Barcelona president Joan Laporta has hit out at all the allegations levelled against the club due to the Enriquez Negreira scandal.
The Blaugrana made several payments to Negreira, when he was the vice-president of the Referees’ Committee, between 2001 and 2018, which they insist were for reports on youth players across Spain and referee behaviour.
However, allegations have been made that the Catalans earned favourable treatment from officials in exchange for the payments.
The Prosecutor’s office decided to charge Barcelona and two former presidents, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, with corruption over the matter.
Recently, it has also been reported that two former managers Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde have been summoned to testify in court.
With the Negreira case making headlines, Laporta has been pressed for clarifications and there are plans for the president to hold a detailed press conference in a couple of weeks.
Before that, however, the Barça supremo hit out all the accusations being made at the club by stating that it was a smear campaign against the Blaugrana and that they will defend their honour with everything in their powers.
“Some people motivated by envy want to damage our reputation with bad faith campaigns. Barça’s reputation will not be contaminated. We will defend our club with all our strength,” Laporta said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
“Barça is a club with values. We use the word values because they are a fundamental part of our model of excellence, not to make ourselves look good…”
The Barcelona president further added that he would love to come face to face with whoever was responsible for this campaign against the club, as he said: “I’m really excited to confront the scoundrels who are trying to stain our club.”
Further lashing out at all the allegations doing the rounds, Laporta added: “Look, Barcelona sentiment can neither be bought nor sold, but neither can it be dirtied.
“There have been some ferocious attacks to dirty our crest, which have nothing to do with reality. And you can be sure that the board of directors that I have the honour of chairing will defend it with all our might.”
“They will not succeed because the captains of Barça represent our values and our sentiment and they show it on the field of play when they give their all and to the last drop of their blood,” he further stated.