Gérald Darmanin would have helped PSG avoid paying tens of millions of euros in taxes during the transfer of Neymar in 2017, according to a Mediapart investigation

The investigative media claims that the current Minister of the Interior intervened in the record transfer of Neymar in 2017, when he was Minister of Public Accounts, “against the jurisprudence of the administration”.



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The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, on January 3, 2024 during a visit to Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône).  (NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)

The investigative media Mediapart reveals, in an investigation published Thursday January 4, that Gérald Darmanin, current Minister of the Interior, would have intervened at the time of Neymar’s transfer to PSG, in 2017, when he was Minister of Public Accounts, so that the Parisian club does not pay millions of euros in taxes on this transaction, “against the jurisprudence of the administration”.

On August 3, 2017, the Brazilian was transferred from FC Barcelona to PSG for a record sum of 222 million euros, i.e. tthe most expensive transfer in the history of football. This transfer was carried out in a particular way, PSG having paid the 222 million euros to the player (the amount of his release clause), who then had to pay them to the Spanish club in order to be able to leave.

Between 67 and 224 million taxes planned on the transfer

Mediapart claims that this operation posed a tax problem, with “the risk that this payment will be subject in France to income tax, but especially to social contributions which finance Social Security, like any remuneration”. According to the calculations of PSG lawyers at the time, “the tax authorities and Urssaf (the organization which collects social contributions) could claim between 67 and 224 million euros” on this transaction, writes Mediapart. A sum that PSG was reluctant to pay.

Mediapart therefore asserts that Gérald Darmanin and his chief of staff intervened, in particular through Hugues Renson, dLREM MP and vice-president of the National Assembly until 2022. “LThe club managed, in just four days, to completely eliminate this risk and pay no tax, thanks to a favor granted by the Minister of Public Accounts at the time Gérald Darmanin. thus asserts Mediapart.

“Tracks” proposed to PSG to avoid social contributions”

The media claims that Gérald Darmanin’s chief of staff, Jérôme Fournel, proposed avenues for PSG to escape social contributions”. The latter, now head of the DGFIP, the tax administration, would have come into contact with the general director of PSG, Jean-Claude Blanc, claiming that the release clause does not exist in French law. IThere is therefore noexpress or incontestable legal rules”and it is not possible to predict “100%” whether the administration will decide to tax or not, thus transcribes Medipart regarding the e-mail sent by Jérôme Fournel to Jean-Claude Blanc.

According to Mediapart, PSG received a few days before the officialization of Neymar’s transfer “two tax rulings sent by the tax authorities and Urssaf of Île-de-France, which announce to the club that there will be neither tax nor social security contributions to pay regarding Neymar’s release clause”. Gérald Darmanin and his former chief of staff, Jérôme Fournel, did not respond to requests from Mediapart.

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