Spanish football was on Monday, March 1 rocked with news that former Barcelona club President Josep Maria Bartomeu was arrested.
His arrest came in the wake of intense investigations on the infamous Barcagate scandal in 2020.
The news came after police reportedly raided the club’s offices and several arrests were made following an investigation by the force’s financial crimes unit. The number of arrests made has however not been confirmed.
Bartomeu, one of the four people arrested, stepped down as Barcelona president in October 2020.
Among the other individuals arrested include former director general Oscar Grau, former head of legal Roman Gomez Ponti and Bartomeu’s right-hand man Jaume Masferrer.
The Barcagate scandal involved allegations that Bartomeu hired communications company I3 Ventures to run numerous negative stories against perceived opponents.
Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique as well as Bartomeu’s political rivals were all listed as the “perceived enemies” of the former Barca President.
Barcelona would release a statement as a football club later on promising to cooperate with the law to get to the bottom of the investigations.
“Regarding the entry and search by the Catalan Police force this morning at the Camp Nou offices by order of the Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona, which is in charge of the case relating to the contacting of monitoring services on social networks, FC Barcelona have offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation.
The arrests have been made on the basis of unfair administration, corruption during Bartomeu’s tenure and money laundering.
Barcelona’s accounts and finances are also being investigated.