The former director of FC Barcelona Josep Contreras, who died last December, may be the guardian of some of the best kept secrets of the Barça club, its main managers and, above all, himself and those closest to him. Contreras kept, in a safe hidden in the bathroom of his house, in the upper part of Barcelona, some handwritten pages that, under the title “Ultra-secret”, contained allusions to checks and alleged payments in “dirty money”. The content is difficult to decipher, although it contains names (“Josep Maria”, “Mr. Rosell”) which, according to La Liga, which provided the documentation of the Negreira case, may correspond to those of former presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu and other former officials of the Spanish Football Federation.
The material was intervened by the Civil Guard during the search of Contreras’ house, investigated in the case of soul, a corruption case conducted by the National Court on the alleged embezzlement of nearly eight million euros from swimming pool charges. The League carries out the prosecution in this case and has made the papers available to the Barcelona judge who is investigating the case. Negreira case, namely the payment of 7.3 million euros from Barça to former referee José María Enríquez Negreira for 17 years. According to Negreira, the club paid him to ensure neutrality in arbitration decisions, which has led the Public Prosecutor’s Office to accuse the entity of continuing the crime of corruption in the sports area.
The first page of this Rosetta stone, written in blue marker, contains a list of properties (real estate, parking lots, land, offices) and the names of the people or companies they supposedly belong to. The second page presents a more complex and misleading reading. According to the interpretation made by La Liga, “the given names and surnames may coincide with the names and surnames of some former FCB and RFEF directors”.
The La Liga letter expressly mentions the names of Román Gómez Pontí (head of Barça’s legal services during the Bartomeu period), Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu. In the note there is an allusion to a certain “Mr. Rosell” next to an arrow after which “Palma de Mallorca” is written. In the case of “Josep Maria”, the name appears next to a parenthesis that seems to group people related to “checks: dirty money”. Each person appears linked to a bank or investment fund. In the case of “Josep Maria”; whoever it is, it is referred to under the words “Catalan bank” and “Big box”. “It must be expressly stated that neither this part has any speculative spirit, nor does this letter imply the exercise of a specific accusation against anyone”, qualifies the letter from La Liga.
Whether or not the note, which can hardly be deciphered without the help of its author, has anything to do with the Negreira case is difficult to determine for now. Contreras was a manager under the presidencies of Josep Lluís Núñez and Joan Gaspart, who allegedly promoted the hiring of the referee; according to the thesis of the Public Ministry, to defraud the competitions in favor of the club. The invoices date from 2001, at the Gaspart stage, although investigation sources are convinced that the practice began earlier, with Núñez.
It is true that Negreira withdrew a good part of the money collected by Barça in cash through bearer checks, according to the investigation. Contreras’ writing, in any case, ends with the warning that “Ultra-secret” and then some even more mysterious words, but which seem like a kind of safe conduct in case there are problems, it is understood that with justice. “Clause: It is only possible to open it in case of the greatest misfortune in the world for us.” To which the text adds, “We would gladly give to avoid it.”
Contreras, in any case, appears in the operation later and in a secondary plot: he was in charge of hiring Negreira’s son, the trainer sport Javier Enríquez, to prepare reports on the behavior of referees on the field of play. Contreras received a commission that represented 33% of the more than 400 thousand euros that, between 2015 and 2018, Barça paid for these services. Unlike what happened with his father, the works of Javier Enríquez are accredited.
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