Barca announce legal action against ex-director who made ‘corruption’ allegations

BARCELONA (AFP) – Barcelona will bring legal action against a former vice-president who has made accusations of management corruption, the La Liga champions announced on Monday.

Last week Barcelona furiously denied accusations from Emili Rousaud, who was one of six directors to resign last Thursday, that someone at the club had “put their hands in the till”.

“The Board of Directors categorically denies any action that could be described as corruption and have agreed to bring the corresponding criminal action accordingly,” Barca said in a statement.

“FC Barcelona cannot tolerate allegations that seriously damage the institution’s image. The criminal action to be taken is in defence of the honour of the club and its employees. The existence of an ongoing audit must put an end to this matter.”

Rousaud’s allegations focus on February’s social media controversy, when Barcelona were accused of hiring a company called I3 Ventures to discredit opponents of the Club’s President Josep Maria Bartomeu online, including players like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique.

“If the auditors tell us the cost of these services is EUR100,000 and we have paid one million, it means someone has put their hand in the till,” Rousaud told the programme RAC1 last Friday.

Bartomeu terminated the club’s contract with I3 Ventures in February.