It is no secret that is currently a cold war going on between La Liga and Barça, as Javier Tebas and Joan Laporta are bitter enemies. Recently two scandals got leaked. They are different and took place at different times but the timing of their leaks could well be interconnected.
Firstly, last month it got leaked that Barcelona had allegedly made payments to former vice-president of the Technical Committee of Referees, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. The purpose was to get a report or an audit on how the referees were performing. However, some media outlets made it sound like Barça were actually paying the referees. The window that is being investigated is from 2016 to 2018 when Bartomeu was the President.
Secondly, last week it got leaked that La Liga President Javier Tebas attempted to bribe a top RFEF Official. Tebas wanted to push out current president Luis Rubiales and put in Albert Soler. Soler is one of his renowned puppets. And curiously, Soler was Barça’s Sporting Director under Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Timing can’t be a coincidence
The timing of the Negreira case being leaked could well be a plan hatched by Tebas and Soler. They would want Joan Laporta to resign and remove a big obstacle from their way.
Right after the Negreira case got leaked, Bartomeu gave an interview to ABC Deportes trying to make Laporta look bad. A few days later Tebas in an interview called for Laporta’s resignation from his post as the President of Barcelona.
The alleged big scheme?
The old management of Barça under Bartomeu are rumoured to have an agreement with Tebas and the government to convert Barcelona into a S.A.D. Also, Tebas would control Barça in that case which he kind of did. Moreover, Laporta’s stance against Tebas’ illegal and corrupt CVC deal and his support for the breakaway Super League make him an even bigger enemy. All parties have the same enemy – Joan Laporta – and they want him out. Laporta, on the other hand, wants to preserve Barça’s status as a non-commercial club.
S.A.D. stands for Sociedad Anónima Deportiva i.e a public limited sports company. Here in, an owner or shareholders control the majority of the club. Almost all clubs of in the Spanish first and second division are S.A.D. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletic Club and Osasuna are the only non-commercial sports associations. Every club which plays in Segunda División and remains La Liga is obliged to convert to S.A.D. status. The four above-mentioned clubs didn’t convert for historical reasons.
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Albert Soler as the connector?
It is very much possible that Albert Soler himself presented the documents of the alleged payments to referees to Javier Tebas. And it was then leaked to various media outlets.
The Prosecutor’s Office did not find any criminal evidence by Barça and were about to close the investigations with charges of corruption against Negreira and unfair management by Bartomeu. But somehow the Madrid media, where the La Liga headquarters are, has managed to turn an investigation for a alleged audit on the referees into a witch-hunt. They are doing nothing but trying to destabilise the club economically and sportingly. And that too for something they were never accused of.
This also has an effect on the financial fair play (FFP) as revenue depends on it. And then Barça, who would be choked, would be forced to convert into a S.A.D. This is nothing but pre-planned. Tebas saw an opportunity to make a lot of noise and seized it. Albert Soler, who is Bartomeu and Tebas, played his part.
Laporta didn’t play by Tebas’ rules
Laporta in a press conference came out and said that while he is in charge of Barça, Tebas or any outsider would never control the club like they used to under the previous management. Also, we can be very sure that Laporta and the current board will never convert FC Barcelona into a S.A.D.
The club will continue to maintain it’s current status. It will be controlled by it’s members who will elect a leader i.e the President. Moreover, Barça will never be relegated from La Liga. They bring in a lot of sporting and economic interest into the league. Even Tebas and others know this very well. Without Barça’s presence La Liga won’t be able to sustain themselves.
Same old media silence
One more shocking thing is that the media made so much unnecessary noise about the Barça-Negreira case. And that too for things no one accused Barça of. But on the other hand, there was very little or close to no coverage of Tebas attempting to bribe a RFEF Official and put his own puppet in that position. This in itself speaks volume of what they are trying to do.