Every word Josep Bartomeu said to ABC: “I cut off Negreira’s tap; Laporta quadrupled it”
The outgoing former president of FC Barcelona attacked the current top president for payments to Enríquez Negreira, vice president of the CTA.
Josep María Bartomeu, president of Barcelona between 2014 and 2020, verbally attacked Joan Laporta, the current president (who also held the position between 2003 and 2010), in an interview with ABC regarding the Barçagate scandal.
Cadena SER revealed that recurring payments from FC Barcelona are visible over decades to José María Enríquez Negreira, vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees until 2018. Below are his statements to ABC; the information also refers to the latest news published by El Mundo, which includes a burofax in which Enríquez Negreira requested a face-to-face with Bartomeu and threatened him with the leak of information.
Being calm in the situation: “I am very calm because I was the one who cut off this service. I have no relationship with Mr. Enríquez Negreira and I have never met him. We would have met once in the Federation, but the only thing we would have done would be say hello. I never met with him, except that for this gentleman, meeting in a corridor means having a meeting.”
On the news of the threatening burofax: “I remember it came to me, but I didn’t pay any attention to it. I immediately referred it to the club’s legal services and it was never heard from again. I don’t know what they did because I ignored the issue. And evidently, I never met Mr. Negreira.
Negreira’s reaction after the end of the relationship with FC Barcelona: “This burofax is from 2019, but in March and April 2018, when we ended the relationship that Barça had with the company. He called telling me that we were playing with his family’s money. The club did not play with anyone’s money, it simply stopped having the services of his son, who was the one who made the reports because it was decided that from then on an internal department of the club would do the job. And I didn’t talk to him anymore or have any more news until the burofax arrived. When the whole thing about the call went away, his son told us that nothing was wrong and that we should not pay attention to him.”
The reasons for cancelling the service: “In 2018 a period of cuts began to clean up the club’s economy. Pep Segura, then general manager of club football, and Oscar Grau, general manager, told me that this service cost a lot of money and it was decided that we should cancel it.”
Bartomeu’s relationship with Javier Enríquez, son of Enríquez Negreira: “I didn’t know who Javier Enríquez was until one day he was introduced to me in the box at the Camp Nou, but I didn’t know he was the son of the vice president of the CTA. It was 2015 and they only told me that he was the person who made the reports, I greeted him and told him that the managers are very happy with his work. And that’s it”.
On Negreira’s service: “It seems that with this service we were asking for more penalties in our favour, or that we wanted to condition the referees’ decisions, and that’s not the case. This gentleman had zero power among the referees.”
The start date of the contract: “This contract had already been signed since the time of Núñez, Gaspart and the first stage of Laporta. I didn’t even see the invoices because they were done directly”.
Payments to Negreira allegedly increased with the arrival of Laporta: “When Laporta arrived at the club, the bills were close to 150,000 euros and when Sandro [Rosell] was named president, they were well over half a million euros; The only thing I can say is that I cut off Negreira’s tap and Laporta had quadrupled his salary, I should explain it.”
Request to referees: “We never asked referees for anything.”
Meetings when he felt he felt harmed by referees: “I would meet with Villar and Rubiales to complain. I personally went to the Federation but it was of little use because they told me that the referees were an independent body.”
Content of the reports: “The reports he made to us were from the refereeing point of view. It was a written document and a DVD, for all the matches of the first team and the youth team. It was a refereeing analysis. When I had to go to Madrid, I would tell Zubizarreta, Robert Fernández or whoever was in charge, and he would ask Javier Enríquez for a video, or whoever was in charge of making all the videos.”
LaLiga Santander 2022/2023
*Data updated to date Feb 17th, 2023