Here’s a Marca report that suggests over 2m was paid to Villarreal players to fix a match with Getafe during matchweek 38 of last season. The evidence is supposed to be a Whatsapp conversation between Jorge Molina, Paco Esteban, and Carlos Aranda. Sifting through Google’s best attempt to translate the Spanish, (so Raul or Allen, if y’all can steer me right here I’d appreciate it) it appears to me like the alleged bribe was related to trying to get Getafe into the Champions League (which of course did not happen). The game was a 2-2 draw. Looking at the table from last year, it appears Valladolid also needed a result against Valencia that day, and Marca claims there may have been bribing attempts there too.
Villarreal, of course, denies all the allegations. You can see their official announcement here. We’re biased, of course, but I’m incline to believe the club. Not only would this be contrary to everything we know about club values, but the people involved in this Whatsapp are 1. A Getafe player and 2. A couple of guys who have ties to Spanish football (one of which had a cup of coffee with Villarreal in his career).
Official announcement: #Villarreal CF and its first team categorically reject the allegations made in recent hours.https://t.co/DIQ7FXs5Cc— Villarreal CF English (@Eng_Villarreal) May 15, 2020
It’s also worth noting that the ‘bribe’ didn’t apparently work, the game was a draw.
If Marca’s information reflects an actual Whatsapp conversation, which knowing Marca, who knows if it does... I think it clearly shows that a Getafe player was involved with unscrupulous characters to try to fix a match, but it does not show any real evidence that Villarreal or any of its players participated on their end.
We’ll keep you posted with updates, but we are a very long way from me even starting believe any Villarreal players took bribes to lose that game.
Getafe, for their part, offered ‘unconditional support’ for Molina and deny the allegations.