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Ex Barcelona directors claim they paid Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira to defend club

Former Barcelona directors claim they paid Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira to defend the club, reports Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

The Camp Nou club have been charged by Spain’s prosecutor’s office with corruption for paying Negreira €7.3 million.

The payments took place between 2001 and 2018, when Negreira was vice president of Spanish football’s refereeing committee.

El Mundo have dug deeper and spoken with some of Barca’s former directors in confidentiality.

They claim the payments were for protection against a perceived bias.

They wanted compensation for the favours they perceived Real Madrid received.

However, the payments were stopped by the club’s former president Josep Bartomeu, and Negreira threatened to expose them.

Investigators will interview president Joan Laporta and former managers Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde.

While a complaint has been filed against Barca, the court has not decided whether to take up the case.

The club would be fined if found guilty, and the individuals involved could face up to four years in jail.

Madrid have announced that they will stand against Barca in the case and appear at any trial.

The saga is not ending anytime soon and more revelations will continue to emerge.

The only sporting punishment that can be meted out to the club will come from UEFA.

The European football body could refuse to permit them to play in the Champions League the season after being found guilty.

However, they consider the case a domestic affair, and a ban would only be effected at the request of the Spanish Football Federation.

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