Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has admitted he played a part in taking the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia but insisted that he did nothing wrong by doing so.
Leaked conversations between Pique and Spanish FA (RFEF) chairman Luis Rubiales detailed how the Barcelona man, acting on behalf of his investment firm Kosmos, brokered a deal to sell the Spanish Super Cup to Saudi Arabia, with Pique's group earning €4m per tournament until the deal ends in 2026.
On top of moving the cup from Spain to Saudi Arabia, the RFEF also changed its format. A 'final four' concept was introduced, with teams playing a semi-final and final to take home the trophy, which used to be contested between the winners of La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
"I have nothing to hide, everything we have done is legal," Pique explained on Twitch. "I will give my side of the story in terms of the conflict of interest. It's not something I will hide from, I feel proud because we have done a spectacular job.
"We [Kosmos] have good links with the Middle East, not just in Saudi Arabia. They wanted to take football competitions there and, seeing the panoramic, we opted to speak with Rubiales to see if he could be interested in taking the Supercopa there.
"He liked the idea, and now people are super hooked on the [new format] of the competition. Once accepted, we signed a mandate to explore options. Saudi Arabia wasn't the only one, we spoke with Miami, (the RFEF) had an offer from Qatar."
Pique stressed that the money given to the RFEF, understood to be around €40m per year, would be divided between the four teams involved as well as invested in all tiers of Spanish football.
The Barcelona centre-back also claimed that his 10% commission fee is relatively low for these kinds of deals and denied any suggestions that it may have been immoral or illegal for him to negotiate while still being involved with one of the club's involved.
"[The audio was] leaked with bad intentions and making news of something which two years ago was not news," he added. "The only illegal thing is leaking the audios."