Almost a year has elapsed since the Prosecutor’s Office began the investigation of the payment of 7.3 million euros in total that FC Barcelona made to José María Enríquez Negreira, vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees from 1994 to 2018, between at least 2001 and the same year in which he left office in the CTA. A long process that culminated this Friday with the formalization of the denounce the blaugrana club as a natural person, and the former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep María Bartomeu.
The Public Ministry accuses the culé entity and the former leaders of alleged crimes of corruption between individuals in the sports field, unfair administration and false documentation, considering that the club had a “strictly confidential verbal agreement” with the former referee to guarantee “actions tending to favor” Barça “in the decision-making of the referees in the matches he played”, as well as in the “results of the competitions”, “in exchange for money”.
In this sense, the letter points out that these payments -specifically, those made between January 2011 and June 2018 to the companies of Negreira, Dasnil SL, and Nilsad SCP-, for which there is an invoice, were made without “no actual technical advisory services or supplies” in return, and emphasizes that Negreira’s role in the CTA included the appointment of the referees for the matches, the promotions and relegations of the referees, and the proposals to be international.
The payments to the former collegiate player, which exceeded 7.3 million euros, were not approved by the club’s statutes or by its General Assembly, so They do not have “legal or statutory support”points out the Prosecutor’s Office, which includes in the complaint the burofax sent by Negreira to FC Barcelona in which he threatened to uncover “all the irregularities that I have known and experienced first-hand” during his relationship with the club if he did not continue to collect.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office has included in the complaint, in addition to Rosell, whom he also accuses of unfair administration, and Bartomeu, who is also facing a crime of unfair administration and another for falsifying a commercial document, oscar grauformer executive director of Barça, already Albert Soler, former director of the club and former general director of sports of the CSD. Two people “of the highest confidence” of Bartomeu, points out the Prosecutor’s Office.
The position of Real Madrid, LaLiga and the RFEF
After more than a month of silence since the association between the Blaugrana team and the former vice president of the CTA came to light, Real Madrid spoke this Saturday to announce that its president, Florentino Pérez, “has summoned urgently to the Board of Directors” this Sunday.
In the Assembly, the white team will decide “the actions it deems appropriate in relation to this matter”, what would happen, as reported by various media such as Cadena COPE and The countrypersonify as private accusation in the prosecution’s complaint.
In this sense, the Madrid entity would do so in a cause apart from the one presented by LaLigawhich a few days after the information regarding the payments to Enríquez Negreira was released issued a video of its leader, Javier Tebas, in which he already announced that if he went to court he would go as a private prosecution, although he explained that the facts had prescribed , so Barça did not face sporting sanctions.
The president of the national championship has also assured that “since we could not intervene because it had prescribed, we write to UEFAwhich other institutions did not do”, at the time they learned of what had happened.
For its part, the Royal Spanish Football Federation also announced when the news broke that would appear in case it came to courtalthough he disassociated himself from the events, since they occurred before the CTA was renewed with the entry of Luis Rubiales to the presidency.
Luis Medina Cantalejo, president of the Technical Committee of Referees, assured on March 2 that there was “no evidence or proof to show that an arbitrator is dishonest”.
What is Barça up against?
Legal sources consulted by 20 minutes They already explained previously that, if FC Barcelona were accused of a continuous crime of corruption between individuals, something that has finally happened, they could face an aggravation of “the sentence from four to six years and would make the statute of limitations 10 years, with disqualification from one to six years and a fine three times the value of the benefit or advantage”.
Besides, the group blaugrana could stay outside competitions organized by UEFAsince the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League Regulations include as a requirement in article 4 that the club in question “not have been directly and/or indirectly involved, since the entry into force of section 3 of article 50 of the UEFA Statutes, i.e. on April 27, 2007, in any activity aimed at fixing or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level and confirm it in writing to the UEFA administration”.
If the institution concludes that said club is involved, “UEFA will declare said club ineligible to participate in the competition. Such ineligibility will only be effective during one football season.“, he explains on his website.