The president of Spanish soccer giants Barcelona, Joan Laporta, on Tuesday accused the former president and his board of making false payments and other illegal activities in their management of the club.
Laporta said the club had commissioned an independent investigation and audit into possible irregularities during Josep Bartomeu’s tenure.
“Our audit found payments that we understand that were improper management of club funds. The audit do not rule out illegal enrichment of the authors,” Laporta said at a news conference to present its findings, with attorney Jaume Campaner and Barca financial vice-president Eduard Romeu alongside him.
Lawyers for Bartomeu declined to comment immediately when contacted by Reuters. Bartomeu denied any wrongdoing in an interview with a Spanish sports magazine in October, but he could not be reached by Reuters on Tuesday.
“There is a series of very serious criminal behaviours, which we can describe as grotesque,” Campaner said.
Laporta said Barcelona filed a complaint last Wednesday with the local prosecutors’ office against Bartomeu and his board and that the office was investigating them for crimes of improper management of club funds, misappropriation, false accounting and forgery of documents.