Barcelona to take legal action against ex-vice president Rousaud

Barcelona said it "categorically" denies any allegations of wrongdoing after confirming it will take legal action against Emili Rousaud.

Barcelona issued a swift and strong rebuttal on Monday.   -  Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona is planning to take legal action against former director Emili Rousaud over his claims "someone had their hand in the till" at the club and has announced a restructuring of the board.

Rousaud stood down his position as vice president along with five other directors Enrique Tombas, Silvio Elias, Josep Pont, Jordi Calsamiglia and Maria Texidor amid reports of months of internal disputes ahead of presidential elections due to take place next year.

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Speaking after his resignation, Rousaud spoke out about the split among the senior management and told RAC1: "I think someone has had their hand in the till, although I don't know who."

Barca issued a swift and strong rebuttal of the claims in a club statement last week and has now announced its intention to begin legal proceedings.

"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 legal action accordingly," a statement read

"FC Barcelona cannot tolerate allegations that seriously damage the institution's image. The legal action to be taken is in defence of the honour of the club and its employees." 

Rousaud also suggested possible impropriety regarding Barca's alleged agreement with 13 Ventures, a PR company claimed by a report on Spanish radio programme Que t'hi jugues in February to have been hired to clean up Bartomeu's image on social media and disparage current and former players critical of his premiership. Both Barcelona and 13 Ventures strongly denied entering into any such agreement.

Barca's statement added: "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."

The exits of the six board members came two days after ESPN reported president Josep Maria Bartomeu wanted four board members to step down in a bid to strengthen his position as he seeks re-election.

The planned reshuffle was later referenced by Barca in its response to Rousaud's claims and the result of the reorganisation was confirmed on Monday.

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"At the proposal of the president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, the board of directors have approved the appointment of Jordi Moix, as vice president for economic and equity; Pau Vilanova, as institutional vice president; Oriol Tomas, as vice president of the commercial area; Marta Plana, as secretary of the board of directors; and David Bellver, as treasurer," Barca said.

"Javier Bordas will be the manager responsible for the football first team, while Xavier Vilajoana will be in charge of Barca B, the youth teams and women's football."

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