Cadena Ser radio show El Larguero has revealed documents from Barcelona which appear to show the club paying a third party to damage the reputation of individuals, including their own players.
The findings were revealed on Monday night, after Barcelona issued a statement denying a report from the radion 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.
Among those alleged to have been targeted are current players Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué, former Coach Pep Guardiola, their former captains Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol along with former president Joan Laporta, among others.
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.”