Sandro Rosell, the former president of FC Barcelona, has broken his silence on the ongoing Negreira case. The former president has broken down the financial aspect involved in the new charges to plead his innocence.
The Negreira case picked up steam last week when a Barcelona judge charged FC Barcelona with bribery in relation to the case. The judge charged Barcelona as well as the former presidents of the club, Sandro Rosell and Josep Bartomeu, along with Jose Negreira and his son, Javier Enriquez Romero.
Rosell sat down with Catalunya Ràdio to explain his stance. Rosell explained, “They say Barça paid Negreira €7m, but for how many years? If we calculate the average, it means €4k per report… If we distribute this number to the 20 referees, how can we bribe them? For €200?”
Rosell referred to the amount of around $8 million paid by FC Barcelona over the past 17 years to former vice president of the Referee’s Technical Committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, for ‘technical reports’ to the club. He broke down the financial aspect of the charges, explaining the amount is non-substantial to bribe every referee in the league to influence the games in favor of the club.
Sandro Rosell: “They say Barça paid Negreira €7m, but for how many years? If we calculate the avarage, it means €4k per report… If we distribute this number to the 20 referees, how can we bribe them? For €200?” pic.twitter.com/RxS4ScI3vf
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) October 3, 2023
Rosell added: “We have been accused of murder and we don’t even know who the dead man is, where the body is or the weapon we used. It has become a huge deal. It’s amazing. At Barça, things like this happen every three or four years, it’s something historic“.
Rosell was president of the club from 2010 to 2014. He claimed that these new charges are nothing but a smear campaign against the Spanish club, which, according to him, is a pretty common occurrence historically.
Sandro Rosell was arrested in 2017 for money laundering
This isn’t the first time that Rosell has been charged with a crime. He was arrested in 2017 for money laundering charges and spent nearly two years in prison. He was released in 2019 and acquitted by Spanish courts.
Rosell was accused of money laundering through ‘fictitious companies established in tax havens’. He collected irregular commissions from the sale of the image rights of the Brazilian national soccer team. He worked with Brazil’s confederation before becoming Barcelona’s president in 2010.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 23, 2017
Rosell also stood trial in relation to Neymar’s transfer from Santos to Barcelona in 2013. He was accused of concealing the transfer fee Barcelona paid to Santos in order to avoid paying tax on it. The controversial history of Sandro Rosell continues with the Negreira Case.
The presence of ‘corrupt’ former presidents of FC Barcelona such as Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu harms the optics for the Spanish club. Given the controversial history of both former presidents, it will be sooner than later if new pieces of evidence are discovered in the Negreira Case.
Sandro Rosell: “I had a very good relationship with Florentino Perez, but it broke down after we signed Neymar. It did not sit well with Perez.” pic.twitter.com/SQOcnmtMCS
— Managing Barça (@ManagingBarca) October 3, 2023
Relevo reports that the public prosecution now needs to prove that Enriquez Negreira was influenced by these payments. As a result of these payments, an unjust decision was made in favor of the Spanish club. Meanwhile, The current president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, has denied all the charges and claimed it is an attempt to tarnish the image of the club.