Barcelona have released a statement to deny that the club have enlisted the help of a company to criticise players past and present on social media.
Cadena SER have alleged that the Catalan giants hierarchy hired ‘I3 Ventures’ to essentially help improve their own image and damage that of players and coaches past and present at the Nou Camp to show the current board in a better light.
Lionel Messi, Gerard Piqué, Pep Guardiola, Xavi, Carles Puyol, Joan Laporta, and candidate for the 2021 presidential elections Victor Font, are all said to have been targeted by the negative social media messages.
However, in a no-nonsense and succinct five-point club statement, Barcelona have dismissed the reports entirely and have insisted that there is no truth behind the allegations.
1.- Roundly deny any relationship, and furthermore, the contracting of services linked to social media accounts that have broadcast negative or disparaging messages related to any person, entity or organisation that may be, or have been, related to the Club.
2. – I3 Ventures, a service provider to the Club, has no relationship with the accounts mentioned and, if any relationship were to come to light, the Club would immediately end their contractual agreement and bring about any necessary legal action to defend their interests.
3.- As such, FC Barcelona confirm that it has services contracted relating to the monitoring of social media with the aim of analysing both positive and negative messages about the organisation itself.
4.- With the contracting of these services, the Club is attempting to look after and preserve its reputation as well those of people related to the Club (sponsors, players, board members, members, supporters’ club members…), as far as the protection of this reputation is a fundamental element and responsibility for those who work for the organisation.
5.- The Club demands an immediate rectification of the information published and reserves the right to exercise legal action against those who continue to implicate the Club in such practices.
It remains to be seen what happens next, but such is the seriousness of the allegations, Barcelona have clearly decided that they’ve had to break their silence on the matter and address it head on.
In turn, it remains unclear as to where the information has been leaked for the claims to be reported, but based on the statement above, they’re pretty clear that they’re ready to take action against the false claims.