Barcelona: Barcelona said to have paid 1.4 million euros to Technical Committee of Referees vice-president Enriquez Negreira

Former referee Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira was vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees at the Royal Spanish Football Federation from 1994 to 2018.

The Prosecutor’s Office have found out that Barcelona paid between 2016 and 2018 the amount of 1.4 million euros to DASNIL 95, a company owned by Negreira.

According to SER Catalunya’s ‘Que t’hi jugues’ show, Barcelona paid DASNIL 95 SL a figure of 532,728.02 euros in 2016, followed by 541,752 in 2017 and 318,200 in 2018.

The investigation has been initiated as a result of a tax inspection to the aforementioned company. Negreira and his son have already testified before the Prosecutor’s Office.

He has assured SER that there was never any favorable treatment to the Blaugrana and that these payments, of which he has not provided invoices, were due to an advisory work, which consisted of explaining to the players how they should behave during matches with the referees.

He also gave them recommendations on what they could or could not do depending on who was the referee who was refereeing the match.

However, according to Negreira’s statement to the Tax Agency, the former vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees “did not provide any document proving that he provided a service to Barcelona“.

Quoted by the same radio show, former president Josep Maria Bartomeu assures that the payments were stopped due to “a cost-cutting policy” and revealed that the reports already existed “at least in 2003”, when he arrived at the club, and that they were paid “continuously” until 2018.

The same version is supported by Sandro Rosell‘s board of directors, according to the same radio show, while former vice-president Joan Gaspart assures that he “has no record” of these payments.

Barcelona’s statement

The club have released a statement to respond to this information and offer their version of what happened. The text reads as follows:

“Given the information broadcast today on the program Que t’hi jugues on Ser Catalunya, FC Barcelona, aware of the facts being investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding payments made to external companies, wants to make it clear:

“That FC Barcelona, in the past, hired the services of an external technical consultant, who provided, in video format, technical reports referring to players of lower categories of the Spanish State for the technical directors of the Club.

“In addition, the relationship with the external provider itself was extended to include technical reports related to professional refereeing in order to complement information required by the coaching staff of the first and reserve teams, a common practice in professional football clubs.

“Currently, this type of outsourced services is provided by a professional assigned to the Football Department.

FC Barcelona regrets that this information appears precisely at the best sporting moment of the current season.

FC Barcelona will take legal action against whoever spoils the image of the Club with possible insinuations contrary to the reputation of the entity that may arise as a result of this information.”