Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu held a meeting on Tuesday with the club’s four captains to diffuse recent allegations in the media, report Diario Sport.
It follows reports from Cadena Ser radio show El Larguero which appear to show the club paying a third party to damage the reputation of individuals, including two of their own players – Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi.
Those two, along with Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto, are alleged to have held a meeting with Bartomeu who explained the full nature of his relationship with the company involved.
The findings were revealed on Monday night, after Barcelona issued a statement denying a report from the radio station earlier in the day claiming the club were paying a third party to damage the reputation of others.
The Catalan club strenuously denied any truth in the initial report, saying that they had neither paid nor promoted anyone to denounce or attack others – who have been opponents to the current board in some form at some point – online.
It was claimed by the Cadena Ser report that the reason for the Blaugrana paying companies to promote these messages were firstly to improve the image of current president Josep Maria Bartomeu (pictured) and devalue the opinions of his opponents.
It was claimed that Barcelona paid the company I3 Ventures to promote their own messages both on Twitter and Facebook, with the report claiming they had access to the transactions.
Barca explained that their relationship with I3 involved “monitoring of social media with the aim of analysing both positive and negative messages about the organisation itself.”
The report claims Bartomeu handed the four captains a dossier with all the messages and confirmed that he broke relations with the company, making it clear that the club had not at any time entrusted the company with any derogatory comments.