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Barça paid vice president of the Referees Committee over €1.3M during three seasons

After an inspection by the Tax Agency, José María Enríquez Negreira declared that he made reports for the club on the members he oversaw.

Barça paid vice president of the Referees Committee over €1.3M during three seasons

José María Enríquez Negreira was a top flight referee for 13 seasons in the Spanish First Division (1977-1992). Upon retiring he took charge of the Catalan Board of Referees and later was the right hand of Victoriano Sánchez Arminio as vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees until May 2018. While he held this institutional position he also received payments from FC Barcelona for at least three years (2016, 2017 and 2018) via his company DASNIL 95 SL which saw a total of 1,392,680 euro deposited from the Catalan club over a three season period.

Cadena SER Catalunya’s ‘Qué t’hi jugues’ radio programme broke the news that a court is investigating the alleged crimes of corruption between the implicated parties.

Enríquez Negreira was the sole partner of the company DASNIL 95 SL, with the business invoicing FC Barcelona a sum of 532,728.02 euro in 2016. In 2017 the total was 541,752 euro and in 2018, 318,200 euro. The concept or services rendered per invoice was “technical advice”, with the Tax Agency report stating: “FCB wanted to make sure that no they had no controversial refereeing decisions go against them’.

Club management sources at that time acknowledge this commercial relationship and maintain that this ‘work’ was carried out and that the reports of DASNIL 95 SL deal are archived and can be presented at any time before a court .

For now, Albert Soler, the club’s former director of professional sports and Òscar Grau, former CEO of the club have testified in the case. According to the report from Hacienda (Spanish Tax Agency) no document has been provided proving that a commercial relationship existed, despite the fact that the payments were made.

Camp Nou.
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Camp Nou.David RamosGETTY IMAGES

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The investigation

The Treasury became suspicious once it suspected that DASNIL 95 SL was trying to deduct amounts from its taxes that did not seem to add up. This precipitated a tax inspection that discovered the payments from FC Barcelona to the company of the then vice-president of the refereeing body.

The previous Barcelona board of directors affirms that this contract was inherited from 2009 (Laporta’s early days) and that it was Josep Maria Bartomeu who canceled it in 2018. This year coincides with the date on which Enríquez Negreira left his position in the Catalan Board of Referees. The last invoice issued by DASNIL 95 SL to FC Barcelona is dated June 5, 2018. The Tax Agency, for the moment, has no news of contracts prior to 2016.