'To the last drop of blood!' - Joan Laporta vows Barcelona will defend themselves amid referee payment scandal

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  • Laporta stressed Barca's innoncence
  • Deemed investigation "ugly"
  • Club facing inquiry from UEFA, Spanish authorities

WHAT HAPPENED? The Blaugrana are currently under investigation by both Spanish authorities and UEFA after paying a company owned by a high-ranking refereeing official. Enriquez Negreira, former vice-president of the Spanish Technical Committee of Referees, received around €7.3million (£6.4m, $7.9m) from Barca over a nearly 20 year period.

Thus far, Barcelona have denied all allegations of cheating or corruption. Laporta has been among the most vocal inside the Blaugrana camp, repeatedly emphasising Barca's innocence.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Laporta spoke on the ongoing investigation at the Congress of Barca Supporters Clubs on Saturday, saying: "They have nothing and the only thing they want is to damage our image and reputation with a demeaning campaign.

"What they are doing is very ugly, but we don't play with our feelings. The tactic never changes and involves trying to drown us with the clear intention of squeezing you until we give in and we are going to defend Barca to the last drop of blood."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona were handed a boost in the case last month, when investigators determined that they could not prove that the club's payments impacted refereeing decisions. Still, the club remains under investigation for a series of potential infractions, including corruption.


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WHAT NEXT? Laporta has vowed to hold a press conference and defend Barcelona in full, but has not announced a date for that yet. Meanwhile, the investigation drags on.