Lionel Messi’s comments against Barcelona sporting director, Eric Abidal took the footballing world by storm.
Shortly after the incident, reports emerged about Braca hiring a social media company called 13 Ventures to boost the public profile of the club’s board.
“I want to make clear, for the [Barca] members, and everyone, because I have heard different versions,” Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu said. “First of all, I have to say that Barcelona haven’t hired any service to discredit anyone. Neither players, nor the executives, ex-presidents. That is totally false.
“So we will defend ourselves where necessary regarding this subject, by all means, and in front of anyone who accuses us of doing this. I repeat again, it is false that Barcelona, in any case, has hired no one to discredit anyone.”
The reports claimed that Barca’s intentions were also to discredit anyone who said anything against the club, especially from stars like Messi, Xavi or even Pep Guardiola.
“It is true that at the end of 2017, Barcelona hired a service to monitor different areas of the club in the social media, as the major of the clubs have,” he added. “After the confirmation that one of the accounts linked to one of this company’s suppliers have made inappropriate commentaries about people related to our organisation, I have given instructions personally to terminate the contract with this company.
“I want to make something clear. Regarding to the question that “if we have ordered anyone to monitor the social media”, the answer is yes and we will still do it. It is the responsibility of this club to know what is going on and what it is being said around the world, always to preserve Barcelona.
“Regarding to the question “If we have ordered to discredit people or institutions through social media” the answer is no and we will persecute everyone who accuses us of it.”
Sheesh! Those are strong words of warning. But do they have any substance to it? Why did he have to address this issue at all? Why not let it roll off their back like any other rumour?