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The board of directors of FC Barcelona, which met online this Monday, informed its conclusion that will take “criminal action” against businessman Emili Rousaud, who a week ago was institutional vice president, and who after his resignation raised suspicions that someone in the Catalan club “could have reached into the box.”
“FC Barcelona cannot tolerate accusations that seriously harm the image of the institution. The criminal action that will be filed is in defense of the reputation of the club and its workers. Furthermore, these demonstrations were carried out knowing of the existence of an audit ongoing that must put an end to this issue, “says the statement from the club.
Rousaud was one of the six managers who submitted the resignation (Emili Rousaud, Enrique Tombas, Silvio Elías, Josep Pont, Maria Teixidor and Jordi Calsamiglia), after President Josep Maria Bartomeu invited four of them to leave the board because the president understood that they were not in tune with the majority idea of the collective .
The meeting served to remodel the functions and positions on the board, although after the telematic meeting no names of new additions were given.
“The Board of Directors categorically denies any action that may be classified as corruption”
“In view of the serious and unfounded accusations made by Mr. Emili Rousaud, former institutional vice president of the club, in various interviews with the media, the Board of Directors categorically denies any action that could be classified as corruption and, consequently, it has agreed to file the corresponding criminal action, “the statement said.
The ‘Barçagate’, the origin of the hurricane
The conflict has its origin in the ‘Barçagate‘, a case in which it was revealed in the media that the club had hired a company (I3 Ventures) to offer a positive version of the board’s action on social networks, but that, in the absence of the audit, the Barcelona would have paid the service at an off-market price, as indicated by information published last Sunday by the SPORT newspaper.
In addition to this task, the company launched criticism in various accounts against members of Barcelona, former players, former coaches and former presidents, as well as future candidates for the 2021 elections.
Knowledge of this activity and of the extra cost (one million euros) and the payment made (on invoices below two hundred thousand euros to avoid control by managers) led to a group of board members to face Bartomeu and strain the relationship and even ask him to move the election forward, until he invited four of them to leave the meeting.
After submitting the resignation, Rousaud became the spokesman for the dismissed, raising suspicions of theft for these contracts with the company I3 Ventures, a position that did not have the support of the managers who left the club.
Faced with this situation and the farewell of six members, Bartomeu called a telematic meeting for today, which should consist of reshape the functions of the board and know who were going to fill the vacancies, made this second that has not yet been announced.
The audit, paralyzed
Regarding the audit that the club commissioned Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), to clarify what happened with the company I3 Ventures, Barça reiterated that the audit’s work “they are still ongoing and, therefore, without any provisional or definitive conclusions“
“PWC has also stated that the audit could not be completed because the current situation of the Alarm State as a consequence of the Covid-19 it has had a certain impact in the development of certain analysis procedures, insofar as they are procedures that must be carried out in person, and that the different lines of research that they have defined in their work are they have been able to carry out with full access to all the documentation and all the sources of information only demanded in the club, “he added.
Restructuring of the work of the Board
Regarding the remodeling of functions, the board approved that Jordi Moix become the economic and heritage vice president, Pau Vilanova, new institutional vice president, Oriol Tomàs, vice president of the commercial area, Marta Plana, secretary of the board of directors, and David Bellver, new treasurer.
In addition, Javier Bordas will be the manager responsible for the first team, while Xavier Vilajoana will be in charge of Barça B, Youth, training football and women’s football.
“This remodeling of the board of directors has as its objective not only to establish a new plan to overcome the consequences of the health crisis we are experiencing, but also to complete all the priority actions corresponding to the government program started in 2010 and the 2015 Strategic Plan -2021. It’s about very demanding challenges, and of extraordinary importance for the present and the future of the entity“The statement added.
“The board believes that now, more than ever, everyone needs to be focused on these challenges and that, beyond the internal debate that should always exist in a collegiate government body, it is essential to generate a very solid consensus when agreeing on all the measures that must be implemented throughout this period, “he concluded.