May 28th , 2023



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2 months ago

Barcelona charged with commercial bribery for arbitration payment failure

While things are going relatively well for Barcelona on the pitch compared to where they were 12-18 months ago, a crisis off the pitch never seems so far away.

According to Sid Lowe writing for ESPN, when you consider that the club was at one point more than 1 billion euros in debt, it's a miracle that Barca is still afloat let alone moving forward to recover from the brink. bankrupt. .

Unfortunately for president Joan Laporta, the club is about to be dragged into the mud again.

Given that the club's motto is "Mes que un club" or "more than a club" in English, this makes no sense today.

The presidency of Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu was mired in corruption and scandal, including the purchase of Neymar from Santos. Joan Laporta picks up debris from Josep Maria Bartomeu's disastrous reign

This led to Rosell's resignation, The Guardian noted at the time:

Spain's National Court judge Pablo Ruz this week accepted a legal action accusing Rosell of embezzling funds from the £49m signing of striker Neymar from Santos last June. . Barcelona club member Jordi Cases has alleged the amount paid was higher than the €57m (£48.6m) fee reported at the time.

Bartomeu was unilaterally chosen as Rosell's successor, but he also resigned (according to before a vote of confidence among the members could get him fired.

It now emerges that payments have been made since the 1990s to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, a former referee.

El Pais notes that after a thorough study of the case, the Spanish prosecutor will accuse the club and Bartomeu of business corruption, and if proven, that means the former president will prison terms of six months to four years, as well as the payment. monetary fine.

It is another miserable problem the club must deal with and will certainly overshadow the great work Xavi is trying to do with his emerging young squad.  


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