The war of words at Barcelona continues with former official Emili Rousaud hitting out at the state of the club under Josep Maria Bartomeu’s leadership.
Rousaud, along with five other officials, resigned from the board in protest at how president Bartomeu was running operations.
Barcelona also intend to take legal action against Rousaud, after his claim that somebody had been stealing money from the club – and he is now elaborated further, insisting that ‘corruption is evident’ at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is taking legal action against a former club official
In a lengthy statement to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Rousaud responded: ‘The existence of corruption within the club is evident in the fact that it has already been shown that contracts between related companies (one based in a tax haven that violates the money laundering prevention law) have been paid in instalments in order to avoid internal controls, approval by the Adjudication Committee (which ensures purchases are made at market price) and the Board of Directors.
‘The statements I made regarding this matter are absolutely true and demonstrable; the opinions that I have expressed are absolutely well-founded, which allows me to state that the announced complaint has no basis whatsoever.
Former Barca official Emili Rousaud (far-left) has claimed ‘corruption within the club is evident’
‘Unfortunately, when I made the club aware of these irregularities it became the cause of my resignation. However, it cannot be underestimated that there is a moral – and legal – obligation to publicly report irregular actions that may constitute crime.’
The LaLiga champions have come under pressure after allegations a company called I3 Ventures, who were originally hired to monitor social media coverage of the club, were linked to accounts that produced negative stories about Barcelona players and rivals of Bartomeu.
Barcelona have strongly denied these allegations.
Rousaud continued: ‘In this situation, I reserve the right to carry out legal actions in defence of my legitimate interests and rights, especially when considering that the announced complaint could be a crime of false accusation and a crime of insult, given its real purpose could only be to stain my personal honour. This matter is in the hands of my lawyer, Mr Diego Artacho from the DWF-RCD law firm.
‘I have never questioned the honourability of our beloved club and its employees – on the contrary. I feel very honoured to have been able to serve my beloved Barca and to have had the opportunity to meet people who work in the club with great professional and human qualities.
Barcelona have announced the restructuring of their club board after six directors resigned
‘My intention at all times has been to be consistent with my performance on the board since the beginning, with actions guided by transparency, honesty and respect, and not to disappoint the trust that was placed in the board in past elections.’
Bartomeu has been forced to reshuffle the figures at boardroom level after Maria Teixidor and Jordi Calsamiglia joined Rousaud, Enrique Tombas, Silvio Elías and Josep Pont in walking away.
The resignations threaten Bartomeu’s position, leaving him with just 12 directors. But the high-profile figures that remain are widely expected to stay loyal to the club, leaving the 57-year-old able to look ahead to his final year in charge.