Barcagate: Police Arrest Former Barcelona President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Others

Barcagate: Police Arrest Former Barcelona President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Others

 

Barcagate: Police Arrest Former Barcelona President, Josep Maria Bartomeu, Others

Former Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has been arrested on Monday with police search warrant issued as part of investigation into ‘Barcagate’.

Alongside the former president, Barca CEO Oscar Grau, a former presidential advisor, Jaume Masferrer, and legal head Roman Gomez Ponti have all been taken into custody.

The police were seen raiding Camp Nou offices followed by which they searched Bartomeu’s private residence regarding the same matter.

The Barcagate scandal is a long-running case against Bartomeu where the former president and his administration were accused of paying a PR company to run their online image on behalf of the club.

The company in question, I3 was allegedly paid to clear up Bartomeu’s image after he came under fire from a disgruntled fan base wanted him to resign for a very long time.

Bartomeu was also accused of damaging the image and reputation of fan-favorite club legends like Gerard Pique, Xavi Hernandez, and Lionel Messi.

Though the company and Bartomeu’s administration were quick to distance themselves from these claims, local police continued their investigation. Spanish police were initially first raided offices at Camp Nou in June 2020 and have now returned to step up their investigation.

Bartomeu stepped down from his post in October 2020 and no successor has been elected yet amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has adversely affected sporting institutions around the world.

Barca are, however, hoping to get a new figurehead in place on March 7, with Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa being the remaining candidates left in the running to fill the vacant presidential post.

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