“The Three Little Cules”
Conspiracy theories are a great way to construct the most outrageous hypothesis but at the same time are the means to discredit plausible conclusions derived from a clear, logical and reasonable chain of events. After all, the main way to try to invalidate a quite obvious scheme forged behind curtains is to accuse the exposer of insanity, ill feeling or whichever excuse to try to deny the evidence.
FC Barcelona and UEFA have lived an idyllic and romantic interlude for quite a few years now.This relationship started in the dawn of the millennium, with the arrival of Joan Laporta to the catalan side’s presidency. As soon as he arrived to the club, Laporta started weaving a network of contacts in UEFA and RFEF backed by a policy of betrayal, double dealings and back stabbings which would allow him to place Barça ex-directives and sympathizers in key positions of the governing bodies.
To understand this process one must time travel on the fabric of the space-time continuum to understand the two key points on Laporta´s plan; one, the creation of the G-14 and , two, the then upcoming election to the RFEF presidency. Both events took place during the 2001-2004 year period. The later was the most important part of Barça´s president plans to control the back offices and thus control a part of the other football, the one not played on the pitch, the sport played behind closed doors in official buildings where decisions that could determined the outcome of a game are played. We must admit that Florentino at the time was slow and clumsy to react to this new and clear threat, that ultimately was successful on stonewalling Madrid’s chances for a fair shot at competition. This period also coincided with a time of extreme crisis on Real Madrid’s ranks at the sporting, social and institutional levels. But that is another story and we´ll talk about it in the future.
In the year 2004, the RFEF holds Presidential elections, where the then incumbent president of 16 years glued to the power chair is on the verge of passing on the throne to another candidate after an active Press campaign that has uncovered his mismanagement of a Federation stained by embezzlement, several of its members accused and later convicted of personal gain and shady dealings, waste of resources and a lean trophy cabinet. In other words the RFEF stands accused of being ruled by an incompetent kleptocracy. All the clubs have made a before hand agreement to oust Villar from his post and replace him with Gerardo Gonzalez, a neutral man. On the very last minute, Joan Laporta, without previous warning and thus breaching the voting disciplined agreed upon, changes his vote backing Villar who then wins the election and as a good usual suspect proceeds to get omertà on those who wanted him gone, especially Florentino Perez. Many said that Laporta changed his vote forced by Joan Gaspart, prior president of Uefalona FC, and financial backer of Villar’s campaigns, but one might consider this incise trivial, since the end result is the same.
In payment for services rendered, Villar proceeds to name Gaspart as the Vice President of International and Institutional affairs, in other words, Gaspart becomes the top man in subjects such as referring, discipline and International competition. Gaspart is also corrosive and toxically antimadridista. Together with Gaspart, Villar names Juan Padrón, another known antimadridista, as the Vice president of Economical Affairs. Padrón is connected to Jesús Semper, a cule sympathizer industrialist who holds a sword over Villar’s head due to financial backing given to the RFEF president to wash out the debt created by years of mismanagement. In this way the spider web of corruption, repayment of personal favors, nepotism and the equivalent of insider trading is concocted, and Uefalona FC begins a firm foothold controlling the decisions of the RFEF. After this unholly alliance is created, number of outrageous decisions start to favor FC Barcelona on the most farcical fashion.
Thus, incidents like the aggression to Figo o Roberto Carlos at Camp Nou go punished with a single game played behind closed doors without public, decision which is never carried out and commuted to payment of a 4,000€ fine three years later, a shameful case never seen before or after in any League. Or likewise FC Barcelona isn’t sanctioned by the RFEF for refusing to partake in a Copa match , when this offense is usually punished with banning from said competition for a number of years, or FC Barcelona appearing 45 minutes past the hour from game start time and not forfeiting the game as the rule book dictates. All of these stand as painful examples of privileged treatment which is vast and ongoing in time and space.
This policy of bestowing graces and Papal indulgences, shamefully continues with Rosell. After Real Madrid wins the record Liga trophy, Rosell quickly moves his pieces to place his Barça Vice President and Director of communications Joan Freixa, as a key directive on the RFEF to oversee the competition department, in other words refereeing. This event took place shortly after Rosell and Villar were spotted secretly meeting in a Madrid Hotel, and where a TV crew covering another event witnessed a heated discussion between the two, that Villar ended with the words “How much else do you want me to give you Sandro?”, incriminating words directed at Rosell.
Given this network of nepotism, political and institutional favors thrown into the mix together with suspect moral characters, Rosell and Laporta are indicted in several judicial cases involving corruption and embezzlement, the primordial soup is formed where estrange referee decisions clearly favoring one club thrive and succeed; therefore, achieving the ultimate goal of providing an end result: Titles and Trophies. Now, I don’t claim that the RFEF, Villar or his underlings come out and tell a referee directly who should win a match. Any elaborated scheme at the institutional level would shun such a coarse approach. Instead they create the clientelistic background and mentality which will set the foundation where the double standard flourishes, and where the sly referee will know very well what of his on pitch decisions would satisfy more those above him in the chain of command. Those who are either indebted to Cules or are directly Cules themselves. There are many pluses to be gained from this serf like attitude in the shape of international assignments, delivering summer workshops on refereeing, or being assigned to major competition of summertime events, all of them procuring succulent dividends. After all, a referee’s salary more than triples if he partakes on these juicy perks and prebendaries.
It must be pointed out that over 43 % of Barcelona’s Silverware has been attained during Villar’s reign, a very significant statistical figure.
Coming Soon: Uefalona, Part 2 ……. UEFA