Two days after his public explanations about the Negreira case, the president of Barcelona, Joan Laporta, locked himself in the LaLiga headquarters for three and a half hours with the other 41 First and Second clubs in an extraordinary assembly that revolved, to a large extent, around the great scandal that has shaken football Spanish. “He has not clarified anything, he has not convinced anyone, he has said the same thing as in the press conference the other day. It is incomprehensible that these payments have been made for so many years to the vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees”, commented the top leader of the employers’ association, Javier Tebas, in a lengthy subsequent appearance.
The Barca president, meanwhile, left the meeting without making any statements. A black car was waiting for him at the door on his way back to Barcelona after a long morning in the cloister with his colleagues. An hour later, the entity issued a brief statement stating that, “out of respect and courtesy”, it had given “the appropriate explanations” and that, “out of respect for justice, doubts will be answered in court.”
At the heart of the matter, there were no changes in position, Thebes pointed out, although he did assure that the meeting served, at least, for the superficial: to soften the tension between them, which starts from much further back than the Negreira case, due to his institutional alliance —now in crisis— with Madrid. “Like everything in life, when you are around, the level drops, both his and mine. We have to thank Laporta for showing his face. That makes the anger less now; However, he has not convinced ”, he insisted.
In the minutes before the meeting, the cameras captured them conversing in a small group, where the representative of Real Madrid, José Ángel Sánchez, the club’s main executive, could also be seen, who, according to Tebas, did not speak. during the part in which the Negreira affair was discussed. Not all the teams intervened, actually, but the white entity did refrain from doing so in that section. Together with LaLiga, the Spanish Federation and the Higher Sports Council, it is one of the parties that have appeared as a private prosecution in the judicial process.
First Laporta started for 20 minutes and then a battery of clubs were able to present their position on this issue. Without the appointment becoming an interrogation or a judicial forum, Thebes qualified, but all were unanimous in their rejection of Barcelona’s actions. “He has defended that the payments to Negreira were not intended to influence or buy referees. I don’t think Barça bought referees. What I think is that these payments are an indication that he was seeking to influence something,” stressed the top leader of the employers’ association, who described Laporta’s speech as “polite, not so flag hugger”, although “without self-criticism”.
The clubs did reproach him for the fact that in the first statement, when the case broke out in mid-February, Barcelona said that [estos pagos] They were “a usual practice” of the teams, an extreme that this Wednesday was denied outright. To questions from journalists, he insisted that the Barça president should resign, but that he is not going to make this a casus belli, and announced that they had requested that Negreira’s son also be called as an investigated.
Regarding the exchange of accusations between Madrid and Barcelona about which club had been the Francoist team, Tebas defined this clash as a bar discussion. “It reminded me of when we went out partying with friends and at five in the morning we ended up talking about who the regime’s team was. It is a debate that diverts attention from the problems of Spanish football. I would not have made the video, nor would I have said Laporta’s phrase, ”he explained.
Change the arbitration organization
The morning had another hot spot and also related to the referees, despite the fact that Tebas insisted that they were not connected. Between the federation and LaLiga, protagonists of a constant confrontation, a new front has been opened: the organization of the referees. Now they are 100% under the umbrella of Las Rozas and the employer’s objective is to create a new society in which more actors participate. “We don’t want refereeing competitions,” emphasized the president of the clubs, “but we do aspire to accommodate more people, like players, for example.”
Your reference is England and Germany. In the first, he specified, the collegiate body is controlled in equal parts by the Premier, by the second, third and fourth categories of football on the islands, and by the federation. Meanwhile, in the German country, the federation assumes 51% and the Bundesliga, 49%. Tebas did not specify how much percentage he would settle for; he only insisted on opening the deal to other entities. “After two years of discomfort with the arbitration issue, we must look for other formulas. If this has worked in England and Germany, why not here, ”he launched.
In LaLiga they consider that the referees act as a single and uniform block, always under the protection of Las Rozas’ theses, and their intention is to open a crack in that marble within their endless war with the federation, although they are aware that any The change must go through an agreement with the body of Luis Rubiales. It could even imply a reform of the Sports Law. For the moment, this Wednesday they distributed a survey with 19 points among the teams to find out their opinion on various issues of refereeing work: the criteria of the hands, if too many red ones are shown or how the organization of the referees should be.
A few hours before, the referees issued a statement in which they accused LaLiga of actively participating in a smear campaign against them. Thebes missed that note and reproached them for lack of self-criticism.
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