M as at 03/08/17 i.e. the cost price of three (3) Boeing 737-300 Air Craft.
Salary structure @ PSG: £40.7M per annum @£782k per week.

It is presumably Barca’s belief that the humongous buyout clause fee inserted to the Neymar’s new contract last year will be sufficient to scare any suitor intending to sign Neymar hence the bold declaration that any suitor must be ready to pay this fee in one tranche.

Upon PSG showing interest, La liga’s governing body warned that it would not sanction the deal in view of the likelihood of an FFP breach.

In the light of the above, PSG had to technically recuse from the transaction. What is the option left? La Liga Rules allow a player willing to break off his contract to do so by paying his club the exact amount of the buy out clause not directly however, but by depositing the money with the La Liga governing body who will in turn transfer to the parent bank in this case Barca.

So Neymar’s lawyers decided to employ this rule by approaching the La Liga governing body with a cheque to the tune of the full amount of the BOC (nobody knows technically whether the money came from Neymar’s purse or PSG who handed the money to Neymar’s lawyer).

The La Liga governing body blatantly refused to accept this saying the deal remains susceptible to a breach of La Liga Rules, the body further declared its readiness to contest the deal at the appropriate tribunal in Switzerland (the hub of sports arbitration) for running fowl of EU Anti-Competition frameworks.

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Not dissuaded by the La Liga antics and apparently believing that the La Liga was just a trustee or custodian of the BOC amount to be deposit to it, Neymar’s Lawyer approached Barcelona directly with the full BOC which the latter accepted thereby signaling the official transfer of Neymar to the French Capital

What Next?

PSG will in days to come away from the prying eyes of the public through a private arrangement fully indemnify Neymar for the amount used in buying himself (if indeed the star boy paid from his private purse).

Neymar has forfeited his contract extension loyalty bonus with Barca.

Sport Tribunals are also going to be buzzing in days to come with cases from interested parties in this transaction on complex legal issues arising there from.
There will be argument and counter argument especially by European football stakeholders (as can be gleaned from comments credited to Arsene Wenger) for an urgent review of the FFP rules especially loopholes that can be exploited by parties.

Above all, the most confounding issue will be found in the words of the Special One (Jose Mourinho) which is : “…. The problem is not Neymar’s transfer but the problem is the consequence….” especially If one is to weigh in with last summer’s transfer intent of Lionel Messi away from Barca.

In conclusion, Beknownst to all and sundry that Football is no longer a leisure, game or hobby. It is officially a money-spinning industry.

Babatope Ore-Adebiyi

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