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Several Arrested During Raid at FC Barcelona (The number of arrests made and the identity of those involved have not yet been confirmed.)

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The police operation was conducted on Monday after an investigation into financial issues at Barcelona.The Catalan club confirmed that police were at the team’s headquarters but did not provide any more details.Spanish media said the operation was related to last year’s “Barçagate,” in which club officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against current and former players who were critical of the club and then-president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Police raided the offices of FC Barcelona on Monday, carrying out several arrests just six days ahead of the club’s presidential elections, a Catalan regional police spokesman told AFP. Spain’s Cadena Ser radio said one of those arrested was former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned in October, along with CEO Oscar Grau and the club’s head of legal services. But the police refused to confirm names, saying only “arrests are taking place” and adding that the operation was being run by officers from the financial crimes unit. “We are in the process of carrying out an operation right now with agents of the financial crimes unit,” the police spokesman told AFP.

According to reports in the Spanish media, the operation is linked to last year’s investigation into the ‘BarcaGate’ scandal, which saw the club deny hiring a company to criticise current and former players on social media to improve the image of the then-president Bartomeu.

Lionel MessiPep Guardiola and Xavi Hernandez were among those allegedly targeted by the campaign. Messi described the controversy as “strange” in an interview with Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

Cadena Ser also claimed Barca had paid the company, I3 Ventures, an inflated fee and put payments through in smaller, separate amounts to avoid the club’s financial controls.

Barcelona: Six board members resign and criticise club :

Six Barcelona board members have resigned and told president Josep Maria Bartomeu they are unhappy at how the club is being managed.

In a joint letter, the six expressed concern over the financial implications of the coronavirus crisis for the club. They also criticised the handling of a scandal in February when the club were forced to deny hiring a firm to attack its own players on social media.

And they called for Barca to call new presidential elections. Barcelona players will take a 70% pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic and make additional contributions to ensure non-sporting staff receive full wages. The board of directors, members of the club’s professional sports teams and most of the basketball team have also agreed to reduce their salaries.

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