As Barcelona go through one of its brightest moments in recent history on the pitch, finishing an amazing January riding an impressive eight-game winning streak, there's always something happening from the outside that threatens to stop whatever good vibes are flowing through Camp Nou right now.
One of those is the alleged tax evasion practices made by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu during the transfer of Neymar Jr. He has to appear in court to defend himself and the club. And Bartomeu has made clear that he'll do whatever it takes to defend Barça's honor.
"It makes no sense to charge a club like Barça, it is over the top and out of proportion. It is an attack on Barça and we have to defend ourselves. There is a red line that has been crossed and we have to say enough. There is too much going on and we have to put a top to it because a line has been crossed.
"Next week I will go to the Audiencia Nacional [National Court] and we will once again explain the truth. I want to make it clear that Barça has not done anything wrong. All we have done is bring a player like Neymar [to the club]. Barça, its executives, its employees nor its directors have done anything wrong. All this comes from someone who did not want him to come to Barça. Neymar's father said that he had a better offer from Real Madrid, and that did not go down to well.
"Everything we have done has been assessed and we have followed the usual steps for the signing of a player like Neymar. We said the signing cost 57 million [Euros] and we stand by that figure.
"There are some contracts that Barça interprets one way and the national court another, that is where the difference lies. I don't have any evidence but there are facts. Last year we allowed the stadium to be used for the 'Freedom Concert' and we played a game wearing the Catalan national flag kit - the Catalan Independence march passed through Camp Nou and so perhaps that was not to everyone's taste. I see a political and sporting angle and so we will continue to work to get to the crux of the matter as we do not want it to end here. I am convinced that there are certain powers of State that are not happy that Neymar came to Barça.
"A club like Barça throughout its history has suffered injustices and this is yet another, and it is serious. I want to get to the bottom of it all. We have done things in the right way. We will continue with the same strength and if necessary more so.
"We have always said that we want to get to the bottom of it because Barça has done nothing wrong. We have not broken any law at any time. For that reason we will not accept any deal. Neither Sandro Rosell nor myself bear any blame. We want to get to the truth. We want to explain that we have acted within the law and not outside it. We have acted accordingly and we would do the same to bring Neymar to our club."
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