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Catalan police launch search of Barcelona Camp Nou offices

The local police arrived early at Camp Nou to search the club offices looking for documentation as part of the ongoing 'Barçagate' investigation.

Catalan police launch search of Barcelona Camp Nou offices
Alejandro García EFE

Local radio station SER Catalunya have confirmed that Catalan police (Los Mossos d'Esquadra) have conducted a search this morning at FC Barcelona's Camp Nou offices as part of the ongoing 'Barçagate' investigation. The case surrounds a contract between the football club and social media company I3 Ventures. The social media partner were alleged to be involved the creation of fake profile accounts with the intention to tarnish the character of many past and present individuals linked with the Catalan club ranging from former president and new presidential candidate Joan Laporta through to Leo Messi with Guardiola, Xavi and Gerard Piqué also in the firing line.

According to SER Catalunya, detentions cannot be ruled out at this juncture with two criminal cases being investigated: illegal administration and individual cases of corruption.

Corruption case

In September 2020 the police deemed that there were "clear signs of corruption" in the case after Barça issued payments to I3 Ventures in invoices of an amount that flew under the financial radar (200,000 euro). The club subsequently hired global audit agency Price Waterhouse Coopers to investigate the matter with PWC later deeming a ruling in favour of the club.  The affair did see seven high ranking executives being forced to exit the club (Emili Roussaud, Enrique Tombas, Silvio Elías, Josep Pont, Maria Teixidor, Noelia Ronero and Jordi Calsamiglia) following the fallout generated over the scandal. 

Los Mossos carried out a similar raid on the club's offices in July 2020 and confiscated paperwork and computer data related to the I3 Ventures contract, The move came after a legal claim was filed against the football club by an independent group of supporters.