Between 2001 and 2018, the Fútbol Club Barcelona paid a total amount close to seven million euros to José María Enríquez Negreira. Theoretically, said amount, gross and net at the same time – Mr. José María never charged the Value Added Tax despite the fact that he documented his operations in invoices and, in turn, Barça did not withhold personal income tax – was the consideration paid by the Barcelona company that is more than a club for the evacuation of a series of (verbal) reports related to arbitration. The well-paid was vice president of the Technical Committee of Referees during the long period from 1994 to 2018, SL). The form of payment? Always in cash.
The “business relationship” of the man in black -¡Negreira! with Barça began during the presidency of Joan Gaspart. Under his mandate, Enríquez Negreira received an annual average of about 380,000 euros. In the 2009-2010 season, with Joan Laporta at the helm of the Blaugrana company, Enríquez Negreira rose through the ranks: his artistic cache was already half a million a year. In 2018, he received the dismissal ticket by decision of President Bartomeu. Coincidence or redemption?
In 2021, the Department of the Tax Agency took action on the matter, which initiated a verification procedure related to Dasnil 95, SL sociedadci pantalla, through its sociedadci pantalla, that of 1.4 million euros in the period 2016-2018 . The means of payment was also cash. Several months later, the Agency, without neglecting administrative proceedings, transferred the penalty ball to the Prosecutor’s Office. However, fiscal anomalies are only the tip of the iceberg.
A first legal approach to the matter inevitably produces two compatible sensations. The first is an itch of embarrassment, stupor and embarrassment due to the commission of numerous administrative and criminal offenses by corrupt “galactics” for almost twenty years, which, except for the exception that I will mention later, have remained lamenene or prescription. The second is the continuous affront to the citizen caused by the terrible legal architecture of the State in its criminal aspect by the work and grace of the legislator. The prescription is a guarantee of legal security and social peace. No one, after a certain time has elapsed without the State reviewing their misconduct, can feel the shadow of the sword behind their neck until the end of their days. A very different thing is the existence of two yardsticks to measure the prescription, according to the individual personality of the author of the acts disapproved by the community.
The unlawful administrative assumptions committed by the presidents of the Barcelona Football Club, once their presumption of innocence had been enervated, would have been classified as very serious, according to sports legislation, which would have necessarily led to a team category. of football. Here impunity has been absolute due to the ephemeral term of the prescription (three years).
This was provided by the Sports Law then in force (article 80). The same term established in the Law currently in force (article 112 of Law 39/2022, of December 30), although there is the paradox that, in this case, the previous Law of 1990 applies, since article 112 is a nasciturus that will not leave the bosom of mom-law until the Government proceeds, within six months, to the approval of its regulatory development. Whatever it is, the prescription has had as necessary cooperators the passivity and ominous silence that the Federation, the Professional League and the Spanish Sports Disciplinary Committee have kept.
In addition to the possible commission of a crime of unfair administration (regarding the members of the entity), Barça would have also incurred, in food with Mr. José María, in a crime of corruption between individuals (article 286 bis of the Penal Code), which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
In the fiscal sphere, it is more than likely that numerous crimes against the Public Treasury will be committed by both parties. The ex-referee for not having declared his performances – work, professional? – In personal income tax. Also due to its lack of repercussion (and income in the Treasury) of the VAT quotas. On the part of the leaders of the Fútbol Club Barcelona, for not having practiced (and entered the Treasury) the withholdings on account of the Personal Income Tax corresponding to the rents paid to Enríquez Negreira.
The prosecutors committed in the long period that goes from 2001 to 2015 have gone unpunished due to the mandate assigned to the judges by the institute of the prescription (five years or ten years (the latter an almost impossible assumption in our case), if it is of the aggravated type of article 305 bis of the Penal Code).
The criminal policy of the Spanish State, based on very short and universal prescription times, is an insult to material justice (and an insult to intelligence). It is an asymmetric policy, double standards, a legal system that provides incentives to corruption and big white-collar criminals, while preying on street criminals who are caught red-handed. The former take things easy. The latter –juvenile delinquents and quinquis- only get away with acting “Quickly, quickly”, the title of the immortal film by the recently deceased Carlos Saura. In our country, the legal design of the statute of limitations defeats the primary function of the penalty, which is not so much to punish the accused but to prevent the damage that is inflicted on social assets, such as the disastrous plague of corruption. Because, since 1978 here, corruption not only has not decreased but it is rampant throughout Spain.
We are still ideological hostages of the penal doctrine of a century ago. A system that practically only criminalized crimes against property and the safety of people, the iron hand that mercilessly punished attacks against public order.
Half a century ago, criminal policy was dominated, with good sense, by the principle of minimum intervention. Only serious criminal offenses were prosecuted. Now everything is criminalized, from a compliment to a young lady to an alleged expression of hatred towards the natives of Bangladesh, to crushing a sentient being like a mosquito fond of sweet blood. “Zero tolerance” is the most idiotic militant slogan in legal history. The new Inquisition and its endless string of crimes have exceeded the limits of the judicial office, to the clear benefit of the prescription that the worst criminals in Spain earn.
The criminal jurisdiction does not have credibility among citizens, who perceive it as a bureaucratic machine that generates great inequality depending on who its possible recipients are. His slowness is a tailor-made suit for the corrupt. By their very nature, crimes of corruption, influence peddling, money laundering or fraud against the Public Treasury are carried out stealthily, in the dark and protected by very strong interests and powers. Nothing to do with robberies in a supermarket or the reckless driving of a car. The prescription is an inexorable clock that runs in favor of criminals with a butler and a housekeeper with a lace cap embroidered with the initials of the master of the house. Whoever doubts, take a look at the prison population. There is a minimum criminal law for the rich and a maximum for the poor. We have an author’s Penal Code, not a fact: very understanding with the powerful, very hard with the outcasts. An unfair and shocking situation that is worsening because, while the expenses of the judicial organization increase, the budget allocations remain insufficient.
As if that weren’t enough, while public defender (the old “poverty benefit”) doesn’t seem adequate to help the poor when they get out of hand, the rich have wonderful lawyers (and great influence over magistrates). that slow down the processes in search of some judicial official being confused and their clients celebrate their party of impunity, technically called “prescription”.
The legal regulation of prescription is neither neutral nor innocent. The function creates the organ. Corruption demands slaves at its service to go unpunished. He reaches agreements with negreiras so that the prescription deal reaches a safe and free port, such as the Spotify Camp Nou.
a modest proposition
The Penal Code (article 131) establishes the prescription of crimes – from five to twenty years – based on the duration of the sentence indicated for each criminal offence. Thus, the most serious modality of the crime of corruption (article 286 bis CP) prescribes after five years. It’s cheaper than stealing a chicken (although Rodríguez Negreira has an ineffable gesture of a free-range rooster). If the State really wanted to eliminate corruption and other “white collar” crimes, it would increase the statute of limitations for these activities that corrode, from top to bottom, democracy and the rule of law.
The pro football offer despite a stench resembling last year’s cod. Not the demand, because children do not distinguish animated games from reality. But, be careful: the interior doors of the stadium that the masses use to occupy their seats near the pitch are called “vomitorios”, as the Romans called the entrances to the circus where the beasts and gladiators played. I just tell the plaintiffs the same catchphrase a radio station uses: “Small gestures matter.”