Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano has been accused of approving payments for spying on internal club emails during his time at Barcelona.
Soriano, Barca’s financial vice-president during Joan Laporta’s time as president, is being investigated for criminal liability by prosecutors in Catalonia over his involvement in an alleged scheme to monitor staff emails.
He reportedly signed off invoices to a company called Cyber Experience, which installed an internal server to flag-up internal emails containing certain keywords. Emails of interest were allegedly collated and the findings reported to Soriano and other board members in meetings.
Prosecutors say the system was in place between 2005 and 2008, initially monitoring 20 computers with a view to “stopping leaks to the press” but later expanded to cover the entire internal network.
Barca also paid a private detective agency to compile secret dossiers costing £14,000 each on four presidential candidates, prosecutors found.
The prosecutor told the Court of Justice of Catalonia said he had found “indications of criminal responsibility”, but Soriano has not yet been charged.
Soriano ended his five-year stint at Barcelona in June 2008 after a vote of no confidence in Laporta’s regime.
Image: Saul Gordillo