Spanish Laliga

Barca has filed a criminal complaint against Bartomeu.

Joan Laporta, who was elected president of Barcelona 11 months ago, ordered a financial audit and recruited corporate investigators to investigate the previous board.

Following an inquiry into “potential irregularities,” Barcelona filed a complaint with local prosecutors against former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board, the club said in a statement on Wednesday.

Joan Laporta, who was elected president of Barcelona 11 months ago, ordered a financial audit and recruited corporate investigators to investigate the previous board.

“On February 1st, the results of the in-depth examination launched as a result of Financial Due Diligence and with the goal of uncovering probable irregularities in the Club’s management under the last presidential mandate will be made public,” the club announced on Wednesday.

“The announcement will also include specifics concerning the club’s complaint to the Barcelona Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, which is based on facts derived from the Forensic investigation’s findings.”

Bartomeu could not be reached for comment by Reuters. Previously, he has denied any malfeasance or mismanagement.

Barcelona paid “disproportionate amounts” of money in commissions to intermediaries who worked on the club’s moves during Bartomeu’s tenure, according to Laporta.

In March, Bartomeu was arrested as part of a police investigation into claims of inappropriate management and business wrongdoing, which also included a raid on the club’s Camp Nou offices.

The probe originated from the ‘Barcagate’ scandal, in which the club was accused of hiring a marketing firm to stage a social media campaign.

In an interview with Barcelona newspaper Sport after his detention, Bartomeu justified his time at the club.

“Our management was not awful,” he added, citing LaLiga, Uefa, and the auditors as evidence. “With a profit of €180 million and Forbes ranking us as the most valuable club in the world. The emergence of the pandemic cut short this serious and rigorous management, resulting in a €500 million loss in revenue.”

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