Neymar controversy won't harm my re-election – Bartomeu

The 52-year-old Catalan is facing allegations of tax evasion but he is adamant that the Catalans carried out the deal by the book

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is adamant the ongoing controversy surrounding the signing of Neymar will not affect his hopes of re-election, reiterating that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.

A legal investigation was launched into the Brazil international’s transfer from Santos after it emerged that originally reported fee of €58.1 million was closer to €86m.

Former president Sandro Rosell resigned in order to clear his name against allegations of tax evasion, but Bartomeu, who has also been implicated, has called a general election in the hope of strengthening his position at Camp Nou.

Indeed, the current Blaugrana supremo is supremely confident of triumphing as he is adamant that he has no case to answer.

“The Neymar case will not penalise me in the next election,” he told Esport3. “We have not done anything wrong. 

“I am so clear that I have not done anything wrong that I decided to stand for election.

“We are calm because the club has done right. We did all paperwork correctly.

“The important thing is that Neymar is playing with us. That was the No.1 goal.”

Meanwhile, Bartomeu insisted he remains happy with his decision to fire Andoni Zubizarreta as sporting director midway through a campaign that is concluding with Barcelona bidding for a treble.

“Decisions are made and you have to take the consequences,” he added. “Zubizarreta did a great job. But I have my reasons. 

“I do not regret any of the decisions I made in January.”