Spanish league: Clubs not convinced by Barça’s explanations


MADRID—Spanish clubs were not convinced by Barcelona’s explanation about its payments to a former official of the country’s refereeing committee, the Spanish league president said Wednesday.

Javier Tebas said after the league’s general assembly that most clubs felt that Barcelona president Joan Laporta did not fully explain why his club paid more than 7 million euros ($7.6 million) from 2001-18 to the company of then committee vice president José María Enríquez Negreira.

Laporta spoke for about 20 minutes during the general assembly, giving similar explanations as the ones he gave in a news conference of nearly two hours on Monday.

“It was a summary of what he said in the news conference,” Tebas said. “Laporta said the payments were not made to buy referees or influence their decisions. The clubs said that those payments were not normal, that they were not usual, that they were not correct and must be investigated. Laporta was not convincing in his explanations.”

Barcelona has denied wrongdoing, saying the payments were made solely for technical reports on referees.

Prosecutors have accused the club of alleged corruption in sports, fraudulent management, and falsification of mercantile documentation.

The Spanish league and several other entities have joined the legal proceedings against the Catalan club.

Tebas had said Laporta should resign if he didn’t fully explain the payments. The Barcelona president has loudly criticized Tebas publicly.

During Wednesday’s general assembly, the collective bargaining agreement between the league and Spain’s players’ association was extended through 2026 with “reasonable” improvements, Tebas said.

Image credits: AP

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