"The VAR hasn't been applied fairly"
After Barcelona made clear this Monday that there was no corruption involved in the 'I3 Ventures' controversy and that there had not been a campaign to speak ill of anybody, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu spoke about the club on 'El món' on Catalan radio station 'RAC1'.
To start with, the Barca president denied that he has thought about resigning in the last few months: "I've never thought about resigning. On the contrary, I'm thinking about working more and making decisions. At the current time, due to the pandemic, we've had problems, but we'll got through it."
Bartomeu refused to say whether he would have stood for re-election had the club's rules allowed him to. He was also asked about the VAR after all the controversy in recent weeks and the public opinions of several people within the club.
"We are very much in favour of the VAR so that things are fairer, but the application of the VAR is not being fair. After COVID-19, there have been several decisions which have favoured the same team. Everyone has seen it. I want VAR to improve," Bartomeu explained.
With regards to the team's position in the La Liga table, the president admitted that he was hoping for a better result at San Mames and was resigned to the fact Real Madrid would win the league: "I admit that the club have not had the expected results. The other clubs also compete and are keen to win. We haven't been better."
Bartomeu also insisted that the club were innocent in the 'I3 Ventures' scandal. "There was no corruption, everything has been resolved. It has been shown that the club did not hire anybody to speak ill of players or opponents. There are a lot of projects like this one. There are projects which go directly to a provider, in this case we found a recommended company. Barca have to keep an eye on social media all over the world and not many companies in the world are capable of doing that."
The Barca president denied knowing that the companies contracted were writing things against Barcelona and on the issue of the bills, he said each department paid its share.
"Each bill was addressed to a different department within the club. The club has different budgets depending on the departments and each one paid its bit," he said.
Bartomeu focussed on the defamations, the thing which has upset people most in the 'I3 Ventures scandal'. "Barca do not write defamatory comments. Nobody at the club has given that order. We had a look at the bots which we writing ill of the club and the players in May 2019. Now we have done another wirh Deloitte. There are always people in the world who speak ill of Barca. If only we knew who was behind it. We have nothing to do with it, but it's true that there are people who do that."