Bartomeu, arrested

The Mossos D'Esquadra take the former president of Barça to testify. The club's CEO, the head of legal services and a former adviser to the president have also been arrested.


Tsunami at Barça. The Mossos d'Esquadra have arrested this Monday morning the former president of the Barça club, Josep Maria Bartomeu to give a statement on the 'Barçagate case'. Óscar Grau, CEO of Barça; Romà Gómez Ponti, head of legal services; and Jaume Masferrer, advisor to the former president, have also been arrested by the Mossos D'Esquadra and will have to testify for Barçagate, in which a group of partners denounced the Barça club's Board of Directors for unfair administration and corruption between individuals. The accusations could go further since, according to various sources, money laundering and diversion of funds could also be investigated.

It has not yet been confirmed whether the arrests of Óscar Grau, a very important character in the club because he signs all the contracts; and Romà Gómez Ponti, have been produced within the club's offices, where the records are being made. In principle, with the president of the Management Board, Carles Tusquets, inside. Both Gómez Ponti and Grau are very close to the president, Josep Mara Bartomeu.

According to SER Catalunya, the Mossos d'Esquadra entered the Barça offices this Monday morning to register them in the framework of the Barçagate investigation, whose summary secret had been extended for the sixth time until March 10 there have been no changes compared to the last extension. It should be remembered that Barçagate is known as the hiring of the Barça chaired by Bartomeu of a company I3 Ventures, which created Facebook accounts to erode the image of former managers, former players and current players of the Barça first team. Also from public persons such as businessman Jaume Roures.

Development of the 'Barçagate'

The investigating judge number 13 of the Audiencia de Barcelona, Alejandra Gil, had considered on February 16 that the preliminary proceedings should continue to be carried out in secret in order to avoid damaging the possible lines of investigation that are derived from them for the verification of the allegedly criminal acts. The judge also reported that the police reports and some testimony had yet to be received in order to contrast the information she already had. The records at the Camp Nou could go in that direction.

In September 2020, the Mossos d'Esquadra had concluded that there was "evidence of corruption" in the case. Barça divided the payment to I3 Ventures into chopped invoices of less than 200,000 euros to bypass transparency controls at the club. Barça even hired an audit that ruled out that the club had ordered the creation of social media accounts; and the club's compliance officer, Noelia Romero, was suspended from employment and salary, who was later fired. In addition, six board members left Barça: Emili Roussaud, Enrique Tombas, Silvio Elías, Josep Pont, Maria Teixidor and Jordi Calsamiglia.

The Mossos had already gone to the Camp Nou in July 2020 to gather information related to the case. They requested documentation on the contracts with I3 Ventures, the price paid and the controls and filters with which the club works. Already then, they indicated that other complaints had been received from individuals related to Barçagate.

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