Barcelona president tells fans to be calm in the wake of campaign against the club

On the pitch Barcelona are ticking along nicely but the Catalans continue to be beset by problems off the field, although president, Joan Laporta, has pleaded for calm.

Should they win against Athletic Club de Bilbao on Sunday evening, La Liga’s table-toppers will head into next weekend’s El Clasico against Real Madrid with a colossal 11-point lead over them.

Though the league title still can’t be mathematically won for a few weeks yet, another win for the Blaugranes in that game would see the unlikely scenario of Barca having to lose five and Real win five just for Los Blancos to overtake them at the summit.

It’s a fabulous position for the club to be in, however, they’re mired in controversy off the pitch.

According to Sky Sports, the club have been charged with corruption, relating to apparent payments to the ex-vice-president of Spain’s referees’ committee Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira.

At present nothing has been proved, though a statement has been released on the official Real Madrid website, cited by Football Espana, which intimates that Los Blancos will want to appear at any trial and at an appropriate point, given that the case, if proven, would affect them and all La Liga clubs.

In order to try and suppress the bad news, Señor Laporta took to Twitter:

Quite how this could impact on Barcelona is anyone’s guess at this stage, and Xavi must be hoping that his players remain unaffected during the business end of their league campaign.

A lawyer by trade – he is the founding partner of Laporta & Arbos – Laporta will surely need all of his powers of legal argument to get the club out of this one.

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