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Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu arrested after club offices raided

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, has reportedly been arrested following a raid at the club’s offices on Monday.

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. (Reuters Photo)

Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Former Barca president Bartomeu arrested after club offices raided
  • A Barca spokeswoman confirmed the offices had been searched but did not make any additional comment
  • Police arrived at club offices to search for evidence in relation to the Barcagate

The Spanish police have made several arrests after entering the offices of La Liga side Barcelona and conducting search and seizure operations related to an investigation into club officials.

Spanish radio station Cadena Ser reported that former Barca President Josep Maria Bartomeu was among those arrested as part of an operation into the club contracting a firm to monitor social media activity last year.

The investigation stems from the ‘Barcagate’ affair which was unearthed last year by Cadena Ser and revealed the club had contracted marketing consultancy I3 Ventures to monitor social media activity.

Barcelona had denied accusations that it hired — and overpaid — a company to make negative comments about its own players and opponents on social media in order to boost the image of senior club officials.

The revelations led to protests from supporters and to several board members resigning while increasing the pressure on Bartomeu, who eventually stepped down in October after facing a vote of no-confidence.

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