Catalan police said they arrested four people after searching the offices of Spanish club Barcelona.
The police have not confirmed the identity of those involved yet, and said that their investigations are continuing.
The police operation took place on Monday after an investigation into financial cases in Barcelona
The cases are believed to be linked to the Barkajet scandal in 2020 when the club denied contracting a company. To attack their players on social media.
The club’s presidential elections will take place on Sunday after their former president, Josep Maria Bartomeu announced his resignation in October.
According to Spanish media reports, Bartomeu was among those arrested – although the police have not confirmed this.
In the Barcelona statement She said Police searches related to “contacting monitoring services on social networks.”
“Barcelona has extended its full cooperation to the legal authorities and the police to help clarify the facts that are under investigation,” the club said.
“The information and documents requested by the Judicial Police are strictly related to the facts related to this case.
“FC Barcelona expresses its utmost respect for the judicial procedures in force and the principle of the presumed innocence of the affected persons within the scope of this investigation.”
Andy West, Barcelona-based football writer
The idea that one of the oldest soccer clubs in the world would hire a social media company to run a secret smear campaign against its players and their families seems almost beyond belief.
But given the battered reputation of Barcelona under former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, that might be an almost logical development.
This story, which has been running for more than a year, was one of the sources of the deep rift between the old board and the playing team that prompted captain Lionel Messi to launch a failed attempt to withdraw from the Nou stadium last summer, and ultimately led to Bartomeu’s late resignation.
Perhaps the saddest thing is that no one would be surprised about Barcelona in particular if the accusations proved correct.
The timing of the police action on Monday is ridiculous, as it comes just days before the infamous Bartomeu’s successor is appointed in the presidential election.
No matter who members of the club wins that vote, Monday’s news makes painfully clear that in addition to rebuilding a world-class team on the field of play, the task of restoring Barcelona’s shattered reputation for being “ more than a club ” is equally important. .