Following the completion of Luis Suarez’ move to Barcelona in 2014, the fee was widely reported to have been a hefty £75M by the English media. The Spanish media, on the other hand, talked about it being a slightly less eye-watering £65M transfer made to being the then-suspended Suarez to Catalonia to link up with Neymar and Lionel Messi.
According to a document purporting to be the transfer agreement released by Football Leaks, the fee was in fact the £65M one—a little less, even. The document claims the compensation was set to be £64,980,000 paid in five instalments over two years. The final instalment is due this summer, on July 31st, when Barcelona are set to pay Liverpool a final £12,980,000.
However, the £65M leaked document does say that Barcelona will be solely responsible for two things that mean they will be paying more than £65M for Suarez. While £65M—or just shy of that—is what Liverpool are going to have pocketed from the deal, Barcelona are responsible for any taxes on the fee and for FIFA solidarity payments to Suarez’ old clubs.
As the three clubs Suarez played at up until the age of 23, Dutch sides Ajax and Groningen and Uruguay’s Nacional collectively received around £3-3.5M in compensation. Whether the selling club, buying club, or both pay this sort of FIFA-mandated compensation can vary by transfer, but in this case it appears Barcelona were solely responsible for it.
Barcelona will also be responsible for any taxes imposed on the sale. Taxation of transfers is a difficult subject, impacted by where a player is sold, a club’s profit, and a host of other issues making it nearly impossible to know just how much VAT may have been paid in the end on the Suarez transfer. It’s possible even that in the end none was at all.
Any that was paid, though, will have been covered by Barcelona in addition to the £65M transfer fee and the FIFA solidarity payments to Ajax, Groningen, and Nacional. It’s possible that Liverpool or their representitives, at the time of the transfer, expected those payments would add around £10M to the total paid out by Barcelona to acquire Luis Suarez.
At the end of the day, what’s clear is that Liverpool have—or will, when the final instalment is paid in a few months—have pocketed £65M after all taxes and fees from the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona in the summer of 2014. Whether that’s a win for Liverpool or for Barcelona will probably depend on who’s being asked.