Barcelona supervisor Ronald Koeman admitted that the arrests of 4 officers related to the membership have put a blemish on Barça’s storied repute.
Former membership president Josep Maria Bartomeu was amongst 4 Barcelona associates arrested on Monday after police raided the membership headquarters in a social media scandal that Spanish media shops have dubbed “Barcagate.” The yearlong investigation is centered on Barcelona’s monetary relationship with third-party advisor companies employed to enhance the membership’s social media imprint.
“It is not good for the picture of the membership,” Koeman stated at a pre-match press convention on Tuesday. “One should wait to seek out out what has occurred. I wasn’t right here on the time so I am unable to touch upon it. The one factor that we’ve to do is concentrate on our work and attempt to overcome the deficit tomorrow [against Sevilla].
“When the information got here out the opposite day, I used to be devastated as a result of I do know Bartomeu nicely, together with Oscar Grau who was one of many 4 folks [arrested]. I really feel very dangerous for them as a result of I’ve had plenty of vital moments with them in a brief time frame. To me, Bartomeu has all the time been an distinctive particular person.”
According to ESPN, a agency employed by the membership referred to as I3 Ventures ran smear campaigns towards a number of membership figures together with Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, former supervisor Pep Guardiola, and candidates operating for membership president. Barcelona denied the claims earlier than ending their affiliation with I3 Ventures final 12 months.
It continues to be a tumultuous 12 months for the Blaugrana, who at present sit second in La Liga behind Atletico Madrid. After failing to win a trophy in 2020, Barcelona endured a turbulent begin to the season which included a switch request from Messi, Bartomeu’s resignation, and the departure of a number of high-paid gamers because the membership appeared to cut back money owed totaling $1.4 billion.
In its first match because the arrests, Barcelona will look to beat a 2–0 deficit towards Sevilla on Wednesday within the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.