The Prosecutor’s Office concludes that Barcelona paid Negreira to “favour” him in the arbitrations | Sports

The complaint that the Prosecutor’s Office has presented this Friday against FC Barcelona concludes that the objective of the millionaire payments to the former arbitration leader José María Enríquez Negreira was that he, as vice president of the Technical Arbitration Committee (CTA) until 2018, “carry out actions tending to favor to FC Barcelona in the referees’ decision-making in the matches that the club played, and thus in the results of the competitions”. The Prosecutor’s Office attributes to the Barça club, as a legal person, a continuous crime of corruption in business in the sports field and also points to not one but two former presidents: Sandro Rosell (2010-2014) and Josep Maria Bartomeu (2014-2020). , both accused of corruption in business, but also of unfair administration and documentary falsification.

FC Barcelona, ​​according to the Prosecutor’s complaint, “reached and maintained a strictly confidential verbal agreement” with Negreira whose ultimate purpose was to alter the competition in favor of the club. In his only statement, before the Tax Agency, Negreira stated that he was hired because Barça wanted to ensure “neutral” arbitrations, which would not harm him. The complaint recalls that the CTA, the body of which Negreira was vice president between 1994 and 2018, is in charge, among other things, of deciding on the promotions and relegations of members.

The complaint is directed against FC Barcelona and against five natural persons. In addition to Bartomeu, Rosell and Negreira, two other club officials in Bartomeu’s time have been denounced: former executive director Óscar Grau and former professional sports director Albert Soler. The Prosecutor’s Office had initially considered the possibility that Rosell testify as a witness, although it has finally considered that the facts, in his case, may not be prescribed. The public ministry has requested the statement, in this case as witnesses, of two other former Barça presidents under whose mandate payments were made: Joan Gaspart (2000-2003) and Joan Laporta (2003-2010).

The investigation has proven that, at least since 2001 and until July 2018, Barça paid Negreira, through two companies (Nilsat and Dasnil), a total of 7.3 million euros. The invoices do not respond “to any provision or real technical advisory services”, despite the fact that the former referee had stated that he provided “verbal advice” to the club. The “reason” that led the club to “end all payments” in July 2018 was not, according to the accusation, but the fact that Negreira was relieved of the vice-presidency of the body in May of that year, barely two months. before the last of the disbursements.

Negreira received 1.2 million euros between 2014 and 2015 (through Nilsat) and another 1.6 million in the period between 2016 and 2018 (through Dasnil). That is the investigated period in which the facts would not have prescribed and the amount amounts to a total of 2.9 million. The accounts of the two companies, underlined the complaint, “were almost entirely fed by the income from FC Barcelona, ​​which was withdrawn, for the most part, by bearer checks” collected by the secretary and other people in the ex-referee’s environment. . The complaint admits that “the destination” of the cash is unknown.

Javier Enriquez, coach deportivo and son of Negreira, was hired in 2016 by the late former club director Josep Contreras “with the sole objective of preparing weekly refereeing technical reports for each first and second division match” of Barça and subsequently analyzing refereeing errors. Bartomeu, Grau and Soler, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, “knew the framework” and “avoided at all costs” that the son of the former referee “was hired directly by FC Barcelona so as not to associate the last name with the club”. Regarding Javier Enríquez, the complaint indicates that he “has not been proven” for the moment that he “knew and shared the purpose of his father.”

The Prosecutor’s Office points to the inspection of the Tax Agency on Barça’s VAT regarding the two companies used by Negreira, Nilsat and especially Dasnil. The Tax Agency required the club to copy the invoices and the contract for the provision of services signed between both parties. He also asked that the “professionals, technicians or assistants” who developed the services and copies of the videos and reports be identified. “FC Barcelona’s response was that the required documentation had not been found,” the complaint states. The invoices, concludes the Prosecutor’s Office, “did not correspond to the provision of services by the companies.”

The Prosecutor’s Office formalized the complaint this Friday before the head of the Barcelona Investigating Court number 1, Joaquín Aguirre, who had already opened proceedings for the complaint of a VAR referee against Negreira. The public ministry accuses, as a legal person, Barça of a continuous crime of corruption in business in its form of sports fraud. The crime, which entered into force in 2010, punishes those responsible with sentences of between six months and four years in prison and also with fines and disqualification.

In addition to this crime of corruption in business, the complaint points to Bartomeu and Rosell for two other crimes that also imply prison sentences: unfair administration (for using money from partners for illegitimate purposes) and false commercial documents.

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