La Liga clubs release joint statement of 'concern' over Negreira case

La Liga teams have come together
La Liga teams have come together / THOMAS COEX/GettyImages

A group of La Liga clubs have come together to voice their concern towards the 'Negreira case' - Barcelona's past payments to a former referee chief.

The ongoing investigation into the club's financial dealings revealed payments to then vice-president of Spanish football’s Technical Committee of Referees, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, between 2016 and 2018, prompting concerns over alleged bribery and bias.

With an investigation ongoing, a committee of La Liga clubs have published a statement to voice their concerns over what these payments could mean.

A La Liga statement read: "The Delegated Commission of La Liga met today (made up of Atletico de Madrid, Levante UD, Sevilla FC, Real Betis, Real Sociedad, Cadiz CF, Getafe CF, Villarreal CF, CD Tenerife, Deportivo Alaves, SD Eibar, UD Las Palmas, CD Lugo and SD Huesca) and after taking stock of everything that happened in the Division Boards, as well as the information published in the media, this Delegate Commission wishes to state:

"La Liga has exposed to all the members of the Delegate Commission the different actions that it has carried out and is carrying out, among which are included: a letter to the Prosecutor's Office as announced yesterday by the president; communications with the data and information that La Liga considers pertinent to different organisations, Spanish and European; and more actions that at this time La Liga considers that it should not make public so as not to harm the investigation.

"Yesterday, during the Division Meeting, most of the La Liga Clubs expressed their deep concern about this case, which they consider to be of the utmost seriousness, for which the proposal for a joint communication received the unanimous support of all the clubs. from La Liga SmartBank and all the La Liga Santander clubs except for two, who objected to this joint statement for different reasons.

"La Liga and its Delegate Commission reject and repudiate the facts, and are deeply concerned and actively working to clarify any irregularities that may have occurred around the Negreira case, whether sporting or of any other nature.

"La Liga is following this matter very closely and will act firmly within the powers and limits allowed by the Law.

"The Delegated Commission firmly supports the actions of La Liga in response to the work demonstrated and carried out during these years to preserve the integrity of the competition."

Relevo note that Real Madrid declined to be part of the widespread condemnation of Barcelona's actions, while Valencia also distanced themselves.

With a legal investigation ongoing, La Liga are yet to take their own action against Barcelona, with league president Javier Tebas vowing to let law enforcement work to uncover the facts before making a final decision on whether any sanctions are necessary.