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Barcelona Confirm Police Search At Club Offices, Several Arrests Made

Barcelona confirmed on Monday that police had attacked the club’s office as part of an investigation into the company’s employment to improve the image of former President Josep Maria Bartomeu.

A Catalan local police spokesman told AFP that several arrests had been made just six days before the club’s new presidential election on Sunday.

According to Spain’s Cadenaser radio, Bartomeu was arrested, who resigned in October with CEO Oscar Grau and the club’s legal director, Rome Gome Sponti.

However, Barcelona refused to comment on the arrest, but police did not confirm the name, only stating that “the arrest was taking place,” adding that the operation was being carried out by police in the financial crime sector.

A police spokesman told AFP, “We are currently working with agents in the financial crime unit to carry out operations.”

Barcelona is associated with an investigation into last year’s Bartomeu scandal, where the club was accused of concealing payments to a company called I3 Ventures, which was hired on social media to enhance the image of then-President Bartomeu on social media. He said he was doing it.

Part of the campaign included criticizing current and former players such as Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola and Xavier Nandez. Messi described the controversy as “strange” in an interview with the Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

The club statement on Monday said: “The Catalan police entry and search at the Camp Nou office this morning was ordered by Barcelona’s 13th Court, which is in charge of the case involving surveillance service liaison. On social networks, FC Barcelona has revealed the facts to be investigated. We have offered full cooperation to the legal and police authorities for clarification.

“The information and documents requested by the judicial police are strictly related to the facts related to this case.”

Cadena Sale claimed that Barca paid the I3 Ventures a high fee and paid less separately to avoid the club’s financial controls.

Emily Rousseau, who resigned as Vice President of Barcelona last March, said in an interview with RAC1: “If the auditor costs € 100,000 for these services and pays $ 1 million, it means someone got it. In Till,” the club took legal action against him. ..





Barcelona is holding a club presidential election this week
AFP / LLUIS GENE

Rousseau, one of the six Barca executives, left the post in a joint letter citing as an important issue that needed to resolve the dispute.

Bartomeu said the company was hired solely to monitor posts on social media and announced an internal audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers. This eliminated the club’s financial corruption in July.

“Let’s clarify one,” Bartomeu said. “In response to the question: Did you outsource monitoring of social networks? The answer is yes.

“In response to the question: Did we ask people and institutions to undermine the credibility through social networks? The answer is no and we take action against all those who blame it. “

Bartomeu resigned in October to avoid a motion of no confidence caused after more than 20,000 club members signed a petition against him.

His departure came in the same month when Barcelona announced a loss of € 97 million ($ 114 million) last season and more than doubled its debt of € 488 million.

In addition to a series of political failures, Baltmeu also oversaw a dramatic decline in performance on the pitch and a personal dropout with Messi, who tried to play for free last summer.

Under Bartomeu’s leadership, Messi accused the club of “always juggling everything and closing the gap.”

Bartomeu’s successor will be elected on Sunday, and club members will choose from the last three candidates, Joan Laporta, Toni Freisa and Victor Font.



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