Manchester: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has labelled former Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu's arrest as an "uncomfortable situation."
After spending a night in jail, Bartomeu on Tuesday was provisionally released. Guardiola is regarded as one of Barcelona's best-ever players and managers. He played for the club until 2001 and then he returned as a manager of Barcelona B in 2007 before taking the reigns of the senior team. Guardiola won three La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns as manager of Barcelona before leaving the club in 2012.
"It's an uncomfortable situation but I hope it will finish well. He's already innocent until the court proves he is guilty," Goal.com quoted Guardiola as saying.
"I'm concerned that in one week we'll have a new president. It's a difficult situation in Barcelona but the new man needs to have the courage to lead in the next years. As many people as possible can vote and lead the best club in the world. I'm pretty sure they'll come back stronger. The new president has to lead with confidence and get the fans together and that will make them the club they are. I'm looking forward to the election and, hopefully, the president will be okay," he added.
As per the report, Bartomeu was provisionally released, with the 58-year-old invoking his right not to testify. The news of the former members of the club's board being taken into custody following a raid on offices by regional police officers was broken by Cadena SER.
Bartomeu was arrested in a case related to 'Barcagate' at Camp Nou. Chief Executive Officer of the club, Oscar Grau, a former adviser to the presidency Jaume Masferrer, and head legal counsel Roman Gomez Ponti were also arrested.
According to the report, Bartomeu's administration has been accused of paying PR company I3 to oversee online work for the club and it is alleged that I3 was paid to clear up Bartomeu's image.
Also, Barcelona on Monday released a statement saying that the club offered their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts that are subject to investigation.
"Regarding the entry and search by the Catalan Police force this morning at the Camp Nou offices by order of the Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona, which is in charge of the case relating to the contacting of monitoring services on social networks, FC Barcelona have offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation," Barcelona had said in a statement.
"The information and documentation requested by the judicial police force relate strictly to the facts relative to this case. FC Barcelona expresses its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation," it had added.
Bartomeu had stepped down from his position as Barcelona President in October last year. Also, the entire board had stepped down from their posts.