Barcelona release statement after reports reveal investigation into €1.4m payment to vice-president of Spanish Referees Committee

Comments (0)
Barcelona have responded to a report revealing they are under investigation for a €1.4m payment to the vice-president of the RFEF Referees Committee.

The report from Cadena SER states that the club paid a company owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreir, who was vice president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) Referees Committee from 1994 until 2018.

The Catalan giants paid Negreir's company, DASNIL 95 SL, a total of 1,392,680 over a three-season period between 2016 and 2018. Barcelona's payments stopped in June 2018. The date is said to coincide with Negreir's departure from the Referees Committee.

An investigation by the Prosecutor's Office has already begun. Negreir has told investigators that he did not favour Barcelona in any refereeing decisions but offered the club verbal advice on several issues, including how players should behave in front of referees.

Article continues below

Barcelona have since responded to the report with an official statement and made the following points.

"That in the past FC Barcelona hired the services of an external consultant that supplied the club's technical secretaries with reports in video format of youth players from other clubs in Spain," said the club.

"Additionally, the relationship with that supplier extended to technical reports related to professional refereeing in order to complement the information requested by the first and second team coaching staff. This a common practice among professional football clubs. These kinds of outsourced services are now the duty of a professional who works for the Football Department.

"FC Barcelona is sorry that this information has been released precisely when the team has hit its best form of the season. FC Barcelona shall be taking legal actions against those who are trying to tarnish the club's image with possible insinuations against its good reputation."

This is the latest scandal to hit the Catalan giants following on from the infamous 'Barcagate' saga that saw several board members arrested as part of a police investigation.