Pete Jenson: The Nou Camp may one day have a mausoleum but Barcelona hope Neymar deal does not return to haunt them

A Different League: The Brazilian's fee was originally quoted as €57m but a court has heard the true cost to the Catalan giants was €100m

It's difficult to know whether to take news that Barcelona want to accommodate their supporters after death by offering 30,000 urns to be kept in the redesigned Nou Camp as well-meaning sentimentality or just more shrewd business.

For a sizeable fee, fans can spend all of eternity (well not quite eternity, €6,000 gets you 90 years) in the Barcelona mausoleum. Club insiders say they hope it will put an end to the practice of trying to obey a loved one's dying wish by disposing of their ashes on the sly during a guided tour of the stadium.

The remodelled Nou Camp, with its in-built mausoleum, will also carry a sponsor's name. If the last big club in Europe to give in to shirt sponsorship is willing to accept a brand name on its stadium then anyone can. Barça have also sold the space on the inside of their famous shirts. Every euro counts when it's €100m (£82m) not €57m (£48m) you are paying for Neymar.

No doubt when the case that Judge Pablo Ruz admitted to court is finally heard, Barcelona will argue they did nothing wrong when they paid Neymar and N&N, the company owned by the player and his father, €40m (£32.7m). Third-party ownership is after all legal in South America and if N&N part-owned the player's registration, were they not in a position to negotiate a fee, be it as a bonus for signing as a free agent in 2014, or as a penalty for signing before?

Barcelona also paid Neymar's father a €2.6m (£2.1m) commission for negotiating a contract that guarantees a minimum of €54m (£44m) in wages over five years but there is no legislation against agents charging commissions or being related to players.

Will anyone be able to prove that a deal worth €2m (£1.65m) over the next five years for another Neymar-owned company to look for new talent in Brazil is not perfectly genuine? Or that another worth €4m (£3.3m) for them to find new commercial partners for Barcelona in Brazil is also not valid?

Can it be proved that a payment of €7.9m (£6.5m) for preferential rights on three Santos players or the €9m (£7.4m) for two friendlies were not separate from the transfer?

And can it be shown that another contract with another Neymar organisation to help the poorest neighbourhoods in Sao Paulo worth €2.5m (£2.05m) has not been set up to do exactly that? Even if it was not the case before, you can imagine an army of social workers armed with Barça shirts and plans for new football pitches in the favelas, heading for Sao Paulo as soon as judge Ruz decided to hear the case.

The Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell, has been put in an embarrassing position but it may well be impossible to prove that all monies destined for the Neymars were really just disguised wages and ought to be taxed at 52 per cent.

Or that the other monies going to Santos might not also be part of the transfer fee, thus increasing the percentage owed to other third parties who also had a stake in the player?

Barcelona say they have done nothing more than use "business engineering" in a deal that may have involved as many as 12 different contracts. And as long as transfers exist in a fairly unregulated state where it seems anything goes, there is plenty of scope for that.

The only thing that goes on rising as steadily as transfer values is ticket prices. Some Manchester City fans say it will cost them less to fly to Barcelona next month than it will to get into the game.

Perhaps it is fitting then that it was a fan who provoked the Neymar transfer investigation. Pharmacist and Barça supporter Jordi Cases wanted to know what the €40m payment to N&N had been for. Only when the club ignored his requests for transparency did he take his complaint to the courts, unaware of where the paper trail would lead.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week