Barcelona spokesman Toni Freixa has back at recent reports in the Spanish media which he says are part of ‘an effort to undermine the reputation of our athletes and our institutions.
It has not been a good season for Barcelona off the pitch, especially from a public relations standpoint. Earlier this week, El Mundo reported that Lionel Messi’s father Jorge had been involved in money laundering and that Messi and three of his Barca teammates were interviewed as witnesses.
“We’re pleased that the Ministry of Interior has immediately denied the information published by a news outlet. The information published by the outlet is untrue,” Freixa began in response to the allegations.
“We want to express our concern because lately there’s been an effort to undermine the reputation of our athletes and our institutions. The board, just as it as done in similar situations, will act strongly.
“We want to send a message that everything isn’t fair game and that we are aware of what is being produced.”
There is also that little detail over how much did Barcelona really pay for Neyamr this summer. There are suggestions that Barcelona president Sandro Rosell gave Neymar and his father a €40m signing bonus, something the club denies.
“The club has received absolutely nothing, we haven’t been notified of anything. In any event, this is about an operation in which we have been transparent from the very beginning.
“We said that we didn’t give certain details for reasons of confidentiality, but we are willing to give them if a judicial entity asks us to do so.”
And when it rains it pours, we get news that the European Commission are investigating Barcelona and Real Madrid for allegations of receiving illegal state aid.
“Honestly, we don’t understand the basis of this investigation. We haven’t received anything and for us this is just news.
“We’re aware that the LFP has made a statement rejecting the possibility of this happening.”
I cannot remember a time when a big club like Barcelona was under attack on so many fronts. The big unknown is whether all this off the pitch controversy will spill over and impact the teams performance on the pitch?