Before rumors started picking up traction, nobody could honestly say that they saw Neymar’s transfer coming, especially not to Paris Saint-Germain F.C. (PSG) – the side that Barcelona completed football’s greatest comeback against by overturning a 4-0 first leg deficit to win the second leg 6-1 and advance to the next round.
Since PSG were willing to pay the €222 million release clause that Barcelona attached to Neymar’s new 5-year contract signed this past October, Barcelona were powerless to block the move if Neymar wanted to leave. Had PSG offered even €1 less than the 222 million, they would have had to enter negotiations with Barcelona.
Many are still thrown off by what a release clause means: it is the amount of money the interested club will have to pay the owning club to release the player from their contract and avoid negotiations with the club, meaning that their only concern would be to convince the player to move.
As for his salary, he’ll be paid a base €30 million wage; however, outlets are reporting different numbers in terms of bonuses, incentives, and add-ons that could increase his wages to anywhere between €40 to €60 million per season.
Additional news broke out via FC Barcelona’s official website that Neymar has paid his release clause himself meaning that PSG are void of any Financial Fair Play (FFP) repercussions. It can be assumed that PSG will reimburse Neymar but this will most definitely dent his legacy at Barcelona.
This doesn’t cleanse Neymar’s lasting reputation. He and his father deliberately stalled the move as there was a clause in Neymar’s contract that he and his father, primarily the latter, would be paid €25 million by Barcelona should Neymar remain at the club until after August 1, 2017.
Avid fans are familiar with UEFA’s FFP regulations; but even for the most hardcore followers, they remain tricky to firmly get a handle on.
Despite this, PSG cannot spend such an outrageous amount of money without balancing it. However, there are loopholes that could pave the way for PSG to avoid any fines or repercussions.
The FFP rules state that player salaries cannot exceed 70% of the club’s income; at the moment, PSG’s player salaries constitute 54% of the club’s income, even the potential €60 million that Neymar could make would take that percentage up to 65% thus keeping PSG in the safe zone.
By now, most could theorize that Neymar’s motive behind the move is the astronomical wage that he will receive.
Another thing to consider is that although Neymar has always maintained that his dream is to play at Barcelona win the Champions League, he has an individual goal he aims to achieve: winning the Ballon D’or.
Neymar signed a new 5-year contract this past October and repeatedly stated that Barcelona is his dream club, but what left Barcelona fans in shock is his complete disregard for them and his nonchalance about the issue.
Barcelona’s juvenile fan base will definitely be sad to see him go; however, Neymar has a notorious track record. He has arrived late to training multiple times, started fights on the pitch for sophomoric reasons, and a fight with the club’s latest signing, Nelson Semedo, over a tackle in training, in addition quarrelling with Juan Carlos Unzue, Barcelona’s assistant coach from 2014-2017, last season over a comment that Neymar should focus more on football and less on partying, and most importantly, his motives and handling behind this transfer.
After 186 games, 105 goals, 2 La Ligas, 3 Copa Del Reys, 1 FIFA club world cup, 1 Champions League, a 3rd place Ballon D’or finish, forming football greatest ever front 3 with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez where they combined for 364 goals in 3 seasons, and a historic comeback that he spearheaded, Neymar leaves Barcelona with somewhat of a polarizing tenure. His boyhood dream comes to an end and his adulthood agenda begins.