Cules, be calm. Barça is innocent of what they are accused of and the victim of a campaign against their honor in which everyone is now involved, Laporta stressed.
Later, and after learning that Real Madrid joined the entities that will take action on the matter, Laporta said that “no surprise, we will defend Barça and demonstrate the innocence of the club; many will have to rectify”.
A couple of days ago, the Prosecutor’s Office accused Barcelona of the crime of (alleged) corruption in business in the sports field, in addition to unfair administration and false commercial documents.
Among the defendants are the former presidents Sandro Rosell (2010-2014) and Josep María Bartomeu (2014-2020), in addition to the club itself as a legal entity.
Everything broke out weeks ago, when a series of million-dollar payments from Barcelona to the former vice-president of the Arbitration Technical Committee José María Enríquez Negreira came to light, -assures the Prosecutor’s Office- to favor the Catalan entity in the decision-making of the arbitrators.
The investigation discovered that, at least between 2001 and 2018, Barcelona paid Negreira, through two companies (Nilsat and Dasnil), a total of 7.3 million euros.
The senior officials of the Barça team attribute these payments to a series of technical advices. However, prosecutors say that “they do not respond to any provision or real technical advisory services.”
It is worth clarifying that although the verified payments from Barcelona to Negreira date from 2001 to 2018, the crimes that carry a sanction correspond to the period corresponding to 2010 onwards, at which time the “Corruption in business” law was modified.
For this reason, former president Joan Gaspart and Laporta himself, who led the Catalan club between 2004 and 2010, were not charged.