Pep Guardiola labels Josep Maria Bartomeu arrest as ‘uncomfortable situation’ ahead of Barcelona elections

Mark Critchley
·2-min read
<p>Pep Guardiola is hopeful the presidential elections will spark a new era at Barcelona</p> (Getty)

Pep Guardiola is hopeful the presidential elections will spark a new era at Barcelona

(Getty)

Pep Guardiola described Josep Maria Bartomeu's arrest as an “uncomfortable situation” and hopes Barcelona can move forward following Sunday's presidential elections.

Barcelona’s former president Bartomeu was arrested on Monday alongside several other officials as part of a police investigation as part of a case dubbed ‘Barçagate’.

The case centres on Barcelona’s relationship with a company called I3 Ventures, which is alleged to have created social media accounts to smear club figures who were critical of Bartomeu.

Barcelona are also alleged to have overpaid I3 Ventures for their services.

READ MORE: Premier League fixtures and table — all matches by date and kick-off time

The club deny any wrongdoing and last year commissioned an internal audit which showed there had not been “any defamatory campaigns directed at third parties” and that “no corrupt behaviour took place”.

Bartomeu, who resigned as president in October, was released from jail on Tuesday.

Barcelona’s members will choose his permanent successor this weekend, with Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa standing for election on Sunday.

“I know it’s an uncomfortable situation and hopefully it is going to finish well,” said Guardiola when asked about Bartomeu’s arrest. “He’s already now innocent until the court maybe proves he is guilty.

“The only thing I'm concerned with right now is that in one week we’ll have a new president. I want to congratulate all three for the campaign.

READ MORE: Raheem Sterling pinpoints reason behind Man City’s defensive improvement

“Of course it’s a difficult situation all around the world and at Barcelona especially for many reasons as everyone knows, so have the courage to lead the next years.

“Hopefully as many people as possible can vote and choose the right president to lead this incredible club, for me the best club in the world, for the sentimental issue.

“I’m pretty sure Barcelona will come back stronger in a short time. The new president just has to lead the confidence of everyone, and join the team and the fans all together and they are going to be the club they are.

“I’m looking forward to the election next Sunday and hopefully the president we choose will be OK.”

Read More

Manchester United are our only focus, insists Pep Guardiola as City close in on record winning streak

Pep Guardiola warns Man City players face being dropped if they think ‘job is done’

Man City have no time to savour breaking records, says Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola wants to emulate the ‘incredibly long career’ of West Ham boss David Moyes

‘We have a lot of money to buy a lot of incredible players’: Pep Guardiola explains Man City’s success