Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, the former vice-president of Spain’s refereeing committee at the centre of a scandal involving Barcelona, previously revealed the Blaugrana hired him because they felt they were being unfairly targeted by referees.

Payments have been unearthed from Barcelona to Negreira which has sparked a major debate about potential bribery and unfair treatment from referees, with the whole process being investigated by Spanish authorities.

During the investigation, a statement made by Negreira to the Tax Agency to explain his income in 2021 has been seen by El Pais, in which the former official explained the nature of his work with the club.

“FC Barcelona considered that the team was harmed and other teams were favoured. This is a personal hypothesis, nobody has told me directly,” Negreira’s statement read.

“My obligation was to give my opinion about the matches in terms of arbitration and the players. Technical advice. What FC Barcelona wanted was to make sure that no decisions were made against the club, that everything was neutral.”


The former official later gave examples of some of the specific tasks he was asked to undertake as part of his work with Barcelona.

“[To make sure the Competition Committee] was not made up entirely of judges from Madrid, [that Barça] arrange an interlocutor with the Federation who will take care of institutional relations and to keep the club informed of possible interests or disagreement between LaLiga and the Federation,” the statement explained.

Negreira’s statement also named former Barcelona presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu.

He added: “I saw them at most six times a year so they were calm that there were no decisions against FC Barcelona in the arbitration committee, that everything was neutral.”


On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Harry Kane’s future at Tottenham Hotspur, Joao Felix potentially joining Chelsea on a permanent basis, David Raya, Marco Asensio, Alexis Mac Allister & more!

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