The president has gone from denying any irregularity in social networks to declaring at the police station for alleged crimes derived from the case
The also known ‘Bartogate’ exploded in February 2020 and journalistic and judicial investigations have uncovered the plot
Six managers resigned as a rejection of the manager’s action and the compliance officer was fired for asking for clarity
The Barchagate the Bartogate, In either of the two denominations, it has been one of the scandals that pushed Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign last October in order not to have to face a motion of censure. The flag of transparency that the president and his board always waved was a motto more than a reality, because the club always tried to cover up a shameful performance that Cadena Ser uncovered, by revealing that a series of accounts on social networks that defamed Barça fans were owned by a company hired by Barça.
The ‘Bartogate’ lasts for a year, and it is not over yet, just when this week will end with the election of Bartomeu’s successor. The chronology of the events is as follows:
February 17, 2020. Cadena Ser reports that a company hired by Barça is behind a series of accounts on social networks that discredit and denigrate prominent Barcelona personalities, from Gerard Piqué and Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernández, Joan Laporta, etc. The club denies it in a public note.
18th of February. The broadcaster confirms that the company is I3 Ventures and he was behind several defamatory accounts. Jaume Masferrer, Bartomeu’s advisor, had established the agreement with Carlos Ibáñez, its owner. Bartomeu insists that the information “is false.”
February 19th. The president goes to Sant Joan Despí to give explanations to the template. Messi sees “everything very strange” what has happened.
February 21st. Bartholomew announces the suspension of employment and salary of Masferrer under pressure from several managers and commissioned an audit.
February 22. Barça-Eibar (5-0). Screams of “Bartomeu resignation” at the Camp Nou before, during and after the game, with several rounds of cloths.
February 27. Accounts like Respect and Sport, Sport Leaks, Alter Sports, Justice and Dialogue in Sport, Jaume un Fil de Terror Y More than a club are some of those who are dedicated to defame people linked or not with Barça. They are part of a conglomerate of accounts that belong to Ibáñez’s companies.
March. Various information reveals that Barça’s contract with I3 Ventures was for one million euros for five years and that had been divided in amounts less than 200,000 euros to evade the mandatory approval of the board of directors.
April 7. Emili Rousaud, who had suggested to Bartomeu that he resign because of the scandal, is forced to resign by the president, who also asks that Enrique Tombas, Josep Pont and Silvio Elías, all of them members of the economic commission.
April 8. Maria Teixidor and Jordi Calsamiglia, Also linked to the areas that were omitted in the contract with I3 Ventures, they resign.
April 10th. Emili Rousaud affirms in RAC1: “I think someone has hand in the box“. This complaint of alleged corruption is later expanded in Cadena Ser:” “If you pay a million euros for a job that has a market cost of 100,000 … White and in the bottle.”
June 9. Barça suspends employment and salary to Noelia Romero, the compliance officer of the club. The executive promoted an internal audit parallel to the one in charge to clarify the facts.
June 17. The Court of Instruction 13 of Barcelona admits to processing the complaint from the Dignidad Blaugrana platform for alleged unfair administration and / or corruption between individuals of some managers.
June 29. The Mossos go to the Camp Nou to collect information on the case by order of the head judge of the court.
July 6th. Barça comments on the conclusions of the external audit carried out by PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC). Josep Vives, the spokesman, denies that “no defamatory campaign against anyone” had been commissioned, that there had been “no corrupt conduct or economic benefit” and that the works commissioned were “within the market price.”
July 9th. The club fires Noelia Romero for having requested that the entire audit be exhibited in public.
July 22. Judge Adriana Gil takes a statement from Noelia Romero and decrees the summary secret.
July 31st. Mundo Deportivo reports that Jaume Masferrer has rejoined the club to perform its functions.
September 5. The Mossos d’Esquadra present a first report to the court of instruction number 13 in which they identify possible crimes in the hiring of I3Ventures, among them, that of unfair administration.
October 7. The judge expand investigation. The club, apparently, has not yet provided all the required information.
October 15th. The judge extends the secrecy of the summary by one month.
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October 23. “It is outrageous that the club has spent money criticizing us,” he deplores Gerard Piqué in an interview with La Vanguardia.
October 27th. Bartomeu announces his resignation before facing the motion of no confidence, which has largely passed the filter of signatures.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.