Negreira case, much more than aesthetics

An investigation by the Treasury, on the turnover between 2016 and 2018 of a company owned by the then vice president of the Technical Committee of Spanish soccer referees, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreirahas ended up being transferred to the prosecution and revealing openly questionable practices that give rise to intense shadow of doubt about the relations between the Barcelona Football Club and the refereeing body. It has become clear that over a long period, spanning the presidencies of Joan Gaspart, Joan Laporta, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, the club paid that company seven million euros. According to the former collegiate, for verbal advice to obtain “neutral” treatment, which would justify the absence of documentary justification that triggered the Treasury alarms. According to his son and company administrator, as technical videos on the particular characteristics of refereeing teams before each game.

It is not just an aesthetically uncomfortable performance, as it seems that those who had responsibilities in the club in these stages would want it to be considered. saving the presumption of innocence and acknowledging that many of the facts, even if they were infractions, today would be prescribed, the economic relationship between a football club and someone with positions of responsibility in the arbitration body is likely to be considered a very serious offense according to sports law. Also according to the regulations of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, which prevents offering and accepting “gifts”, “benefits” and even “invitations to third parties”. And what is more significant, it could come to be considered a crime of corruption between individuals according to the prosecution.

The experiences accumulated in multiple cases of political corruption have repeatedly shown that when a payment does not correspond to a service actually received but to phantom reports empty of content or of which nobody knows anything, it is that a publicly unaffordable consideration has occurred. The amounts handled are too high and the period during which billing was too suspicious (depending on the version, the payments were suspended when Bartomeu’s Barça had to tighten their belts or just when Enríquez Negreira left office and with it his potential influence) for the club not explain very clearly What were those services? And if its value corresponded more to what the company in question offered or who it was who benefited from a more than substantial economic transaction.

The response of the current Barça board, assuring that the information coincides suspiciously with a good sporting moment for the club, has been simply unpresentable. As cynical as they are the accusations coming from other instances immersed in more than one conflict of interest or use of opaque influences. But the data that has come out requires explanations and not excuses. If Joan Laporta, in his first stage, managed to make the image of a ‘triomfant’ Barça come true and bury the eternal complaining victimhood of previous stages, today he has reacted in a way more in keeping with Guruceta’s times than with those of any of the dream team. A sign of regression rather than reconstruction of the club.

Source of data and images: elperiodico

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