Laporta on Bartomeu arrest: It hugely damages the club's image and reputation

"We have maximum respect for the police's actions and also for the presumption of innocence," Laporta said

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Joan Laporta has reacted to the "shocking" news that former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu was one of four men arrested on Monday.

Local police raised Barça's offices in search of evidence related to the Barçagate scandal, which involves the contracting of a third party company to monitor social media, the money they were paid and the smear campaigns they produced against Barca personalities.

As well as ex-president Bartomeu, the others detained are Oscar Grau (CEO) Roman Gomez Punti (head of the club’s legal services) and Jaume Masferrer, until recently Bartomeu’s adviser of confidence at the club.

"Given today's events and the searching of the club's offices and the detainment of Barcelona's ex-president and club executives, from the candidature Estimem El Barça, we want to say that we have maximum respect for the police's actions and also for the presumption of innocence," Laporta said.

"We deeply regret what's happening because it hugely damages the club's image and reputation."

Laporta is running to become the next Barça president, with Sunday's election a three-way choice between him, Victor Font and Toni Freixa.

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