Barcelona revealed that they began legal action by presenting a demand at court in Barcelona on 11 August and announced that they have also formally brought the case to the attention of the Spanish Football Federation so that it can be passed on to the French Football Federation and to Fifa. The announcement comes after Neymar criticised Barcelona’s board at the weekend, insisting that he was not happy with them and that they “should not be there”.
In a statement, Barcelona insist that the player must repay the bonus he was given having signed his new contract because he unilaterally broke that deal by signing for PSG “a few months later”. That contract ran until 2021 and included a unilateral buyout clause of €222m, which the French club paid in full. Barcelona have not revealed the amount paid, which they now want returned, with interest.
For his part, Neymar has been demanding another bonus related to his contract renewal worth a reported €26m. That “loyalty” payment has been the focus of a standoff between Neymar and his former club, with Barcelona initially depositing the amount with a notary rather than paying it directly, given the risk of him walking away. They have recuperated that money, preventing it from reaching the player. Barcelona have not confirmed whether that amount is the same as the original figure they paid and now want returned.
Neymar’s camp argued that the second bonus was payable after 31 July, at which point he was still a Barcelona player and had seen out the first year of his deal. The club insist that the Brazilian is in breach of contract, having departed, and not only intend to keep that amount but have now sued for the return of the first bonus payment as they believe that the decision was taken before the end of July, even though the clause was not triggered to enable him to go to France until 3 August.
“Barcelona have sent the labour demand made against Neymar Jr at court [the Jutjat Social] on 11 August to the Real Federación Espanola de Fútbol, so that they can take it to the French Football Federation and Fifa, to all legal ends,” a statement read. “The club demands that Paris Saint-Germain assumes [responsibility for] the payments of any amounts in the event that the player cannot do so.
“Barcelona have taken this action in defence of its interests. That defence will be carried out according to established procedure at the appropriate institutions, without at any time entering into any dialectical battles with the player.”