FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed that the club has handed over to the police devastating evidence of financial mismanagement under the previous board of directors led by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
A statement released by the club on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, pointed out that several criminal activities took place at the club which led to the club losing over €30 million through falsely justified, unjustified payments and payments of disproportionate amounts.
The club confirmed that it engaged Deloitte, an auditing firm, to carry out a forensic financial investigation on the damage that led to the club being financially incapacitated.
Barcelona revealed that the investigation carried out by Deloitte revealed evidence of financial fraud in specific areas of expenditure.
The investigation further revealed a staggering debt of €1.173 billion, a loss of €481 million and an outrageous wage bill that is 40% higher than that of other elite football clubs in the world.
The statement condemned the present state of the club, saying that the actions of the former board represents a gross breach of confidence and faith entrusted in them.
Below is the full statement as published by FC Barcelona on its official website:
“The FC Barcelona Board of Directors, in a basic exercise of responsibility, considered that there was a need to investigate the club’s financial status, i.e. its available resources and liabilities. Hence it commissioned a due diligence procedure to Deloitte, the outcome of which is such devastating findings as a due debt of 1.173 billion euros, a loss of 481 million euros and a wage bill that is 40% higher than that of other elite football clubs.
“The study conducted by Deloitte has also revealed the existence of operations of dubious financial sense in specific areas of expenditure which required more in-depth analysis.
“Therefore, the Kroll agency was commissioned to carry out a forensic examination of the specific areas of risk signalled in the Deloitte report. This study has revealed a series of operations of considerable economic irrationality and, in short, unjustified payments, falsely justified payments or payments of disproportionate amounts, according to the FC Barcelona legal department. These seriously contravene the faith entrusted in the operations of the administrators of a social entity, without ruling out that they might also constitute cases of unjust enrichment that require further investigation.
“When the administration of a social entity presents such overwhelming suggestions of mismanagement, the criminal justice system is called upon to investigate and clarify any possible illicit diversions, abuses or enrichments.
“These sources and the conclusions made therefrom by independent analysts have compelled the FC Barcelona Board of Directors to deliver the said material and the supporting evidence to the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Barcelona as the body that safeguards the principle of legality and which rules on the prosecution of allegedly criminal conduct, with the support of the police departments, whose duty it is to investigate matters involving potential conduct of a criminal nature.
“The allegations filed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office are not addressed at any specific persons. They are limited to a description of certain circumstances and it is up to the investigators to determine who might be responsible.
“FC Barcelona is assisting the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Barcelona and the police department with its enquiries in order to support any clarifications and provide any evidence that they might need in order to thoroughly investigate the circumstances.
“It is because of the social importance of FC Barcelona that the Board of Directors has initiated this exercise of responsibility from the conviction that the club’s assets, which are the property of all of its members, must be respected and managed not only in an effective manner in economic and sporting terms, but also is good faith and in consideration of the institution and its members.”