Barcelona is in a turmoil. Or, should I say, already were. The 8-2, 4-0 and Roma debacles were telling the clock didn’t turn round in Barcelona. The sport had shown it, but it’s now a judicial turmoil that surrounds the club, and more importantly, ex-president Bartomeu. Arrested for the Barçagate, Bartomeu is accused with Jaume Masferrer to have paid I3 Ventures to diminish players’ public image in social media to raise Bartomeu’s image on the Net.
What happened there
Many remember the scandal. Players like Piqué, Messi besides ex-players like Carles Puyol and Xavi were diminished in social media after Masferrer was ordered to pay the PR company I3 Ventures for the operation. Not only were players targetted, but election candidates Victor Font and Joan Laporta were included. And political figures like Puigdemont, too.
Noelia Romero, Compliance Officer was at the origin of the leak to the public. In charge during the months of June and July to inspect whether the club was functioning correctly in economical terms, she didn’t get salary by the end of her inspection. Eventually, the club fired her. However, Miss Romero took it to the Justice Court and sued Josep Maria Bartomeu. Then, PriceWaterhouseCooper(PwC) took charge in conducting a report on the audit following the club’s & I3 Ventures’ denial of the allegations. The report, delayed, didn’t find any regularities in the club. Contrary to the fans’ expectations, there was no money laundering, there was no financial corruption, no nothing. People quickly forgot the case. Or not?
Matters evolved. Masferrer had then resigned, and so did Bartomeu and the entirety of his board on October 28th, barely a few months after the Barçagate scandal. Tusquets called elections for January, and later pushed it back to the 7th of March. To the anger of all fans. But then, the Mossos, the Catalan Police, arrested Bartomeu, Oscar Grau, Jaume Masferrer and Gomez Ponti for their involvement in the Barçagate. As of now, it seems of common ground that Bartomeu was the mind and Masferrer the hand.
Bartomeu the club destroyer
To the world, the image of the club is shattered. To the fans, legal justice has ended the cycle. Started by Rosell in 2010, continued by Bartomeu in 2015, and finished by the upcoming elections. It’s time to start over again, remember what Barcelona were about: Pride, moral pride. However, he pride doesnt exist anymore, and Bartomeu’s arrest is the epitome of it. Nunez, Rosell, and now Bartomeu have all have been arrested, somewhat of a stat for a football club. What is happening can and could not continue. The end of a cycle, a horrible one.