An investigation by Spanish tax authorities revealed this Wednesday that Barcelona paid 1.4 million euros to a company owned by José María Negreira, vice-president of the Spanish Football Federation’s (RFEF) Arbitration Commission between 1994 and 2018, over a two-year period . , from 2016 to 2018.
Barcelona reacted this Wednesday to the news broadcast by the radio program “SER Catalunya”, which revealed that, as part of an investigation by the Spanish tax authorities, the club paid 1.4 million euros to a company owned by José María Negreira , vice-president of the Arbitration Committee of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) between 1994 and 2018, for two years, from 2016 to 2018.
As part of the investigation, the former referee and his son have already filed statements with the tax office, asserting that these undeclared payments were not “favours” for Barcelona, but a fee for consulting services, which included explaining to the players how to do it. behave in front of the referees.
In a statement, Barcelona, without naming Negreira, explained that the payment was the result of the request for technical reports on players playing in minor divisions of Spanish football, supplemented by aspects of refereeing, a practice it described as “common in professional associations”.
Read the statement in detail:
“Following the press release published today by Ser Catalunya in Barcelona’s program Què t’hi jugues, aware of the facts that the tax authorities are investigating in relation to payments made to external companies, they intend to make it clear that:
Barcelona have engaged the services of an external technical consultant in the past, who provided, in video format, technical reports on players from Spain’s lower divisions to the club’s technical secretariat.
In addition, the relationship with the external provider was expanded with technical reports on professional refereeing intended to complement the information required by the technical team of the main and support teams, a common practice in professional football clubs.
Currently, this type of external service is the responsibility of a professional belonging to the football field. Barcelona regret that this information comes exactly at the best sporting moment of this season. “Barcelona will take legal action against anyone who tarnishes the image of the club with possible insinuations contrary to the reputation of the entity it can produce based on this information.”