FC Barcelona’s motto “mes que un club” or “more than a club” dates back to the Catalan club’s formation in 1899, when a Swiss émigré founded what is now commonly referred to as ‘FC Barca’.
Joan Gamper, established Barca as a membership club. Even today, these members pay an annual fee.
From the outset, Barcelona has been a focal point for Catalan identity, as well as a symbol of democracy.
So much so that in 1925 then Spanish prime minister, Primo de Rivera, accused Gamper and Barca of promoting Catalan nationalism.
FC Barcelona became central to the region’s controversial 2017 independence vote as it called for its league match against Las Palmas to be postponed, as violence spread across the City during the vote.
FC Barcelona is clearly, then, much more than a club. It is a complicated and highly politicised entity in a way clubs like Manchester United or Arsenal have never been.
Gamper, Barca’s Founder, was right, FC Barcelona is more than a club.
But football in 1899 was a rather different proposition to football in the 21st century.
The power of Catalan politics might be compelling, but in football the lure of global revenue streams may yet trump regional idealism and this is a commercial challenge Barca will have to navigate.
Nevertheless, its undeniable that Barca’s brand stands for more than just football or sport…In true Olympian spirit, it stands for the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, with the soccer pitch being a representation of the broader arena of life itself.
Reminds me of the portrayal of American Football in Oliver Stone’s ‘Any Given Sunday’ which explored American Football and the stadium as a Gladiator’s arena in which all the tragedies and triumphs of life could be played out.
We’ve included a clip of one of my fave Al Pacino Locker-room Speeches from ‘Any Given Sunday’.
Our featured homepage Documentary is ‘Barca Dreams’ which really takes you on a trip of the History and spirit of the club…Highly recommended.