On Monday, La Liga president Javier Tebas demanded explanations from Joan Laporta about the Enriquez Negreira case and told that the Barcelona supremo should step down if he was not willing to speak out and provide clarification on the matter.
Now, the Barça president has come out and launched an attack on Tebas claiming that the La Liga head honcho has always had an agenda against the Catalan giants, even stating that he even tried to stop Lionel Messi from playing for the club back in 2005.
Starting off his statement at Camp Nou, Laporta confirmed that Barcelona had outsourced the investigation on the Negreira case and will conduct a press conference once that was completed.
“I want to make some statements about the news regarding the technical queries that have been made about referees and players. The investigation has been outsourced and investigations are being carried out by an external lawyer,” Laporta said (h/t MARCA).
“In the shortest possible time, we will hold a press conference to explain the information we have at the club. An internal investigation is being carried out. This will not be too late, I trust. We want to explain.
“What I can say is that in my previous period, these invoices were paid for accredited services with video and document support.”
The president then hit out at Tebas for his comments against Barcelona, stating that the La Liga president did not take it well that the club rejected the CVC agreement and are pushing for the Super League.
“I would also like to say that Mr. Tebas has already come to the fore again. Some had already warned us that Tebas seemed to be promoting a reputational campaign against Barça and against me. The mask has come off,” Laporta said.
“I remember that he is a person who in his career has already demonstrated his animosity towards Barça. Back in 2005, he didn’t want Messi to play for Barça. He does not forgive us for not signing the agreement with CVC.”
Confirming that he will not stand down as the president of Barcelona, Laporta also warned that action will be taken against those who try to hurt the club’s reputation.
“I will not give Mr. Tebas the pleasure of ceasing to be president of Barcelona. That is for the members to decide. Anyone who tries to tarnish the history of Barcelona will receive a strong response.
“What we have achieved has taken a lot of hard work. Therefore, as president, I will not allow such attempts to tarnish our history. Thank you very much,” he concluded.
It all started with the emergence of payments made by FC Barcelona to a company owned by Enriquez Negreira when he was still the Vice President of the Referees Technical Committee in Spain.
The Catalans maintain that the payments were for services for information on young talents within the country and referee behaviour. The controversy has stirred the pot big time in La Liga.
Although Tebas has confirmed that Barça will not be facing any sporting sanctions, the matter is reportedly being investigated by the justice system as a possible case of corruption.
However, Laporta stated that the club had not been intimidated about being under any investigation by the officials, stating: “Neither the Prosecutor’s Office nor the police forces have informed us that we are in the middle of any investigation.”