Ever since Bayern Munich beat Barcelona 8-2 on that fateful day in August, the Catalans have been in protracted crisis that seems unable to go away. Today, it’s been announced that former President Josep Maria Bartomeu — who was forced to resign after the Bayern debacle — has been arrested by Catalan Police. Other board members were also arrested.
FC Barcelona confirm police have entered the club's premises today. Reports in Spain say the club's CEO and head of legal have been arrested. More likely to emerge throughout the day.— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) March 1, 2021
Barca released a vague statement confirming the news. This possibly has something to do with the so-called “Barcagate” scandal at the Camp Nou regarding the leaking of Leo Messi’s contract. Apparently, only a few board members knew the contents of that contract, leading to a legal dispute between those involved and the player himself. There's also allegations that Bartomeu paid a PR firm to run a smear campaign against his own players.
Of course, this didn’t happen because of one game between Bayern and Barca. The club have been mismanaged for years, and this is just the climax of an ongoing saga that has brought one of the world’s biggest clubs to its news.
Bayern Munich can consider themselves partly responsible, since the 8-2 thrashing in the Champions League last season opened people’s eyes like nothing could. However, even if it hadn’t happened then, Barca were headed for this. Its another example of a big traditional club being taken for a ride by terrible executives. The Bundesliga has Schalke, for another major example. Barca aren’t that bad yet, but they have massive debt and the sporting project is collapsing.
This is a reminder to all fans to not take Bayern’s impeccable management for granted. They make mistakes sometimes, but they’re really good overall.