Barcelona supporters will by now be used to startling revelations coming out of the club.
Even so, Tuesday morning’s press conference at the Nou Camp’s Auditori 1899 was a jaw-dropper.
Club president Joan Laporta said an investigation into Barcelona’s finances had discovered multiple significant payments which had been made without apparent justification during the term of his predecessor Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Laporta said the evidence of these payments had been passed last week to the provincial prosecutor’s office — and made clear that he thought crimes had been committed.
While being careful not to name any specific individuals, Laporta and other club figures who spoke said they felt they had discovered clear evidence of wrongdoing which they expected the authorities to follow up on.
Here, we break down the key questions after the revelations…
Where did this evidence come from?
On taking charge in early 2021, Laporta’s board hired Deloitte to carry out a due-diligence study of Barcelona’s finances. This showed that the club had a debt of €1.173 billion and made a loss in the last financial year of €481 million. It also detected a series of unexplained operations, leading to the hiring of specialist agency Kroll to carry out a forensic examination.
“The study conducted by Deloitte revealed the existence of operations of dubious financial sense in specific areas of expenditure which required more in-depth analysis,” a Barcelona club statement said.