Barcelona president Joan Laporta says club did nothing illegal!

Barcelona president Joan Laporta says the club did nothing unlawful by utilizing an organization to counsel on specialized and refereeing matters. Barcelona president Joan Laporta says the club did nothing illegal by employing a company to consult on refereeing issues. From 2001 to 2018, Barcelona paid the company of Jose Mara Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of the Spanish football refereeing committee, €7.3 million (£6.5 million); According to Joan Laporta, Consulting on technical-refereeing matters is not illegal in any way.”

Barcelona president Joan Laporta says the club did nothing illegal!

Barcelona has consistently denied purchasing refs or attempting to impact authorities, and Laporta kept up with that situation at a public interview on Monday morning. The club has been charged by examiners in Spain with defilement over installments made to organizations possessed by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the previous VP of Spain’s arbitrators’ board of trustees, somewhere in the range of 2001 and 2018. The charges recorded remember debasement for sport, defilement in business, bogus organization, and distortion of business reports.

He said: “Throughout its 123-year history, FC Barcelona has always been a model of fair play, both on and off the field. If we have won for so many decades, it has undoubtedly resulted from talent, effort, and knowledge.

“No campaign to discredit us will prevent us from continuing to be an organization of reference in the world of sports beloved and admired by millions of Catalans and many more worldwide. I am convinced that FC Barcelona has never acted to alter the competition to gain an advantage.

“Consulting on technical-refereeing issues does not constitute any illegal activity. Consulting – as is done by the big clubs – was carried out transparently, with the corresponding invoices, at least in my first mandate as president.

“If any person or private entity outside FC Barcelona had taken advantage of this context to commit irregularities, the club would be the first to investigate fully. Our image is at stake.”

The charges result from an investigation by Spanish tax authorities into Negreira’s company DASNIL 95, where he was vice-president of the refereeing committee for Spanish football from 1994 to 2018.

The tax officials discovered that Barcelona had made three payments to DASNIL 95 totaling between €300,000 and €550,000. Since there was no evidence that Negreira had done anything in exchange for the money, they decided to give the information to state investigators.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta says the club did nothing unlawful by utilizing an organization to counsel on specialized and refereeing matters

Although the allegations against Barcelona were first made public in February by Spanish media outlet Cadena Ser, their investigation only began in May 2022.

The three payments initially discovered by tax inspectors were just the beginning. Investigators found payments totaling €7.3 million from Barcelona to Negreira, some of which went through NILSAT, a second company owned by Negreira. These payments occurred over a 17-year period during which Barcelona won 10 league titles and four Champions Leagues.

What charges are involved, and what might transpire?

Barcelona has been accused of ‘proceeded with defilement in business.’ It is claimed to have endeavored to ‘pre-decide or modify consciously and deceitfully the consequence of a match or contest.’ The word “continued” indicates that the crime is alleged to have occurred multiple times over a prolonged period, implying that potential penalties are more severe. The club, former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, Negreira, and two other former officials of Barcelona are accused by prosecutors of corruption in sports, unfair administration, and fabricating business records.

According to the prosecution, Negreira favored Barcelona “in the decisions taken by referees in the games played by the club, as well as in the results of the competitions” under a covert agreement and “in exchange for money.” For people like Bartomeu, president from 2014 to 2020, or Rosell, president from 2010 to 2014, punishments could include up to four years in prison. On a sporting level, however, Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, has stated that Barcelona will not be punished because the alleged offenses occurred outside of LaLiga’s statute of limitations. LaLiga can only look into complaints up to three years after the alleged rule-breaking; UEFA, which has started its investigation, is exempt from these limitations.

“As far as I am told, the situation is extremely serious,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin recently. “So serious that it is, in my opinion, one of the most serious in football since I have been involved in it.”

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