Referee at centre of controversial 1.4 million euro payment from FC Barcelona
Shockingly, Barcelona paid 1.4 million euros to a La Liga referee through an offshore company
Shockwave reverberated across Spain when a news report revealed FC Barcelona had paid 1.4 million euros to the former vice president of Spain’s referees’ committee, José María Enríquez Negreira, between 2016 and 2018; these payments allegedly had not been invoiced.
Then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu responded by claiming the payments were made for delivery of usual services expected in professional football clubs.
Negreira testified that Barca never received preferential treatment due to his tenure as referee and that they were paid out for educational services regarding rules and regulations – a statement seemingly supported by Barcelona’s own released statement which stated: “the club contracted the services of an external technical consultant”.
Despite this however, there is still a chance severe consequences may arise including potential point deductions or relegation from La Liga – especially considering a 2006 match-fixing scandal that ultimately saw Juventus relegated despite limited initial evidence.
Xavi Hernandez briefly addressed the reports in pre-match presser before their Europa League fixture against Manchester United, advocating defense of the institution while referencing himself having retired during said events.
As these proceedings suddenly come to light, opinions remain divided with many concerned about Barca’s integrity despite their premier league lead; only time will tell what legal consequences may be brought forth for this recently unveiled bribery case.
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