Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu isn't receiving much love right now.
To say things were turbulent at Camp Nou after their 2019/20 season ended with an 8-2 annihilation against Bayern Munich would be putting things mildly.
Of course, we are referring to the Lionel Messi situation and the fact the Blaugrana's star man has been absent from training after submitting a transfer request last Tuesday night.
Trouble in paradise
Reports are starting to suggest that the difficult legal situation means that Messi could remain in Catalonia, albeit for just another season, but fans have still expressed their discontent.
It should come as no surprise that Barcelona supporters have taken Messi's side of the argument and if he's upset the Bartomeu's handling of the club, then most of them will share that verdict.
Fans literally gathered outside Camp Nou to chant that Bartomeu should step down as president when it was announced that Messi wanted to end his 19-year collaboration with Barca.
'Barcagate' rumbles on
However, even if Messi does remain a Barcelona player this summer, that doesn't necessarily mean that Bartomeu is out of the woods yet and especially not after a report on Thursday night.
It's alleged that Bartomeu has been making personal, financial gains from club deals completed on behalf of the club, relating to the case more widely known by the moniker: Barcagate.
The case refers to reported documents, aired by Cadena Ser’s El Larguero earlier in the year, revealing potentially incriminating details about the club's finances.
Damaging Messi's reputation?
The documents are said to have shown the club paying a third party to damage the reputations of players such as Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique who were seen as opponents to Bartomeu.
Club legends Xavi, Carles Puyol and Pep Guardiola as well as presidential candidates Agusti Benedito and Victor Font were also said to be part of this unethical targeting.
The alleged third party, I3 Ventures, were apparently paid to promote messages on Facebook and Twitter that discredited those who took umbrage with the current Barcelona president.
Barcelona deny all claims
It is now claimed that Bartomeu gave the green-light for a payment to the company that was six times higher than their market value, which is now being investigated by authorities.
Barcelona responded to the initial report in February by refuting all the allegations and if they do indeed reply once again, it's expected that they will deny there being any truth in the report.
Nevertheless, regardless of what the truth may be, the situation makes for an even bigger headache for Bartomeu who is already scrambling around to keep Messi on the books this summer.
- Messi reportedly wants Barcelona stay
- PL defenders on Messi coming to England
- Messi now '90% likely' to stay at Barcelona