Ex-Barcelona president, Bartomeu, arrested
Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been arrested by Spanish police for his involvement in the ‘Barcagate’ smear campaign scandal.
The highly unpopular Bartomeu is one of four people to have been arrested, alongside the club’s CEO Oscar Grau and head of legal services Roman Gomez Ponti two of those.
According to reports in the Spanish press, Bartomeu, who was forced to step down last year, was arrested at home.
It is understood that Spanish police On Monday morning raided Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium in a search and seize operation related to last year’s ‘Barcagate,’ in which club officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against current and former players who were critical of then-president Bartomeu.
Reports claim talisman Lionel Messi, veteran defender Gerard Pique and former manager, now Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola were among those targeted by the negative stories and social media posts.
According to Cadena Ser, I3Ventures, hired by Barcelona, manages various social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook where negative stories about Messi, his wife Antonela, Pique, Guardiola, Xavi, Carles Puyol and former president Joan Laporta.