Barcelona turmoil continues after embezzlement claim

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Barcelona has threatened legal action after a former board member hinted that an unknown official at the club “had their hands in the till.”

Emili Rousaud, one of the six board members to quit Thursday amid disagreements with president Josep Maria Bartomeu, made the comments but was unsure who the alleged embezzler is.

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Barcelona responded to the allegations by threatening to bring Rousaud to court. “In light of the serious and unfounded allegations made this morning, FC Barcelona categorically deny any action that could be described as corruption, and therefore reserve the right to take the necessary legal action,” the club said in a statement.

While there has reportedly been internal strife at Barcelona for some time, things have escalated since February’s suggestion that the club paid third-party social media companies to smear players online. This caused players Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, and Sergi Roberto to meet with club officials in an attempt to cool tensions.

Still, it seems some remain behind the scenes. ESPN reports that one source described the behind-the-scenes life at Barcelona “like Game of Thrones.” Bartomeu reportedly asked Rousaud, a favorite to run in the 2021 presidential election at the club, to resign two days ago prior to the mass exodus from the board.