Barcelona chief Laporta considers cancelling pre-Clásico lunch with Real Madrid’s Pérez
Joan Laporta is reportedly on the verge of calling off his traditional pre-match meet-up with Florentino Pérez over Real Madrid’s stance on ‘Barçagate’.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta is reportedly considering cancelling this weekend’s pre-match lunch with his Real Madrid counterpart, Florentino Pérez.
Barça unhappy at Madrid support for Negreira probe
According to Catalan media outlet TV3, Laporta is weighing up the move as a result of Madrid’s recent statement on the investigation into payments Barça made to ex-referees’ chief José María Enríquez Negreira.
Spanish prosecutors have filed corruption charges agains Barça, and former club presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, over €7m in payments to Negreira, the former vice-president of Spain’s referees’ committee.
On Sunday, Madrid said they would support the legal action against Barça, commenting: “The club has agreed that, in defence of its legitimate rights, it will appear at the trial when the judge opens it up to the affected parties.”
Split would come at time of off-field harmony
If is is confirmed that Laporta is to cancel his traditional lunch with Pérez ahead of El Clásico, it would represent a significant slump in relations between Spanish football’s major arch rivals - at a time when they have been united on important issues affecting the domestic and continental game.
Along with Serie A giants Juventus, Madrid and Barça are the only remaining clubs who have refused to walk away from the breakaway European Super League project. The two clubs also came together to oppose LaLiga’s $2bn media-rights deal with an investment fund CVC.
Second instalment of Clásico triple-header
In the second of three Clásicos in a month, leaders Barça host Madrid in LaLiga on Sunday (4pm ET) with a nine-point advantage over Carlo Ancelotti’s second-placed side.
Having faced off in Madrid two weeks ago in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals - Barça won 1-0 - the sides are due to meet in the return at the Camp Nou on 4 April.