The president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, appeared on Monday morning in a press conference to give explanations about the ‘Negreira case.’ Laporta was clear and forceful when defending the honour of the club about the payments to the ex-vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA), José María Enríquez Negreira, during an initial speech of 35 minutes. Here are some quotes:
“Barça are suffering a gigantic smear campaign because of defamatory conclusions that have nothing to do with reality”.
“We want to win by playing well and not by refereeing. We have detractors who try to erode our image and our prestige, but they have never succeeded and never will.
“No smear campaign will prevent Barça from continuing to be a benchmark institution in world sport and loved by millions of Catalans and people from the rest of the world.”
In this sense, Laporta acknowledged that “the payments are reflected in the club’s accounts, we were transparent” and wanted to emphasise a nuance: “If it were the case that someone tried to take advantage of the situation for their own benefit, Barça would be a victim of the situation.”
❗Summary of Joan Laporta's press conference.
• Barça paid €7.3m for technical reports on referees over an 18 year period. There is nothing illegal in that.
• The club has a total of 629 reports & 43 video reports.
• The Super League is still on track.
• Institutionally,… pic.twitter.com/F7zQl2VRFf
— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) April 17, 2023
Leadership and unity
In my opinion, Laporta knew that due to the smear campaign against the club, it’s better to attack. You won’t expect Tebas or Perez to appear on TV and apologize. What he did is to add more evidents that will make Barcelona’s case strong in the trial.
Why didn’t he show documents that will attack other clubs or Tebas? Because even Laporta knows that he has to measure the attack. As a long time lawyer in Barcelona, Laporta knows that many times it’s more important what not to say, than what to say. And more documents, I’m sure, will arrive as the case will proceed. I’m not sure this case will even go to trial, as currently there are no evidents that Barcelona ever paid the refs.
The most corrupt thing that this case can find, in my opinion, is a tax fraud case. And in that case, the club is the victim.
In the end, there’s a lot more to discuss and this case will probably come back at us from time to time. What we needed right now is a bold president who shows evidents and not afraid those that come to hurt us. And today Laporta did just that.
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