Former President Josep Maria Bartomeu was one of four former Barcelona officials arrested on Monday after the club’s offices in Nou Camp were also raided by Catalan police.

The other three arrested by Mossos d’Esquadra were the current managing director Oscar Grau, the director of legal services Gomez Ponti and the president’s advisor Jaume Masferrer, the troop confirmed to the Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

Bartomeu will spend the night at the Les Corts police station, as will Masferrer, but Grau and Ponti have reportedly not been arrested.

Olga Tubau, attorney for former Barcelona CEO Jaume Masferrer, said Bartomeu and Masferrer were being treated “very well”.

The operation is linked to last year’s “Barcagate” in which club officials were accused of launching a smear campaign against current and former players who criticized the club and Bartomeu.

Barcelona had denied allegations of hiring and overpaid a company to post negative comments on their own players and opponents on social media in an attempt to bolster the image of senior officials. The company has been accused of using fake social media accounts to discredit opposition activists for expressing views contrary to the club.

Roman Gomez Ponti leaves the Les Corts police station in Barcelona after his arrest on Monday

The numbers reportedly included players like Lionel Messi, unhappy and unsettled in Barcelona at the time, defender Gerard Pique and former head coach Pep Guardiola. The club later released an independent audit report that found there was no wrongdoing.

Bartomeu and his board of directors resigned last year amid the controversy surrounding Messi and ahead of the upcoming presidential election, which is slated to take place in less than a week.

Presidential candidate Joan Laporta also confirmed Bartomeu’s arrest on Monday, saying the day’s events would “do enormous damage to our club’s image”.

Catalan police leave the Nou camp offices after the raid on Monday

He said: “With today’s raids on the club’s headquarters and the arrest of Barca’s ex-president Josep Maria Bartomeu and other club executives, our team would like to express our greatest respect for the actions taken by the judiciary and police authorities, as well as the utmost respect the principle of the presumption of innocence.

“We are deeply saddened by these events, which are causing enormous damage to the image of our club.”

A statement by the club on Monday said they had fully cooperated with the investigation, stating: “Regarding the entry and search by the Catalan police this morning … FC Barcelona have offered the legal and police authorities their full cooperation to make this clear. ” Facts Subject to Investigation.

“The information and documents requested by the judicial police relate only to the facts relating to this case. FC Barcelona expresses its greatest respect for the existing legal process and the principle of presumed innocence for those involved in this investigation.”