Barcelona’s relationship with ex-LaLiga referees chief ‘lasted many years’ according to lawyers – with Spanish giants embroiled in corruption scandal after allegedly paying him over £1MILLION during a two-year period
As Barcelona prepare to take on Manchester United tonight, the controversy over the club’s relationship with a former Spanish referee rumbles on amid new revelations.
Spanish publication El Mundo revealed in its Thursday edition that when Barcelona stopped paying the former vice-president of the Referees’ Committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, his lawyers faxed them referencing a relationship that had ‘lasted so many years with so many favours rendered and so many confidences shared’.
El Mundo revealed last week that Negreira sent another fax to Barcelona in 2019 that said he would ‘publicise all the irregularities I have known and experienced at first hand in relation to the club’, if an agreement were not reached between the two parties.
The fax also states that Enriquez Negreira was ‘surprised and disappointed’ by then Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu’s decision to end the working relationship.
Despite the fax, Barcelona did completely cut ties with Enriquez Negreira in 2018 and there were no subsequent revelations.
Prosecutors are investigating allegations that Barcelona paid a former LaLiga referee more than £1million across three seasons for consultancy work on how to behave with officials
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has vowed to defend the club’s name during the process
The payments to referees’ boss controversy first hit Barcelona two weeks ago when a tax investigation into a company owned by Enriquez Negreira revealed a payment from Barcelona of £1.2m, during a two-year period up to 2018 – paid for ‘technical advice on referees’, while Enriquez Negreira was vice-president of the Referees’ Committee.
El Mundo subsequently reported that payments from Barcelona to Enriquez Negreira’s company date back to 2001 and total 6,6m euros.
Barcelona issued a statement admitting to having contracted the services of an ‘external’ consultant who ‘provided technical reports related to professional refereeing in order to complement information required by the coaching staff’, something that it said was ‘common practice in professional football clubs’.
Manager Xavi is preparing for Barcelona’s second leg against Manchester United on Thursday
According to El Mundo Deportivo, club president Joan Laporta plans to hold a press conferences in two or three weeks to explain the situation.
LaLiga head Javier Tebas said last week that no action could be taken by the Spanish League because the statute of limitations had passed.
The Spanish Football Federation say since current president Luis Rubiales took power in 2018 Enriquez Negreira has not been part of the Referees’ Committee and that it is now prohibited for any member of the body to be employed as a consultant by any club.
The stance of the two football authorities in Spain has left the matter in the hands of Spain’s public prosecutor who will only proceed if it is proven that results were influenced directly as a result of services paid for.
Source of data and images: dailymail
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Barcelona’s relationship with ex-LaLiga referees chief ‘lasted many years’ according to lawyers – with Spanish giants embroiled in corruption scandal after allegedly paying him over £1MILLION during a two-year period By Pete Jenson for MailOnline Published: 06:53 EST, 23 February 2023 | Updated: 07:10 EST, 23 February 2023 <!– <!– <!– <!– <!– <!– As …
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