DID YOU KNOW?
Futbol Club Barcelona is one of the most popular teams in the football world and as of 2019, the second-richest soccer club in the globe. But did you know that only the minimum number of members arrived in Barcelona’s first-ever meeting? A month after his advertisement in the newspaper Los Deportes, Swiss football enthusiast Joan Gamper met eleven footballers interested in creating an association football team that will compete professionally under the name Barcelona. It was on November 29, 1899 in the office of Gamper where they created the club, along with Walter Wild, who will become the first director of the football team. Under the guidance of Gamper, the club won a number of regional and royal competitions and eventually evolved into an identity for the people of Barcelona. In just more than two decades, membership has exploded into more than 20,000, and the team has acquired its own stadium that can seat 30,000 in game days. Throughout the years, Barcelona created other sports teams and saw success in those fields too. Because of their victories in numerous competitions, the Barcelona sports club has become a symbol of unity and perseverance for the region, and now bears “Mes Que un Club” (which means “more than a club” in Catalan) as the team’s slogan.
More than a century after that meeting with just dozen members, Barcelona has now become one of the biggest clubs in the world but has remained a member and players’ club, one of the few major teams in professional sports that is yet to be owned by businessmen. It has an ownership structure that allows its members, which as of 2019 is at more than 143,000, to voice their opinions and suggestions in meetings, much like they did in the 1890s. With Barca such a vast club with many ventures, it has become a challenge to keep up on FC Barcelona news, so the club created an official app so its members, fans, and the media can always follow the club’s every step.