A court has fined Barcelona €23m after finding the Catalan giants guilty of falsifying agent payments between 2012 and 2015.
The period in question began under the presidency of Sandro Rosell, who was replaced by Josep Maria Bartomeu in January 2014, with the investigation spanning a further 18 months before concluding in June 2015.
Barcelona have been found to have failed to properly declare payments to agents so as to avoid paying taxes on those payments, instead sending the money to the players being represented by those agents.
Agents would later be paid for services which Barcelona declared was not related to any transfers, but the court has claimed “the club is remunerating the agent for non-existent services”.
In total, Barcelona owe €8,764,118 in tax, but penalties for the extent of the breaches in each individual year have seen the Blaugrana hit with a whopping €23m fine.
Barcelona wasted little time in voicing their decision to appeal the ruling.
“Futbol Club Barcelona has been informed of the verdict on income tax (IRPF) of the National Court (Audiencia Nacional) regarding the appeal presented by the club with respect to the tax inspection concerning payments made to players’ agents between 2012 and 2015,” a statement read.
“Futbol Club Barcelona shall be presenting an appeal to the Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo).
“It comes as a surprise that the Contentious-Administrative house at the National Court has not considered the most recent jurisprudence of the Supreme Court on this matter, from which certain other football clubs have been able to benefit in recent sentences on the same matter.
“The divergent criteria of the National Court is also surprising when, a few months ago, another section accepted an appeal from our club on an identical issue to the current one that derived from the same inspection in relation to the Non-Resident Income Tax.
“This ruling does not entail any payment obligation for the club at present, this contingency being properly provisioned in the annual accounts.”