Josep Maria Bartomeu is regarded by many as one of the worst Barcelona presidents in the history of the football club, despite having been in office for over six and a half years.
Bartomeu took the reins from Sandro Rosell, who resigned in 2014 in the wake of tax fraud allegations aimed at the club, following the signing of Neymar a year prior. The 60-year-old held the position until October 2020, when he also resigned and was replaced by current president Joan Laporta.
Catalan police revealed that their investigation into the infamous Barcagate scandal revealed that Bartomeu had paid a variety of journalists to give him good press, whilst slandering his rivals, which included Laporta.
However, Bartomeu has since denied these findings, as per Sport, and insisted that he never paid any media personnel to defend him or Barcelona during his tenure as president of the club.
Bartomeu’s full statement is as follows:
“Once again, I present a letter of allegations to the content of a new report by the Mossos d’Esquadra pointing out the existence of payments ordered by me to journalists in order to defend myself from public opinion and, at the same time, criticise other Barca people.
The latest report presented by the Mossos before the Court number 13 of Instruction of Barcelona tries to conclude, falsely, that, in addition, money was allocated from FC Barcelona, under my presidency, to third party companies paying certain journalists for the same purpose of protecting my reputation.
Both conclusions are not true but an erroneous and perverse interpretation of conversations between different people, journalists and executives, of which subsequent assumptions are delivered and not reliable evidence.
I categorically deny that, by my order or with my consent, FC Barcelona was paid to journalists with the purpose, or exchange, of defending the management or myself.”
An institution full of liars, tax evaders, racists and sexual offenders.
Sounds like it would attract a fanbase in similar mould.
You need to quit smoking