President of Barcelona Joan Laporta said on Tuesday that his club was not “buying referees” amid an investigation into payments made to a former referee over the years.
The Catalan side paid a reported 6.5 million euros ($6.9 million) between 2001 and 2018 to a company owned by Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, a former vice president of the Technical Committee of Directors (CTA) in Spain, for what they said was advice. in judicial cases.
Spanish prosecutors are investigating the payments and Spanish newspaper El Pais said Tuesday they plan to report Barcelona for “perpetuating corruption”.
“To be clear that Barça has not bought referees and Barça has never had the intention of buying referees, absolutely not,” said Laporta at an event in Barcelona.
“The power of reality is against those who are trying to change the story. We are doing well again – nothing is free.”
Laporta previously criticized La Liga president Javier Tebas for “pushing a campaign” against him and reiterated it.
“There is a campaign that harms Barça’s interests,” said Laporta.
“It is an announcement about the management of the club. La Liga does not accept that Barça did not sign the contract with the CVC (a collective media rights).
Laporta says he is considering offering coach Xavi Hernandez a contract extension, with the team currently nine points clear at the top of La Liga, on course for their first league title since from 2019. Xavi’s current contract expires in June 2024.
“He is a man who does not extend his hand behind his hand, does not ask for stupid things and understands the situation of the club (financially), I am thinking about the renewal of Xavi,” said said Laporta.
The president also said that Barcelona is looking at signing more players this summer, after last year’s expenses were obtained by selling a percentage of future television rights. , among other methods.
“Barça should sign a full back, for sure, and a center back if there is a good chance,” added Laporta.
“Definitely a player, yes, but someone has to go, we have a good midfield and we also have a youth academy and players who will reach the first team.
“Xavi should also do this, to promote young players. One more player is suitable, but financially we don’t have unlimited resources like a ‘club of the state’. We have to be prudent.”
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