La Liga has denied threatening to relegate Barcelona to the second division if a new president is not sworn in until depositing the mandatory €125 million bank guarantee.

Toni Freixa, the presidential nominee for Barcelona, said on Thursday that before the March 7 runoff, he and the two other presidential candidates, Joan Laporta and Victor Font, were informed by then acting president Carles Tusquets what La Liga’s stance was on getting the bank guarantee, which is part of the club’s laws to formally take office.

The bank guarantee, which amounts to 15% of Barcelona’s budget, is meant to shield the club from incompetent management and must be accepted by La Liga.

Freixa tweeted: “La Liga’s response, more specifically that of [its president] Javier Tebas, was ‘if you allow the swearing-in of the new president without depositing the bank guarantee, I will relegate Barca to the second division.’ That is what Carles Tusquets explained to all three candidates.”

Freixa, a lawyer by trade, also said he met with La Liga president Tebas in October to explore the prospect of scrapping the regulation involving a bank guarantee, which was adopted by the club “over 30 years ago when the club budget was a hundred times smaller.”

La Liga has rejected any interaction between Tebas and Tusquets during the electoral cycle and stated that if the president-elect had not deposited the pledge, the only realistic result would have been a repetition of the elections rather than relegation.

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