According to several reports in the Catalan media, former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been arrested by the police for his involvement in a series of smear campaigns over the past year. The highly unpopular executive's resignation earlier this season was widely celebrated by the Barcelona fanbase and his recent arrest has now sent the Twitterati into a frenzy.
Bartomeu is widely regarded as the individual responsible for Barcelona's steady economic and sporting decline over the past few years. The Barcelona official shunned calls for elections on several occasions and his financial mismanagement has given his successor a series of long-term problems to solve. Suffice to say, fans of the Catalan giants are chuffed to bits with the possibility of impending justice.
Bartomeu arrest prompts merciless applause from Barcelona fanbase
Reports from Catalan journalists state that Josep Maria Bartomeu has been arrested for his involvement in the infamous BarcaGate scandal. The former president has been accused of working with third-party social media companies to run smear campaigns against some of Barcelona's biggest names.
Lionel Messi has also reportedly been a target of Bartomeu's campaign to discredit his own players and the former president has received widespread backlash as a result. Fellow Barcelona officials Oscar Grau and Ramon Gomez Ponti have also been arrested in connection to the scandal.
Gerard Pique, in particular, has been vocal about his relationship with Bartomeu on the several occasions in the past. The veteran Barcelona defender is known to be blunt in the press and his statements indicate that the squad was deeply unhappy with the scandal.
Lionel Messi has been at loggerheads with the former Barcelona president for much of the past year and Bartomeu's arrest may well have ramifications for the Argentine's future at the club.
Barcelona will hold elections for a new president in the coming weeks and with Joan Laporta, Victor Font, and Toni Freixa involved, news of the arrest will certainly add some colour to an intriguing election race.
Barcelona are currently in second place in the La Liga standings and have a mountain to climb to win silverware this season. The Catalan giants have shown signs of a positive transition under Ronald Koeman but still have plenty of work to do to restore their former glory.
Lionel Messi's future at Barcelona also hangs in the balance and the new president will have to make the Argentine an impressive offer. With Bartomeu's arrest, however, fans are hopeful that one of the darkest chapters in the club's illustrious history can finally be put to rest.