Barcelona paid seven million euros to a company owned by José María Enríquez Negreira when he was vice president of the Spanish referees. We could go back to the last year of the presidency of Josep Lluis Núñez, that builder with an easy tear in the box who would have wanted to be Pujol and who, despite playing Negreira as a paganini, lived through that time when titles did not come even with shots . Not even tickets. The payments were kept by Gaspart, to whom the Three Wise Men brought the presidency. The highest fan that centuries have seen. Joan Laporta also paid, who after verifying that winning a Champions League is a more realistic objective than independence, returned to the Barça home bringing more wisdom from him after the political adventure. And more belly.
Also Sandro Rosell and even Josep Maria Bartomeu, with more appearance of paying opticians than referees. The payments were for advice and the culé entity defends it. Xavi Hernández, Barcelona coach, has summed up well how things have fallen among the professionals at the Camp Nou. Among the ball professionals, not the office: «I don’t want to win like this. If they tell me that I can win with cheats, I prefer to leave ».
However, the shadow of suspicion is long. In the popular imagination, the teams always try to grease the referees and the referees are hungrier than a school teacher, so the cocktail that encourages bribery was served. But not anymore. Everything has been professionalized, sterilized and even skimmed; the referees are less corrupt and earn well and the clubs do not use tricks. Well, it’s supposed to. No, rather, it is not clear. When Enríquez Negreira declined and left arbitration and business positions, it was his son who took over the consulting company, advising, of course, Barcelona on which teams they were facing, taking and bringing the referees when they went through Barcelona, warning and confusing. It is not known if verbally.
The protagonist, Enríquez Negreira (it is to hear the name and suffer a regression to those long Sunday afternoons and Carousel) was born in Barcelona in 1945 and was active from the 1977/1978 season to the 1991/1992 season. He directed more than 130 games in the First Division and nine in European competitions. He also knew the mud, the insults and the infamy of that dark Second. In addition to the red and yellow, he had a business card that opened doors for him: a consulting company. 7 kilos he billed Barcelona. By verbal advice. The world belongs to the illiterates who charge for words. Nothing in writing. Total bargain. Golden Peak. Release and collect. What does the environment say about him that it was legal and ethical advice. What does the Treasury say that not so much. Real Madrid believes that Barcelona were not awarded a penalty not even by chance, that is, not even due to a foul in the area.
Barcelona fans are hurt (they tell the undersigned, culé of three generations), but they should be angry and ready to collaborate. The entity evacuated a statement with brochure prose in which it claimed to regret that all this comes out coinciding with the best sports streak of the club. I mean, no, not now, man, we were winning without Negreiras. They also stated that they were willing to denounce anyone who spoiled the image of the club. In other words, to continue wasting money. Curious verb spoil. In addition, it framed the payments in sports advice that is now carried out by another person. In total, a “what do you tell me” from the past with offended rhetoric.
Negreira’s entourage defends itself and no one knows if he was the author of elaborate technical reports (verbal, eh) or a charlatan. The same we are before a cuacuartos without more science. A preventive charge without more power over what the referees could or could not whistle. Speculating on this is free. And about so many things. Some even charge for them. There is no shortage of those who say that they were assumedly unnecessary payments but to keep the arbitration group happy.
The televisions rummage through the archives to find Negreira’s gestures, penalties not called, strange fouls, maneuvers in the dark or on the grass, breaks in Las Gaunas, fouls in La Condomina or ghosts in the Camp Nou. Soccer is disgusting even though good soccer is something sublime. And paid.