Barcelona are under increasing pressure as fresh revelations continue to emerge about ‘El Caso Negreira‘, following the confirmation that they, along with Presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, would be charged with continuous corruption by the Spanish Public Prosecutor. The idea that this was something that those in charge were unaware looks increasingly unlikely.
La Liga President Javier Tebas has expressed his ’embarrassment’ at the topic this week, while Barcelona President Joan Laporta again defended the club’s innocence, putting it down to a campaign in bad faith.
Speaking on Cadena SER, presenter Manu Carreno questioned the idea that Laporta and the other presidents involved might not have known about the payments to Enriquez Negreira’s company.
“It is necessary to explain why Joan Laporta, being president, asked that payments to Enriquez Negreira be increased significantly. Off the record we also receive statements from some former presidents and vice presidents, many close friends, many former directors at that time, when Joan Laporta’s board of directors arrived in 2003. There were three of them on that team: there was Joan Laporta, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and Sandro Rosell. We cannot buy that they did not know [about it].”
Before revealing of details of one of the first board meetings under Joan Laporta in 2003, which referenced the issue.
“What they tell me is not that, people who were there, that practically in one of the first meetings of the Laporta Board of Directors, recently arrived after taking office, there Laporta and Rosell meeting their directors, and Rosell especially taking the lead, informed the directors of what was there, that they already inherited it from Joan Gaspart from the previous stage and that ‘if we want them to continue respecting us, we have to continue paying.’ That was heard by those who were there, that is, that nobody knew is a bit strange.”
Rosell and Bartomeu were part of Laporta’s first board, before becoming divided enemies within the political sphere of Barcelona.