Barcelona in the courts, Barcelona on the pitch
This very week, Bartomeu and Rosell, current and former presidents of Barcelona were in the Spanish High Court. Followed by Neymar. Mascherano recently put an end to his legal situation by accepting a jail sentence (a short one, which he won’t serve) and Messi is still waiting for his trial sometime around the end of May and the start of June. Almost all the cases relate to money: fraud in relation to Neymar’s contract and various means of defrauding the tax authorities in the others. But equally there are still other legal cases yet to be finalised: over the pro-independence estelada flags, abuse of the Spanish national anthem and irregularities in the signing of minors, investigated by Fifa.
And now Mediapro, a Spanish media and television company, are suing. A truly ugly matter. An IT worker at Mediapro was supposedly passing mails from Jaume Roures, head of the company, to Rosell, when he was president of Barça. When the situation was uncovered the IT worker was fired… and Barça hired him. Roures encouraged the others mentioned in the mails (among them Guardiola, Laporta, Sabadell Bank and law firm Garrigues) to join the legal action. It’s the second ‘spy war’ related to the club in a short space of time. Laporta is still awaiting a court case for supposedly spying on four of his vicepresidents.
In addition to all that, just recently the man who was president of the club for 22 years got out of prison. It could be said that an enterprise with so many legal kerfuffles going on couldn't possibly function properly. And yet, in terms of its raison d’etre, which is putting out a decent football team, it works like a dream. Barça scored seven against Valencia in a week stuffed with legal woes, they won five trophies last season and are once again in the fight to win six. Dragged through the courts, they shine on the pitch. It’s the incredible contrast of the Barcelona of these days. Confirmation that order comes from chaos.
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