Barcelona unquestionably paid referees in La Liga for a number of seasons. The agreements were made, and the club doesn't deny doing so.
Nothing about the payments themselves, but rather their purpose, is being contested in court about the discrepancy. Despite La Liga's claims that Barcelona used money to sway on-field decisions, the Catalans contend that their payments were paid for customary, normal scouting reports on referees. The club's side of the story has received a big help from documents that were leaked earlier in the week, which also clearly show where the money was going.
Juan Roca, a former La Liga official, has since come out in favor of Barcelona. He said, as related by SPORT,
Negreira never showed me any direct or indirect sign of having any influence on a game. If he had, the refereeing boss would have fired him. "I find it hard to believe that he helped Barça in refereeing decisions.”
"I think it’s incredible that someone paid for that." The information that Negreira could give him was statistics that were available to anyone. "I think a scoundrel sold smoke, and some idiots bought it for him.”
“Even that, at the price of gold, because they didn’t pay for it out of pocket." "Between Enriquez and some Barcelona employees, they set up the scam for years,” he added.
"I would be very surprised if a referee allowed himself to be bought for amounts that would not imply his retirement." "It's as if a First Division soccer player, who charges two million euros a year, allows himself to be bought for 10,000 euros.”
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