Registration of the Mossos in the Camp Nou offices.Adrian Salido / GTRES
The registration of the Camp Nou offices by the Mossos d'Esquadra, on Monday, March 1, would not have occurred if Barça had provided all the requested documentation about Barçagate . It is one of the reproaches that the head of the court of instruction number 13 of Barcelona, Alejandra Gil, throws Josep Maria Bartomeu and the other three former directors investigated for allegedly using 2.3 million of the club to improve the image of the former president and erode that of their rivals.
The judge justifies that the tickets and registrations in the Barça stadium, as well as in company headquarters and private homes, were "necessary" due to the lack of collaboration of the club. "After the time elapsed" and despite the "multiple requirements", FC Barcelona "has not provided all the information and documentation", according to the car that EL PAÍS has accessed. The request for contracts was a "less burdensome" means, the magistrate admits, but "it has not been totally useful."
In February 2020, the SER chain uncovered the existence of a contractual relationship between Barça and the business conglomerate Nicestream for the alleged "social media monitoring" of the club. The reality is that the works of that company served to praise the figure of Bartomeu and erode possible rivals in the race for the club's presidency. The judge recalls that crimes punishable by "up to six years in prison" are investigated for the "possible fraudulent use" of Barça money for "exclusively private purposes."
The judge cites the set of documents not delivered by the club and underlines the possibility that part of those papers are still in the Camp Nou offices. It is supported by statements made by the president of the management board, Carles Tusquets, about the appearance of some invoices. After the complaint of the Dignitat Blaugrana entity, the judge opened an investigation and in June 2020 began to request documentation. At that time, he recalls, "people still worked" at Barça "who could be responsible for the crimes under investigation." The magistrate asks the Mossos to try to locate in the stadium the possible existence of "strategic or confidential" contracts that were mentioned by some witnesses, suspecting that they are related to the investigation.
The magistrate follows the path outlined by the investigators from the Mossos and regrets the limited scope of the audit commissioned by Bartomeu and his team to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to define responsibilities. The former president tried to "control at all times the content of the PwC audit , limiting the information that could reach the other members of the board of directors." The board, he emphasizes, was unaware of the existence of the contracts, which is why Barça is harmed and not responsible at Barçagate . The hiring, he summarizes, "took place without the knowledge of the FCB as such."
The car reproaches those responsible for Barça for the dismissal of the head of regulatory compliance, Noelia Romero, who investigated the irregularities on her own. Three days after presenting her report, the magistrate recalls, she was suspended from employment and later fired. It also affects the fact that the club hired a KMPG audit on Romero's services, when the Professional Football League (LFP) already "periodically conducts an audit of the compliance services of football clubs." This hiring "in principle does not make sense" and "could well be aimed at discrediting the work" of Romero.