Lionel Messi admits he feels that “weird things” are happening in Barcelona after club chief Josep Bartomeu has been accused of hiring a social media company to orchestrate a smear campaign against Argentinian and other top players
- Lionel Messi has spoken about the latest crisis that has flooded Barcelona
- The Argentinian admits that he happens to ‘strange things’ in the club
- Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu is forced to deny that he hires a company of social media experts to smear the names of various key figures in the club
- Bartomeu met Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto
Lionel Messi admits he sees “strange things” happening in Barcelona after the club president was forced to deny allegations of unethical practices on social media.
A Spanish radio station claimed that the LaLiga champions had hired a social media company to criticize Catalan-side key figures in an effort to protect President Josep Maria Bartomeu’s reputation.
It was suggested that I3 Ventures was hired to publish stories that damaged the image of various players and former players after criticizing Bartomeu.
Lionel Messi believes that “weird things” are happening in Barcelona in the midst of their latest crisis
Club president Josep Bartomeu has refuted the claims that he hired a social media company to conduct a smear campaign against Messi and other top stars to protect his own reputation with the Catalan club
Barcelona denied any wrongdoing in a statement on Monday evening, with Bartomeu on Tuesday on the club website: ‘First and foremost, and so that no one is left in doubt, Barca has not contracted services to disparage either player, nor politicians, nor former presidents. It is completely incorrect.
“We will defend ourselves where necessary with all the means at our disposal against anyone who accuses us of such practices.”
Although they admitted that they had worked with the company, Barcelona has denied all suggestions that they have acted against the club’s players.
Messi (left) and Gerard Pique (right) were among the targets of the campaign
BARCELONA STATEMENT COMPLETE
Following the information released today about hiring a company dedicated to creating opinions on social networks to erase the image of third parties directly or indirectly related to the Club, FC Barcelona:
1. Strongly denies any relationship and, even more so, the contracting of services associated with social network accounts that have spread negative or dispersing messages regarding a person, entity, or organization that has or has had a relationship with the Club.
2. I3 Ventures, contracted by the Club, has no link to these accounts and, if a relationship exists, the Club would immediately terminate its contractual relationship and take appropriate legal action to defend its legitimate interests.
3. FC Barcelona confirms that it has contracted social network surveillance services to be aware of both positive and negative messages.
4. Hiring these services is to ensure the protection and preservation of the club’s reputation, as well as those associated with the Club.
5. The club requires the immediate rectification of the information disseminated and reserves the right to take appropriate legal action against those who continue to involve the club in this type of practice.
Messi, in an interview with the Catalan sports publication Mundo Deportivo as reported by L’Equipe, he says he will wait to see if there is any truth to the allegations following Bartomeu’s statement.
“I was a little surprised because I was not present, I was traveling,” said Messi.
“When I arrived, I discovered it bit by bit. The president told us the same things he said in public, the same things he said during a press conference: what was the situation, what had happened. And I can’t say anymore.
“The truth is that I see strange things happening. But it was also said that there would be evidence. We will have to wait to see if it is true or not. We can’t say much and we have to wait and see what happens. To be honest, the subject seems strange to me. “
The social media line comes just a few weeks after Messi speaks out against sports director Eric Abidal, who had suggested that the players were not working hard enough under former manager Ernesto Valverde.
Messi’s relationship with Barca has been tense since claims stars have fired Ernesto Valverde
Messi made his opinion clear and went to Instagram to respond to the claims
Valverde was fired in January, with Quique Setien as manager brought in until the end of the season.
That caused doubts about the future of the 32-year-old at the Nou Camp, but Messi expressed his happiness in the city.
“I love Barcelona, although I miss Rosario very much,” he added. “This is my house, I was here longer than in Argentina. I love Barcelona, the place where I live, Castelldefels, and I live a life that I really like. “