The seriousness of the prosecution’s complaint against Barcelona did not cause any alteration or change in communication policy at the Camp Nou. Official silence is imposed on the Barça club despite the fact that the accusation directly affects two presidents, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, while two others, Joan Laporta and Joan Gaspart, will be summoned to testify as witnesses after the investigation have proven the existence of payments to Negreira from at least 2001 to 2018.
The moment is so important that some sectors of Barcelona are requesting an institutional response, and therefore the appearance of the four presidents, an option that was initially ruled out when it was considered by people close to Bartomeu. The only official response for now has been the one provided by Laporta. The current president has promised to explain in the near future the results of the investigation that an external commission has carried out on behalf of Barcelona.
Laporta maintains, in any case, that “the services” of Enríquez Negreira’s company were carried out with “the corresponding documentary and video support”, and that the invoices were paid for “services rendered”, according to the statements he made. at a press conference last month at the Camp Nou. “A certain period is being investigated,” insisted the president of Barça, who led the club from 2003 to 2010 to return in 2021.
The Barca president was much more forceful last Tuesday at a lunch held at the Círculo Ecuestre in Barcelona. “Barça has never dedicated itself to buying a referee or influencing arbitration decisions,” he said, later pointing to Javier Tebas, president of the Professional Soccer League. “There is a campaign to harm the interests of the club. And I see her as very focused on controlling Barça”. Laporta’s feeling is that he wants to suffocate the club until turning it into a SAD.
No news on the board
The Barça board understands that Tebas takes its toll on the club for not having signed the contract with the CVC investment fund and betting decisively on the Super League. together with Madrid. “The news appears when we start to do well,” insisted Laporta, after underlining the economic recovery of the entity that is accompanied by the leadership in the League and the Cup semifinals.
The last executive who has spoken has been Juli Guiu, vice president of the marketing area, who in statements yesterday in Rac 1 assured: “We found out about the case just before it came to light; We at the club had no idea, neither the board members nor the current executives. It’s something you don’t like.” “What we said is that we want to know what happened and we will go all the way. When we have the report, it will be explained”, finished Guiu.
Rosell has preferred not to speak out and Bartomeu spoke unofficially until in an interview with the ABC newspaper he said: “I am very calm because I was the one who cut off this service. I have no relationship with Mr. Enríquez Negreira, I have never met with him; Laporta quadrupled his salary.” Bartomeu’s statements made it impossible to reach a consensus response and returned the case to what happened during his tenure and to the Treasury investigation that was followed by the prosecution’s complaint.
Joan Gaspart preferred instead to allude to the four presidents: “No illegality was committed. In my time, surely not and, knowing Laporta, Rosell and Bartomeu, I don’t think so either”, said the former Barça president from 2000 to 2003, sports vice president during the mandate of Josep Lluís Núñez (1978-2000) and a strong man for Barcelona in the Spanish Federation during the mandate of Ángel María Villar.
The personal troubles between presidents do not exactly favor the image of a club that was already convicted of tax fraud in 2016 for Neymar’s contract.
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