After watching the explosion Negreira case With prudence and private indignation, Real Madrid has decided to go to court against Barcelona, eternal rival on the field, and intimate partner in the Super League project that it still considers very much alive. An unprecedented step in a relationship that was going through its most cordial period, a week before visiting the Camp Nou in the League next Sunday. Madrid has decided to request to appear in the open case with the complaint from the Prosecutor’s Office last Friday, according to sources known to the club’s plans. Its president, Florentino Pérez, convened this Saturday an extraordinary board of directors for this Sunday at noon in which, among other possible reactions, the request to the judge, when appropriate, to be a party in the case will be addressed.
Until this Saturday, Madrid had barely allowed a few brief words from Emilio Butragueño, director of institutional relations, to appear in public: “We must respect the times of justice, and now we must wait for the investigations of the Prosecutor’s Office to determine what It has happened”, he said after the derby on February 25.
However, just over two weeks later, the same sources explain that considering that the content of the complaint left them no other alternative. The official statement published this Saturday two hours before the match against Espanyol thus describes the context of the decision: “Given the seriousness of the accusations made by the Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office against FC Barcelona and two of its presidents for well-founded suspicions of corruption and his relations with whoever was the vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees, José María Enríquez Negreira”.
The text that the Prosecutor’s Office presented in the Investigating Court number 1 of Barcelona after months of investigations contains a devastating description of the operation: “Through the ARF Presidents [Sandro Rosell] and JMBF [Josep Maria Bartomeu] the FCB reached and maintained a strictly confidential verbal agreement with the accused JMEN [José María Enríquez Negreira]so that, in his capacity as vice president of the CTA [Comité Técnico de Árbitros] and in exchange for money, carry out actions tending to favor the FCB in the referees’ decision-making in the matches that the Club plays, and thus in the results of the competitions; referees whose designation for each match of the official Spanish competitions at the state and professional level are carried out within the CTA, the body in charge, in addition, of the evaluations —in which the defendant participated— for the promotions and relegations of category of the arbitrators, as well as the proposal of candidates for international arbitrators”.
Both LaLiga and the Federation had announced after the first information that if the matter went to court they would try to appear in the case. Madrid has chosen to act in defense of its interests, whatever the bosses do. Internal voices of the organization viewed Madrid’s movement with good eyes this Saturday, despite its independence and the fact that it distanced itself from the initial pronouncements promoted by its president, Javier Tebas.
Barcelona preferred this Saturday not to pronounce officially, pending the specific terms in which Madrid articulates its reaction today. His president, Joan Laporta, does not appear in the complaint, despite the fact that in his previous term (2003-2010) he quadrupled the amounts that the Barça club paid to the vice president of the referees. But in his case the alleged crimes would be prescribed. What the Prosecutor’s Office will do is summon him as a witness, the same as his predecessor, Joan Gaspart. The witness is obliged to answer all parties and tell the truth.
On the other hand, those investigated, such as Rosell and Bartomeu, can avail themselves of their right not to testify and even lie if it is what suits their strategy.
If Judge Joaquín Aguirre admits Madrid’s appearance, the club will be able to ask questions of the witnesses and the defendants, request proceedings and give an opinion on those requested by others, and access all the documentation of the case, except for what the judge places under secret.
Barça did not assess Madrid’s movement this Saturday, which occurred an hour before the appearance before the media of the Barça coach, Xavi Hernández, whom he seemed not to have altered: “It is a subject that occupies the president, and he tells us that let’s be calm We haven’t talked about it in the locker room.”
The Prosecutor’s complaint figures Barça’s payments to Enríquez Negreira at more than 7.3 million euros between 2001 and 2018. Consider that Rosell, Bartomeu, Albert Soler, Oscar Grau, Enríquez Negreira and Barcelona committed crimes of corruption between individuals in the sports field, unfair administration and falsification of commercial documents, all of them on a continuous basis.
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