FC Barcelona is one of those affected by the ‘Negreira case’. This is how the club considers it, which has asked the Examining Court number 1 of Barcelona to admit him on double condition: that of being investigated for the crimes of corruption in sports, unfair administration and falsification of commercial documents and that of private prosecution. In a document presented to the court, the Barcelona entity believes that it has “the condition of being offended and harmed by the alleged commission of an unfair administration crime” since the club’s assets have suffered “damage” with the payments made for 17 years to the former vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) between 1994 and 2018 José María Enríquez Negreira and his son Javier Enríquez Romero.

Barça recalls that the Prosecutor’s Office, in its initial complaint, pointed out that the payments to the Dasnil and Nilsad companies, owned by Enríquez Negreira, between 2001 and 2018 exceeded 7.3 million euros, representing “real remuneration not provided for in the statutes of the club nor approved by the General Assembly for which reason it lacked a title to justify it. In short, said perceptions did not have any legal or statutory support”. For this reason, Barça’s lawyers point out that, continuing with this argument, “the club’s assets have allegedly been mismanaged, consequently causing damage to it.”

For this reason, in its letter to which this medium has had access, Barça considers that “regardless of the existence of a real and effective provision of an arbitration technical advisory service, this service would have been billed twice, formalizing, in addition, one of said billing channels through interposed merchants who received a commission for it”. In this sense, they refer to the club’s payments to Negreira’s son through a partnership with a former manager, Josep Contreras, who died a few months ago. Barça paid the amounts to this company for the advisory services and analysis reports carried out by Javier Enríquez, not only regarding the refereeing in matches of the Catalan team but also their direct rivals such as Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid, and later Contreras paid Negreira’s son’s company by keeping an important commission.

In the process opened in the Investigating Court number 1 of Barcelona, ​​Barça has also opposed the fact that Real Madrid is a private prosecution, considering that it is not harmed by the crimes that are being investigated. They argue that in any case it would be La Liga, as the organizer of the competition, who can appear in this procedure as affected. Barcelona also rejects that Madrid is a popular accusation although it leaves the door open to this possibility, in a subsidiary way, if the white club pays a bail of 500,000 euros taking into account that it has income of 770 million euros for this season: “The The amount of the bail does not seem high or excessive”. The court has not yet made a decision.

In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office rejected the appearance of the Higher Sports Council as an accusation in this procedure, taking into account that its “nature” is “purely administrative, with recognition of its own disciplinary powers, urging the sanction of conducts that, in case of exceeding the limits of the purely sporting field, they must be sent to the judicial or fiscal authority so that they are the ones who act”. That is why he believes that he cannot be “neither harmed nor offended” despite the organizational powers of the arbitration system. The State Lawyer urged to appear in the procedure and La Liga or the Spanish Football Federation do not oppose.

The prosecutor also rejects the extension of the investigation to Enríquez Romero as requested by La Liga since it is “precipitated” at this time that there is a “plenty of incriminating evidence.” The Public Ministry urges to wait for the report commissioned by the court to the Civil Guard before making a decision. At the moment, the ‘Negreira case’ continues to accumulate petitions from the parties waiting for any to be resolved.

On the other hand, La Liga has requested new investigative measures in court, indicating that the payments by the current Barça Board of Directors of tax contributions for a total amount of more than one million euros after inspections by the Tax Agency is a “implicit recognition” that the invoices of Nilsad and Dasnil “did not correspond to the provision of services that were documented in them, but also transferred this information to the annual accounts of the club.” In addition, La Liga recalls that its affiliates must provide an “independent” audit that would indicate the appropriate organization and management models for crime prevention and that Barça set up a Barça Tax Risk Committee in 2016 to respond to this request.

Thus, La Liga asks the court for the Civil Guard to take a statement as witnesses from those members of the Committee since each audit delivered indicated “the tax risk map” and none of them took into account the payments to the Negreira companies that ended up being detected by the Tax Agency and gave rise to this criminal procedure, first in the Prosecutor’s Office and then in judicial investigation. The League recalls that in the years in which Laporta was president during his first stage, between 2004 and 2009, the companies of the former number 2 of the referees were paid 1.09 million euros and that the compliance audit of the compilance financial report of the club from July last year “does not include any materialization of any fiscal risk” of the Barça entity despite inspections by the Treasury.

It is also claimed that the “due diligence” and ‘forensic’ audits commissioned by former Barça presidents, such as Sandro Rosell or Laporta himself, be contributed to the cause for not detecting what “the inspection of the Agency did Tax, the unjustified payments to the Negreiras and their corporate network” despite the fact that “quantitative and manifestly lower amounts” were found, such as the 53,000 euros spent by Laporta in “restaurants, nightclubs, perfumes and cigarettes” or the “4 million in unjustified security expenses”.

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