The president of Barcelona, Joan Laporta, said that he has no intention of resigning, after the publication of the news about the payments that the Catalan club had made on behalf of Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira. The latter some time ago held the title of vice-president of the Spanish federation of referees. Publications have cast doubt on a possible corruption affair involving Jose and Barcelona executives, including president Laporta.
On Monday, La Liga president Javier Tebas said Laporta should resign if he is unable to explain the sums of money his club are believed to have paid Jose Maria some time ago. But Laporta seems to be calm, and has even rejected Teba's claims, saying that the latter is "obsessed" with Barcelona. When asked by the media if he was ready to resign, as Tebas claimed, Laporta commented:
"That is up to the members of the club to decide. All those who try to spoil the history and image of Barcelona will receive a strong response... Some people had warned us that Tebas was pushing a campaign against Barcelona and against me. Now his mask has fallen. He continues his obsession with Barcelona...his aim is to control the club from afar, which he has done in recent years."
Meanwhile, La Liga, in an official statement, said that most clubs have expressed deep concern about the published news, and consider them quite serious. The La Liga clubs, as well as those of the second Spanish category, request a clarification of the situation as soon as possible from the relevant bodies.
The coach of Barcelona, Xavi Hernandez, said that he had no knowledge of the activities mentioned by the media in Spain. The technician commented:
"I always wanted to win, but in a fair way. If I knew we were playing tricks I would have run home."