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Former Barca president arrested

Barcelona issue statement as former president Bartomeu gets arrested

March 1, 2021 By Ali M.
Bartome, former CEO Oscar Grau, and head of legal services Roman Gomez Ponti were all brought into police custody in relation to Barcagate.

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been arrested. ESPN reported this earlier today, stating that sources confirmed this bombshell amid a raid on the Catalan giants' offices as part of the police's ongoing corruption investigation.

Bartomeu wasn't the only former Camp Nou executive to be taken into police custody as the club's CEO Oscar Grau and head of legal services Roman Gomez Ponti were also arrested. This comes in the wake of a fresh investigation into the Barcagate controversy.

A year ago, the Blaugrana, who were under Bartomeu's reign back then, were accused of paying a third-party company to launch a smear campaign against the likes of Messi, Pique, Xavi, Guardiola, and Victor Font. The board quickly denied those allegations and ended all ties with I3 Ventures, the company in question.

An external audit was held by PricewaterhouseCoopers which cleared the Spanish giants of any wrongdoing but this did not stop the police from launching their own investigation. The Camp Nou was first raided for evidence in June 2020, with official returning on Monday to seize all relevant documentation in relation to Barcagate.

The Liga giants have now released a statement regarding the recent unfolding, stressing the club's cooperation with authorities. It read: "Given the entry of the local police at the club's offices, per a court order relating to the hiring [of a third-party company] and monitoring services of social networks, FC Barcelona has offered its full support to judicial and police authorities and collaborated with them to clarify the facts that are the subject of the investigation.

"The information and documents required by the police were strictly relating to this case.

"FC Barcelona expresses its utmost respect for the judicial proceedings and also the presumption of innocence for the people affected by Monday's events."

Bartomeu has since stepped down from the club but for reasons unrelated to the Barcagate controversy. Calls for his resignation hit an all-time high after Lionel Messi handed in a transfer request and while the 58-year-old prevented the Argentine from leaving, he brought an early end to his term. Carles Tusquets has taken over Barcelona in an interim role but will make way for the new president once a winner is announced on Sunday. 


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