Spanish Justice to take Barcelona to court on charges of ‘continuous corruption’

Barcelona look set to defend themselves in court over the Negreira Case, as the Spanish Justice department prepares to submit a formal complaint.

During a tax investigation, the Blaugrana were found to have been paying a company called Dasnil 95 a sum of €6.7m from 2001 to 2017. The company was owned by former Vice-President of the Referees Committee Enriquez Negreira, and only featured two employees; Negreira and his son.

Those payments were reportedly for scouting reports and reports on referees. According to El Pais, the Prosecutor’s Office do not feel there is sufficient evidence to substantiate those claims and will submit charges of ‘continuous corruption’ against former President Josep Maria Bartomeu and the club itself.

The other Presidents during that time, Joan Gaspart, Sandro Rosell and Joan Laporta, will not be implicated directly, due to a statute of limitations of five years on the charges. However they could become involved if Barcelona the entity are charged. A judge will now decide whether there are grounds to accept the case, as per protocol.

It is not yet clear what punishment this could bring for Barcelona, although La Liga have ruled out relegation or points punishments due to their time-limit on punishment. UEFA and FIFA are thought to be monitoring the matter, and are not hamstrung by any statutes in terms of punishment.

At the same time, current President Laporta was speaking at an event and denied that the club had ‘ever bought or sought to buy referees’, claiming the facts would out the truth. The club intend to explain the situation in an upcoming press conference.

Nevertheless, it is a dark day for Spanish football as it stands. Until these payments are given satisfactory explanation, the case will continue to damage the reputation of the many people defend its image.


Image via Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Tags Barcelona Caso Negreira Enriquez Negreira Joan Laporta Josep Maria Bartomeu
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