Josep Maria Bartomeu’s tenure as the president of Barcelona is remembered for all the wrong reasons.
The 58-year-old held the office from 2014, after the resignation of Sandro Rosell, till 2020 when he himself was forced to resign after a string of controversies came to light.
After Joan Laporta was re-elected as Barcelona president last year, the new administration ran an audit to assess the financial situation, and the findings are set to be presented by the club supremo later today in a press conference.
Mundo Deportivo (h/t Actualite Barça) revealed some of the details of the ‘forensic report’ that has been prepared by Barça, shedding light on the mishandling of finances and some other transgressions committed by Bartomeu.
The audit conducted by the new regime reported that Barcelona were left with a massive debt to the tune of €1.35 billion.
As per the details revealed, the disgraced former Barcelona president is believed to have shelled out a commission of €10 million to agents in the deal to sign Malcom in 2018, in a deal that cost the club €41 million in transfer fees.
Bartomeu is also believed to have handed a contract to a friend of Neymar in order to appease the Brazilian, although the name of the player has not been revealed in the aforementioned report.
Apart from that, there was a lot of shady activity involved in the deal to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.
After having negotiated with the Frenchman midway through the season, Bartomeu’s board is understood to have paid out a sum of €15 million in dummy bonus options to avoid being sued by the Rojiblancos.
Along with the financial muddle, Bartomeu was also the instigator of the ‘Barcagate’ scandal which saw the board allegedly hire a company to discredit their critics and opponents. Club icons like Xavi Hernandez, Gerard Pique, and Lionel Messi were targeted by the campaign.
More details are likely to emerge when Laporta conducts his press conference to shed light on the situation.