Barcelona take legal action against ex-vice president Rousaud over corruption allegations

Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona

Barcelona have hit back at former vice president Emili Rousaud after he alleged that one of the club's executives was using club funds to line his own pockets.

Rousaud was one of six Barcelona board members to inform club president Josep Maria Bartomeu of their decision to resign from their respective positions last week.

He was joined by fellow vice president Enrique Tombas and directors Silvio Elias, Maria Teixidor, Josep Pont and Jordi Clasamiglia in the aftermath of a proposed overhaul of the club's hierarchy.

Goal learned that several members were informed by Bartomeu that they will have no part to play in the new-look team of directors, and that group included Rousaud, who had previously been tipped as one of the president's proposed successors. 

It was far from the only scandal involving the board this year, with reports alleging that the club hired a social media firm to disparage players in an effort to boost Bartomeu's reputation while a highly-public spat between Lionel Messi and Eric Abidal soon followed.

On their way out, the resigned members called for the leadership to be reviewed as soon as possible, while Rousard took things one step further by alleging that someone from the board was benefitting from taking the club's money.

In the wake of that claim, Barcelona have denied all allegations of corruption.

"In the face of grave and unfounded allegations made by Mr Emili Rousaud, the club's former Vice President, in a number of media interviews, the Board of Directors categorically denies any action that could be described as corruption and have agreed to bring the corresponding criminal action accordingly," a club statement reads.

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"In this regard, the Board wishes to emphasise that in the light of these allegations, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), the company in charge of conducting the audit on the monitoring services of social networks contracted by the club, have reiterated that its work is still ongoing and, therefore, is without any provisional or definitive conclusions.

"The Board of Directors have agreed that, once the audit is completed, it will analyse the content and conclusions derived from it, publish them, and will make their decisions and take appropriate measures based on their final result."

With play currently suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, Barcelona currently sit atop La Liga having amassed a two-point lead over longtime rivals Real Madrid.