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FutureStarrBarcelona Downplays Payments For Refereeing Reports
Barcelona have downplayed a shocking report that they paid nearly $1.5 million to a company owned by the former vice president of the referee committee. These payments were revealed by Spanish outlet Cadena SER.
The club states the payments were made between 2016 and 2018, which are common practice among professional football clubs. Furthermore, it stated it is currently reviewing reports on referees internally.
La Liga club presidents often create drama off the field. From Florentino Perez of Real Madrid to Barcelona's Joan Laporta, expect plenty of leaked reports, spats and political intrigue when these men take center stage.
This week, Barcelona have been embroiled in a media frenzy due to an investigation by Spanish radio station Cadena Ser into payments it made to DASNIL 95 SL, owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, for technical reports that would provide details on officiating. According to this report, the club paid DASNIL 95 SL for these reports.
L'Equipe reports that DASNIL 95 SL charged Barca over EUR7,000 in 2019. According to the French paper, these services had been provided from 2003 until Enriquez Negreira left the referee committee in 2018.
Meanwhile, the club's board has stated that it has commissioned an independent forensic report to gain further insight into payments it made. Furthermore, evidence of these payments were submitted to the local prosecutor's office for investigation.
Though the club's leadership denies any wrongdoing, they fear this revelation could damage their players and team's reputations. Already this season they have faced criticism regarding allegations that the club used fake social media accounts to target opposition figures and players who voiced criticism of them on social media platforms.
However, the club has assured fans that it is working to resolve the matter. "We are in contact with authorities and will make necessary adjustments," reads a statement from the club.
With a new president at the helm, there's still work to be done to restore confidence in Barcelona. The club is facing massive debt and could potentially lose superstar Lionel Messi to free agency at the end of this season.
But there's hope for the future. With a new president at the helm, the club hopes to get its finances back on track and bring home trophies in the coming years.
Barcelona are facing scrutiny after reports surfaced of them paying over $1.5m to DASNIL 95 SL, owned by former refereeing chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. According to Spanish radio station Cadena SER, this company provided reports to Barcelona regarding referees' conduct as well as advice for players regarding what should be done when facing off against officials.
The alleged payments began in 2003 and were discontinued due to cost-saving policies, yet were never properly reported to the tax agency. The investigation by Cadena SER could have major repercussions for La Liga and their club, coming at a critical juncture with an 11-game winning streak.
Though these allegations don't seem as serious as that of 2006, when Juventus was found guilty of bribing referees, some are still doubting Barcelona's integrity. Furthermore, an investigation by Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) may result in legal action being taken against Barcelona if proven guilty of receiving preferential treatment from referees or paying bribes.
According to EL PAIS, an investigation began last year after Treasury inspectors visited Dasnil 95 SL - owned by Enriquez Negreira - during a Treasury inspection. It is believed that DASNIL 95 SL received 33 invoices from Barca between 2016 and 2018, for which it received around $1.8m in total.
The invoices were all for preparing and sending technical videos to the club, with no variation in total cost between years. They always contained two payment concepts: "preparation and sending of technical videos to the Club" and "technical video advice."
It is unclear how Barcelona approved these payments, since they did not provide any documentation proving Negreira had provided a service. Negreira told Cadena SER his work with them was mostly verbal and he provided reports regarding referees' conduct and players' conduct in front of them. Furthermore, he denied any favoritism towards Barcelona in any decision or appointment made at their request.
Barcelona currently owns an incredible 78-game streak without being awarded a penalty kick, which is the longest such streak in La Liga history. The club sits atop the table and has won all six matches so far this season.
Barca have now scored 74 goals this season, which is more than they've scored in each of the previous seven seasons combined. This feat is especially remarkable considering that before January they had only managed 32 goals in 21 league games this season.
Barcelona have every reason to be optimistic this season, as their average shot total is higher than last year and five years prior when they averaged 2.73 shots per game. That is certainly a cause for optimism when your team finds itself in such an advantageous situation.
One reason is that they haven't given up a penalty in all 74 games played so far this season - an incredible feat for a team which often finds itself in tight situations.
It's an intriguing statistic that emphasizes how football can often feel like a lottery, particularly at the highest levels. We see this across most leagues, but when you're at the pinnacle, it becomes even more apparent.
Real Madrid have not been penalized in a La Liga match since Karim Benzema scored the opening goal against Cadiz on Wednesday. They did receive a penalty against Atalanta during the Champions League last November, but that was it.
That was until Iza brought down Vinicius in the area (below), and a VAR check confirmed it as a penalty. For Real, this was an incredible moment and an example of how referees can turn a low-stakes passage of play into something 40 times more hazardous.
A crucial goal, keeping Madrid on course for the title. Their lead at the top of the table now only one point, a thrilling showdown between Madrid and Barcelona awaits - one that could decide who takes home the crown!
Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, vice president of Spain's refereeing committee from 1994 to 2018, was paid 1.4 million euros by Barcelona for providing advice on player conduct when facing off against referees. According to Spanish radio Cadena SER, his company DASNIL 95 SL received payments between 2016 and 2018, too.
The Catalan prosecutor's office has been looking into the company since treasury inspectors discovered irregularities with tax payments. But it wasn't until last November when a complaint was filed that authorities extended their investigation into its finances.
In a statement issued by the club, Barca president Joan Laporta stood up for them without deniing they hired an external consultant for some time. Additionally, he expressed regret over this information coming to light at a time when they are back in the La Liga top spot by 11 points.
Laporta also said the company had been taken over by the soccer department and they would take legal action against any party trying to defame the club's image. He stressed that they owed nothing to Negreira and paid him only for advisory work.
According to Cadena SER, the former referee gave Barca verbal advice on how they should behave when facing off against a referee. He also provided them with suggestions as to what could and could not be done depending on which referee was in charge of a match.
However, the former referee and businessman has acknowledged that his club was the sole employer. He assured them that he never favoured them in any way and always kept his work neutral.
However, the company has been unable to produce any documents proving he provided these services. Therefore, it remains uncertain whether the payments made were legitimate. An investigation is underway, and if it turns out these transactions were fraudulent, the club could face serious repercussions.