Monday 1 March 2021 11:25 am

FC Barcelona offices searched by police 'in connection with Barcagate scandal'

Catalan police searched the offices of FC Barcelona this morning, the football club have confirmed.

Spanish media said the search related to last year’s Barcagate scandal, in which senior figures at the club were accused of ordering social media campaigns against enemies.

Local reports also said former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and current chief executive Oscar Grau were arrested.

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The club said: “FC Barcelona have offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation. 

“The information and documentation requested by the judicial police force relate strictly to the facts relative to this case. 

“FC Barcelona express its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation.”

Police previously visited FC Barcelona’s home, Camp Nou, in summer 2020 to gather evidence for an investigation into Barcagate.

Bartomeu has previously denied involvement in the scandal. An external audit also cleared his board of being behind the scheme.

He resigned later in 2020, in the wake of Lionel Messi asking to leave the club.

Despite being named the world’s riches club by revenue, Barcelona are in financial distress, with debts believed to exceed £1bn.

Today’s police search comes just days before the member-run club’s presidential election this weekend.