In connection with the Negreira case, Barcelona has been accused of “active bribery” by Barcelona’s Investigative Court No. 1.
It is purported that Barca bribed former referee chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira for information in order to gain special treatment. This allegedly included written reports and DVDs with in-depth analyses of referee behavior.
Negreira has already acknowledged that past presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell paid him for “technical advice to ensure that no controversial refereeing decisions went against Barcelona.”
“The Negreira case is a campaign against Barca,” club president Joan Laporta insisted, vehemently disputing allegations of possible match-fixing and bribery.
You must be critical of yourself, but this is something we all inherited. Obtaining refereeing consulting is not illegal. Apart from the possibility that we undervalued the advice we received from the son of a former referee, Barca has never purchased a referee.”
As part of their investigation into Barcelona, Spanish police raided the RFEF on Thursday. Although they did not make any arrests, they did reveal that they were operating on judge Joaquin Aguirre’s orders, who is currently handling the Negreira case.
Spanish courts have now officially declared that Barcelona is facing charges of “active bribery” following the raids. According to a local court document pertaining to the case brought against Barca, the team has been paying Negreira for referee information for the past eighteen years.
“Everyone who has been investigated thus far, including FC Barcelona, has been found guilty of the crime of bribery, according to the Investigative Court No. 1 of Barcelona,” a statement stated.
“There is an ongoing case of active bribery against FC Barcelona as a legal body and against the club directors who are being investigated.
“One of the three vice presidents of the Technical Committee of Referees integrated into the Royal Spanish Football Federation was paid by FC Barcelona through intermediary companies.” Not refuted and supported by evidence. Given that he performed public duties as vice-president of the CTA, including those pertaining to referee credentials and promotions and demotions, EN [Enriquez Negreira] held the status of public official for criminal purposes.
“FC Barcelona’s payment to EN or his son ER can be interpreted according to the former’s position, as the payments went on for about eighteen years, rising from the initial €70,000 to €700,000 per year; FC Barcelona stopped paying EN as soon as EN resigned as vice-president of the CTA.
Based on their length and yearly increase, it is reasonable to conclude that FC Barcelona’s payments suited the club’s interests. This also leads to the conclusion that FC Barcelona was able to get the desired arbitration outcomes through the payments, indicating that there was likely unfair treatment of other teams and resulting systemic corruption in Spanish arbitration as a whole.
“FC Barcelona chose to give up EN’s services in the middle of 2018, following his dismissal as vice-president of the CTA. In light of this, the latter wrote a menacing letter to the previous FC Barcelona B president, essentially threatening to divulge information that could cause significant harm to the team if they did not continue to pay.
“From the latter, it may be inferred that EN knew that FC Barcelona had been the beneficiary of fairly substantial illegal conduct. EN’s direct knowledge suggested that he either took part in the aforementioned acts in support of FC Barcelona or had very close knowledge of those who would have carried them out. To put it briefly, EN knew, to a greater or lesser degree, that its conduct and even certain other acts that are yet unreported to this day, were illegal.
Club manager Xavi Hernandez said at a press conference shortly after the charge was made, “I don’t make reflections of this type,” on the probe. I need to observe what happens to the team, what happened to us in Mallorca, the strategy, and Sevilla, but I don’t have much time. I don’t think about these things.