The Negreira case has burst back onto the scene in recent days with swift developments emerging on multiple fronts.
Judge Joaquin Aguirre ruled that Barcelona’s payments to the former vice-president of the Referees’ Committee, Enriquez Negreira, constituted to bribery.
Barcelona have long maintained that their financial interactions with him were purely to obtain tactical reports on match officials.
The club went on to appeal the judge’s decision but were hit with a big blow when the same judge charged Joan Laporta with bribery.
Bending the laws
The complaint against the Blaugranas has always stood as bribery and sports corruption, both of which have a statute of limitation set at ten years.
Under the same condition, any events before March 2013 must not be criminally accountable as the case was opened only back in March 2023.
The judge, Joaquin Aguirre, however, has gone on to reinterpret the law. He states that the ten-year window must stand from the date of the last crime as opposed to the date of opening of the case. Thus, events from 2008 can be held criminally liable.
With Joan Laporta holding the post of presidency at the Catalan Institute at the time, he has now been dragged into the waters alongside Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell.
Bartomeu calls for cooperation
Now, according to reports from SPORT, Bartomeu has called for cooperation and joint action from the three accused presidents.
“In view of the new situation of the ‘Negreira case’, it would be convenient for the Club to agree on a joint and visible action of the three presidents now investigated in the investigation phase,” he told the outlet in a recent interview.
Bartomeu went on to add that such fortitude and a united stand are ‘necessary’ to protect the club’s image.
“The dimension and media scope makes it necessary, for the benefit of honour, image and defence of the values of FC Barcelona, a show of unity and resistance that, in addition to giving a message of unity, also reinforces the strength of our partners or supporters.”
“It was already attempted at the beginning of this procedure, in February 2023, and recently former President Sandro Rosell also made an appeal to meet us to leave behind disputes that never do any good to our Club,” he finally added.