FC Barcelona is embroiled in controversy after police raided Camp Nou and arrested oldschool president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Monday.
Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police, also arrested Barca CEO Oscar Grau, head of appropriate Roman Gomez Ponti and oldschool chief of crew Jaume Masferrer as they continue to investigate final twelve months’s ‘Barcagate’ scandal.
The senior membership officials were accused of orchestrating a social media smear campaign in opposition to fresh and oldschool personnel – together with Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola – who had been extreme of Bartomeu.
Whereas police will now not be pursuing the alleged online trolling, they raided Barcelona’s stadium to investigate bills together with corruption and money laundering.
With the cramped print of the alleged smear campaign, the utter appropriate bills and Barcelona’s response, right here is all the pieces it be a must to know about Barcagate.
In early 2020, the Barcelona hierarchy were accused of smearing membership legends on social media, together with oldschool personnel Pep Guardiola, Xavi and Carles Puyol, and up to the moment stars Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique.
Barca’s social media job had been dealt with by I3 Ventures because the 2017/18 season and the company was as soon as speculated to beget location up troll Facebook and Twitter accounts to aim so-called enemies of Josep Maria Bartomeu.
It was as soon as also purported that attainable presidential candidates Agusti Benedito and Victor Font were targeted.
Bartomeu, alongside Oscar Grau, Roman Gomez Ponti and Jaume Masferrer, has denied the allegations fervently both earlier than and after he resigned as president final October.
Following the scandal, six board members resigned and said : “We must also spotlight our disenchantment with the unhappy episode on social networks, identified as ‘Barcagate’, which we realized about throughout the press.”
Meanwhile, there could be a financial element to Barcagate.
Upon his resignation, oldschool vice president Emili Rousaud accused a membership govt of “having their hand in the till”.
It was as soon as alleged that the contracts handed to I3 Ventures were paid in extra than one instalments of objective beneath €200,000 (£173,000) in uncover to win them hidden from diversified membership directors and financial controls.
Broad Four accounting company PwC was as soon as employed by Barcelona to investigate the incident and discovered there were irregularities with the I3 Ventures contracts, but cleared membership chiefs of wrongdoing.
A police investigation has been ongoing, alternatively, and Mossos d’Esquadra raided Camp Nou final summer and all every other time on Monday to accumulate proof.
What are the appropriate bills?
The Catalan police will now not be believed to be investigating the trolling which is speculated to were overseen by I3 Ventures.
As an different, Spanish radio outlet La Cadena SER claims the arrests were made on suspicion of “unfair administration, corruption between folks and money laundering” by paying money in instalments to lead sure of financial controls.
In uncover to win the total extent of their commerce with I3 Ventures deepest, membership chiefs purportedly issued contracts valued at objective beneath €200,000 to win them hidden from diversified executives.
As such, Mossos d’Esquadra can pursue a case of erroneous accounting and hope to compose their proof with their most trendy raid on Camp Nou areas of work.
The La Liga giants launched an announcement on Monday following the arrests of the four high-profile figures affiliated with the membership and essentially the most trendy police raid.
The observation reads: “Referring to the entry and search by the Catalan Police force this morning at the Camp Nou areas of work by uncover of the Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona, which is accountable of the case concerning to the contacting of monitoring services and products on social networks, FC Barcelona beget supplied up their full collaboration to the appropriate and police authorities to support plan sure facts that are arena to investigation.
“The details and documentation requested by the judicial police force uncover strictly to the facts relative to this case.
“FC Barcelona utter its utmost appreciate for the judicial route of in arena and for the conception of presumed innocence for the of us affected within the remit of this investigation.”
The unique turmoil Barcelona accumulate themselves in could well presumably now not ceaselessly plot at a worse time.
Whereas Bartomeu resigned final October and Masferrer’s contract was as soon as later terminated, Grau and Gomez Ponti are soundless senior members of the membership’s hierarchy.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are in £1.1billion of debt, a predominant chunk of which desires to be paid support this summer, whereas their talisman and captain Lionel Messi will hobble away at the expiry of his contract this summer, as it stands.
The police raid on Camp Nou comes lower than per week earlier than Barcelona’s presidential election on Sunday, which was as soon as postponed due to the the coronavirus outbreak.
On the final pollare Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freia, every of whom beget distance themselves from Bartomeu all over their campaigns.
Laporta is belief of the frontrunner in the election after guiding the membership through a purple patch as president between 2003 and 2010.
Reacting to Bartomeu’s arrest, he said: “It is neither objective news nor fulfilling news for Barca since this person has been president of FC Barcelona.
“Though he did now not beget a objective administration, he soundless has been president of FC Barcelona and it is news that is now not fulfilling for someone. The reality is that it is surprising news, completely.”