Barcelona called on La Liga president Javier Tebas to resign as they accused him of providing false evidence to public prosecutors who have already charged the club with corruption.
In an aggressively-worded statement that represents the latest escalation in a long-running and bitter dispute between the parties, Barca made reference to an article published in La Vanguardia on Monday, which made the same allegations about Tebas.
Tebas issued a series of strong denials in several Twitter posts.
“THE HEADLINE of La Vanguardia is FALSE, we DON’T accuse anyone, the news story itself corroborates this by pointing out what the letter to the prosecutor’s office said: ‘nor does this letter imply the exercise of a concrete accusation against anyone.’”He wrote.
In response to a L’Equipe tweet about the story, Tebas added:
“The announcement by La Vanguardia is false and the proof is in the text, the document is NOT false, and furthermore we are not accusing anyone. It’s all false, it’s self-victimisation.”
Barca were in March charged with corruption over payments they made to the vice-president of Spanish football’s refereeing committee.
Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira, who held that role between 1994 and 2018, is also facing charges of corruption in a case brought by the Spanish public prosecutor’s office, as is Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barca president from 2014-2020, and Sandro Rosell, president from 2010-2014.
Enriquez Negreira has denied ever favouring Barcelona in terms of refereeing decisions. Barca have explained they hired an “external consultant” who provided reports “related to professional refereeing” and also deny any wrongdoing as do Bartomeu and Rosell.
Despite Tebas’ denial, Barcelona still released a statement suggesting Tebas should leave his position with immediate effect.
The statement read:
“Given the gravity of the information that has appeared today in La Vanguardia in which the La Liga president Javier Tebas is linked to the presentation of false evidence to the public prosecutor to incriminate our club, FC Barcelona wishes to expresses its deepest indignation, anger and dismay.
“For that reason, we require the La Liga president urgently to appear in public to explain himself, beyond the tweet sent in the early hours by Mr Tebas, lacking study and with a threatening veneer.
“FC Barcelona, as president Joan Laporta repeated in recent weeks, feels itself to be the victim of a media campaign for events that never took place: Barca has never paid referees.
“This harassment involves a group of media outlets and opinion writers with varying degrees of intent and with La Liga fanning the flames behind the scenes against out club, with contributions from its president who has only gone in one direction: trying to condemn us in the public’s eyes before the facts have been judged.
“It is not the first time that the president of La Liga has used the media weapons at his disposal to damage FC Barcelona, however, in contrast to his usual nonsense, we could never have imagined that he could try to incriminate our club with false evidence.
“The article published today by La Vanguardia is of such gravity that it should put all the clubs in La Liga on alert, given that is talks of practices which are in no way consistent with the job of the president of La Liga.
“If only for this fact, that of giving himself powers that do not belong to him, although also for reasons of dignity and respect for the presidency of La Liga, Mr Tebas should resign from his post. Nevertheless, aware of his obsession with persecuting FC Barcelona and showing his constant averse and manifest dislike of our club, we understand that the current La Liga president will persist in his efforts to keep damaging our club.”
Source: The Athletic