Laporta says he will expose the people trying to 'destabilise' and 'control' Barcelona
Barcelona president Joan Laporta claims a destabilisation conspiracy is behind the Negreira probe.
was charged with corruption by Spanish prosecutors for payments between 2001 and 2018 to the company of former refereeing chief Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.
Prosecutors claim that under a secret agreement and "in exchange for money", Negreira favoured Barcelona "
in the decisions taken by referees in the games played by the club, as well as in the results of the competitions”.
Barcelona denied wrongdoing in a statement and claimed they had simply paid an external consultant that supplied them with
"technical reports related to professional refereeing
", calling it "
a common practice among professional football clubs”.
Ahead of Sunday’s clasico againstReal Madrid
at Camp Nou, Laporta claimed these allegations are part of a campaign to destabilise them.
"This Sunday we have a great game,"
Laporta said in a video message posted on Barcelona's Twitter account.
"I ask you to come to cheer on the team more than ever. We have a great opportunity to get closer to our goal this season, which is to win the league. A great opportunity."
"The campaign we are suffering is not by chance, you all know this,"
Laporta said of the allegations.
"Its objective is, in the short term, to destabilise the team, and in the medium term to control Barca. I will have time and I want to explain to you who, why and how they want to orchestrate this campaign.
"Have no doubt that we will defend ourselves. And we will not only defend ourselves, we will attack. But now we must be focused on encouraging the team this Sunday because, as I told you, their first objective is to destabilise the team."
He told fans:
"We have to focus on encouraging the team, our players, our coaches, so that they win the game. I think that we should not be focused on other aspects that could divert the attention of our players from concentrating on the game to win it. Because it is essential.
"Therefore, come this Sunday to cheer on the team more than ever. Let's encourage Barca because we love Barca. Long live Barca.”
Barcelona is nine points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga after 25 matches.
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