Barcelona claim they paid refereeing boss for ‘scouting reports’ on officials and acted in self-defence as ‘extraordinary’ scandal explained – THE INFORMANTI

Barcelona insist they paid a refereeing boss around £6million pounds as an ‘external consultant’ as investigators prepare to interview club officials.

The Catalan giants are in hot water after being slapped with a charge for long-term payments made to Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira – the former vice-president of the Spanish referees’ committee.


Barcelona chiefs are under investigation for payments made to a top refereeing boss

Barcelona were accused of making payments to Negreira in hope of the club benefitting from refereeing decisions.

Spanish football expert Terry Gibson described the episode as ‘extraordinary’ and nothing like he’s ever seen during his time covering LaLiga.

“The last three years it’s just been one topic after another [for Barcelona]. This one is extraordinary, it’s not one I’ve come across in my time in football,” Gibson exclusively told talkSPORT.

“They paid the former vice president of the Spanish Referee’s Association – they paid him for 17 years.

“It involves four different presidents and they’ve been accused of paying him €7million (around £6.1m) but they have described it as paying an external consultant.”

Gibson continued: “What effectively they [Barcelona] are claiming are scouting reports on referees. So a manager, the players would get referee reports so he allows you to do this and he doesn’t allow you to do that.


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“They are saying it’s common practice but I’ve never come across it before.

“A lot of the managers are going to be called as witnesses because Barcelona claim they have all the written reports from this guy [Negreira] archived.”

The allegations levelled against Barcelona have caused widespread opposition across La Liga with fans of the other 19 top-flight clubs showing their disdain during last weekend’s round of fixtures.

Fans were seen waving fake money from the stands during Barcelona’s 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday as well as a number of other LaLiga fixtures.


Athletic Bilbao fans printed fake money ahead of their clash with Barcelona


Bilbao fans made their feelings known on Sunday night

“It happened in games that Barcelona weren’t involved in at the weekend,” said Gibson.

“Fake money was being thrown onto the pitch. It’s a massive story, Barcelona are a massive football club and lots of people are enjoying what they’re going through in the last two or three years.

“There are claims that Barcelona have been had, that the guy they were paying the money to for all that time had no influence.

“People are saying is he corrupt or is he a conman and Barcelona have been had?”


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