Barcelona release statement on Joan Laporta’s La Liga assembly appearance
The Barça president spent 20 minutes attempting to justify the payments to Negreira at a meeting of the league’s clubs.
The Barcelona president sought to reiterate the club’s position amid the ongoing investigation into payments made to José María Enríquez Negreira, formerly the vice president of the Spanish referees’ committee. During the meeting Laporta took the opportunity to explain the legality of the payments but was not subjected to questions from the representatives from the other 19 La Liga clubs.
After the assembly concluded, Barcelona released a statement:
“FC Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, attended the LaLiga extraordinary assembly convened to discuss the so-called ‘Caso Negreira’ this morning.”
“As a courtesy and out of respect for the professional clubs, the president provided the relevant explanations on this matter, and out of respect for the administration of justice, he stated that any clarifications and queries requested by LaLiga or the clubs after his explanations will be answered in court, where LaLiga has already presented.”
However those in attendance are thought to have made clear that they are far from satisfied with Laporta’s explanation. La Liga has already signalled its intention to join with a criminal case being brought against Barça by the Spanish prosecutor’s office.
La Liga chief Tebas was not convinced
While the extraordinary general assembly was held behind closed doors, La Liga president Javier Tebas spoke to reporters soon after. In his press conference Tebas claimed that the league’s clubs are not convinced by Laporta’s explanations.
“The clubs want these payments to be investigated, they do not consider them correct,” Tebas said. “Laporta has not convinced in his explanations. You could say that things are still not clear for the clubs.”
“I have said that he has not given [sufficient] explanations and that I have not understood him. It is unintelligible. The explanations given are not sufficient. It is incomprehensible to pay so many years to the vice president of the Referees Committee.”
As more than three years has passed since the final payment to Negreira, La Liga cannot dole out any punishment to Barcelona. Tebas and the other clubs will have to wait for the outcomes of the other investigations in ‘Caso Negreira.’