Bartomeu: A lot of coincidences…

Josep Maria Bartomeu says he doesn’t believe there is an anti-Barcelona conspiracy but spoke of there being ‘a lot of coincidences’ involving La Blaugrana.

The President was interviewed by TV8 and many of the sanctions Barca have faced for various reasons – the flying of Catalan Estelada flags, the Neymar transfer, the transfer embargo and tax investigations into more than one player – were raised.

“We’re not against anyone. It’s not a war against UEFA but we will defend the rights of our members,” he insisted, Marca reports.

“UEFA wanted to close our stadium and we didn’t let that happen. If there are more fines we’ll go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] and if they don’t favour us, to a Swiss court.

“I’d like this to end with a change to UEFA’s rules. Who do we support for FIFA Presidency? Whoever supports the clubs.

“I wouldn’t say there has been government pressure against us but there have been a lot of coincidences, especially since the Esteladas have been on display for a while.

“We’ve been going through a lot for a while, some quick rulings, many coincidences: UEFA, Neymar, FIFA, money issues…”

Bartomeu elaborated his thoughts on the tax investigations into some Barca players, with Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano the most notable.

“It’s not normal the amount of information coming out of the court [regarding Messi’s case],” he protested.

“He’s a footballer, the best in history, and deserves everyone’s respect. If he made a mistake he’ll fix it like everyone else.

“Of course footballers have to be investigated, but it is always Barcelona players.”

Bartomeu concluded with comments on allegations the officials for November’s Clasico had been pressured into favouring Real Madrid.

“I ask that the linesman’s allegations be fully investigated. If they’re true, it’s very serious,” he contended.

“Referees can make mistakes but if you have pressure such as has been alleged, it seems serious.”

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