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Barca accused of badmouthing rivals AND players

Barcelona allegedly hired company to slander their players, rivals AND their relatives

February 17, 2020 By Oscar Rojas
According to the article, the order came from none other than president Josep María Bartomeu in order to boost his public image.

Barcelona's season has turned out to be quite complicated both on and off the pitch, and this time, the matter of concern involves some of the team's current leaders and their president, Josep María Bartomeu.

According to a report issued by Cadena Ser Catalunya via their show Que t'hi jugues, Barcelona's hierarchy hired the company I3 Ventures to badmouth some of their current players, former presidents and footballers, and even relatives of those that belong to the first team. The main idea behind these actions was to boost Josep María Bartomeu's image among Barcelona's associates, according to the Catalan media outlet.

The report states that I3 Ventures manages over 100 Facebook and Twitter accounts, which were used to slander players such as Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué. The report also suggests that former players Xavi Hernández and Carles Puyol were also targeted by the company, along with former boss Pep Guardiola and even Lionel Messi's wife, Antonella Roccuzzo.

Cadena Ser's report suggests that these social media accounts were used to slam Messi for taking too much time to sign a contract extension, while Piqué's activities away from the pitch (such as investing in the new Davis Cup) caused "attacks" from these accounts as well.

The article also adds that presidential candidate Victor Font and former president Joan Laporta were also smeared on social media as part of the plan. 

Barcelona threatens legal action over alleged smearing campaign

FC Barcelona has stepped up to deny claims about the alleged campaign to boost Josep María Bartomeu's image while smearing some of his rivals and players, while also threatening to exercise legal action against Cadena Ser Catalunya.

"Barcelona emphatically denies any relationship with the social media accounts that published negative or derogatory statements against any person, entity or organization that has or had any relationship with the club," the document states.

Nevertheless, the club admitted to having a contract with the company I3 Ventures, while also adding that they monitor social media activity surrounding the team, leaving the door open for speculation.

"I3 Ventures has no relationship with the aforementioned accoutns, and if there was some sort of relationship proven, the club would immediately end its contractual relationship with the company. FC Barcelona confirms it has hired services to monitor social media activity, in order to have proper knowledge of the positive and negative messages involving the club," the document adds.

With an upcoming presidential election at Camp Nou, it seems that Josep María Bartomeu's image has taken one major blow, and the chances of watching someone from his inner circle claiming the presidency have considerably been reduced.

 


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