The Catalan police raided FC Barcelona on Monday morning and arrested ex-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, among others. SPOX and goal can confirm the matching media reports from Spain, according to which Barca managing director Oscar Grau, Roman Gomez Ponti (head of the legal department) and Jaume Masferrer (Bartomeu’s advisor) were arrested in addition to Bartomeu. First had Cadena Ser reported on what happened on Monday.
The raid, led by officials from the Financial Crime Department, was based on an investigation into the so-called “Barcagate”. Officials around Bartomeu are suspected of having commissioned the online marketing company “I3 Ventura” for a sum of millions to defame critics of the club’s management, including its own players such as superstar Lionel Messi and ex-trainer Pep Guardiola, in the social media, in order to strengthen the club’s management in public.
A few months ago information about the “BarcaGate” dirt campaign had already been made public, which ultimately culminated in a vote of no confidence in Bartomeu and his subsequent resignation. The new president will be elected on Sunday. The vote was originally supposed to take place on January 24th, but it has been postponed due to the corona pandemic.