Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been arrested on Monday by the Spanish police. The 58-year-old was arrested for his involvement in the ‘BarcaGate’ smear campaign scandal during his tenure as Barcelona president.
Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau and Roman Gómez Ponti, the club’s lead of legal, were also arrested.
On Monday morning, in a search and seize operation, the Spanish police put a raid on the club’s offices.
In the infamous ‘BarcaGate’ scandal, the club officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against current and former players who were critical of the club and then-president Bartomeu.
According to Cadena SER radio, they were arrested on suspicion of “unfair administration, corruption between individuals and money laundering.”
Meanwhile, Bartomeu and his board of directors resigned last year after the club captain and legend Lionel Messi openly criticized him in the media.
In the ‘BarcaGate’ scandal, Barto hired I3 Ventures to protect his reputation as several campaigns were started anonymously to harm the images of club greats like Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Pep Guardiola, and other club legends, as well as outspoken critics of Bartomeu.
The Spanish police have admitted that the arrests have been made after the raid but they refused to announce the name. According to sources in Spain Bartomeu and Grau are among those, as well as Gomez Ponti and Jaume Masferrer, Bartomeu’s former right-hand man.