A Question for Barcaloco

Call me crazy, but this kinda makes me feel bad for the chumps who sign up. If Barcaloco has a deal with Penya-LA, that’s all find and dandy and I’m down with that, but for a small yearly fee you get to get exclusive information from them?

As a result of the new partnership [between Barcaloco and Penya-Los Angeles], we have launched the Barcaloco Fan Club, which for a small yearly fee member’s will receive exclusive opportunities with FC Barcelona. Just a few of these opportunities include discount tickets when FC Barcelona plays matches in the US, the chance to travel with Penya-LA to watch FC Barcelona play at the Camp Nou, a tour of the Barcelona Youth training academy and even the chance to be introduced as part of the Barcaloco Fan Club on the pitch before a match at the Camp Nou!

Um. That yearly fee is exactly what becoming a member is all about, plus, if Penya-LA is anything like Penya-NYC, then they give out all of this stuff for free anyway (tickets to Rome for the final, for instance, you just have to buy the tickets themselves at whatever the face value was and then get your ass to Rome; the point is that the they had those tickets given to them by FCB in order to extend the opportunity to members of the Penya, which is free), meaning that Penya-LA and Barcaloco appear to be attempting to make money off of something that’s given to them by the club for free as part of being part of the Penya system.

These are great opportunities, no doubt, and it’s cool that FCB would be willing to give their foreign fans the chance to take these tours and attend matches as a group, but that sounds awfully fishy to me, to be honest. I have no problem with Barcaloco, by the way (and completely respect what they’ve got going on), but this just appears to be a calculated effort to earn make money off of what are essentially free bonuses to Penya-LA. I like the detail that they’re going to try to get a bar to watch the games at, just like Penya-NYC has Nevada Smiths, but other than that, it sounds underhanded. Am I wrong in reading it this way?

Does anyone here have a connection to Penya-LA that can explain it to me further, in case I did make a mistake in judging this promotion? And for those of you who are wondering, I have no problem with anyone making money off of services that they provide in conjunction with FCB, just that if these are free tickets/promotions being given to Penya-LA, I don’t see it as okay to act as if they’re exclusive deals that you can then sell because you have a monopoly on information. That’s all.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. October 23, 2009

    Damn. I’m gonna have to start a Penya-PR.

    In regards to the Marquez issue being discussed in the previous thread, Marquez at one point was possibly the best passing centerback in the world. He’s done a lot for us. However, he damn well better shape up or ship out. Once you lose a step you are in theory supposed to make up for it with positioning and football IQ derived from all those years of playing, you know? Instead it seems Rafa has gotten more and more reckless. I sure am happy to see the Puyol saga almost over though.

    BTW This is what I’ve been dealing with over here since midnight


    Some of my house’s windows cracked with the explosion and I’m at least 10 miles away. I need a nap.

    • Jose26
      October 23, 2009

      Wow, looks like the smoke stack is visible on the entire island… Good to hear that no fatalities have been reported. Apparently there’s speculation of sabotage, but nobody knows anything. 🙁

    • October 23, 2009

      It was a damn miracle nobody was killed. No way to know anything about the cause right now, everybody is too busy keeping the fire under control. The explosion registered between a 3 and a 4 on the Richter scale. Imagine lying in bed at midnight when suddenly everything shakes, windows crack, alarms go off, and a huge boom sounds. Then a 1,000 feet tall column of flames becomes visible. Everybody thought plane crash at first.

      They had to evacuate a maximum security prison and a juvenile center close by. Over 2,000 inmates. I’m in commercial and industrial security and we have some clients in that area which is a big industrial park (hence my sleep deprivation). Our central monitoring station had over 500 alarms go off simultaneously. Its been insane.

      The damn cloud is over 2,000 feet high right now. I guess this is what a nuclear mushroom cloud would look like. If it rains its gonna be pure acid so we are, ironically seeing as how we’re fighting a fire, keeping our fingers crossed for no rain to come. My BANGS Part II article will have to be postponed some more now (we also had a few riots last week) 🙁 .

      • Jose26
        October 23, 2009

        I heard about the drug killings last week. Terrible… these events are really out of character for Puerto Rico, our typically more stable neighbor (to the DR). The boricuas I know have started to ask “Puerto Rico, que nos esta pasando?”

        (I’m grateful to have those two hours every weekend to forget about everything else.)

      • Soto
        October 23, 2009

        “The explosion registered between a 3 and a 4 on the Richter scale. Imagine lying in bed at midnight when suddenly everything shakes, windows crack, alarms go off, and a huge boom sounds. Then a 1,000 feet tall column of flames becomes visible.”

        No imagination needed. This is just your average year in Los Angeles. 🙂

        Seriously, I hope that the damage is kept to a minimum. Gracias a dios que nadie murio.

    • Soto
      October 23, 2009

      For me it’s not reckless as much as Rafa just looks dazed and confused on the pitch. It’s like soccer dementia has kicked in. For no apparent reason.

  2. Soto
    October 23, 2009

    Isaiah, I understand your concerns, but I think that Barcaloco is trying to fill a gap in the Penya-LA that doesn’t exist in the Penya-NY. At least I hope so.

    As a Barcelona fan who lives in Los Angeles, I have been looking for a way to meet other fans in my city. When I first heard about the penya in NYC I thought, “That’s exactly what I am looking for here in Los Angeles.”

    A quick google search got me to the penya LA site where I found this description of the Los Angeles penya: %http://www.barcelonausa.com/page/show/58695-about-us

    Basically, it looks like the Los Angeles penya has so far focused on developing a relationship between local youth teams and FC Barcelona. Which is great for youth teams, but was of no value to me as an adult fan.

    Thus, it may be that Barcaloco is not duplicating offers already available to Penya-LA members as much as helping the Penya-LA finally offer what other penyas have been offering. I will definitely be checking into this. If Barcaloco takes the lead in creating the type of fan environment that you get at Nevada Smiths’ that would be great. We’ll see how it plays out.

    • October 23, 2009

      It would be great for Barcaloco to provide the services that Penya-NYC does, but I don’t see how that changes my point, which is that they’re charging money for something that official penyas, as Penya-LA appears to be, get because of their contacts with the organization.

      If Penya-LA is failing their members, that’s another story, but it sounds like they’ve already got the connections and are using it to make a profit while other penyas (NYC is the only example I have, to be honest) merely hold raffles like they should.

      Still, I hope I’m wrong and have merely misunderstood the point. If you can ask them and get back to the rest of us, I’d be more than happy to post the findings of your research. Obviously I’m spoiled as someone living in New York because the Penya here is fairly well organized, but organizing a successful penya, to me, involves no personal monetary gain.

  3. american in europe
    October 24, 2009

    I thought it was wrong of them to sell this (like they did on twitter on Tuesday) as some kind of exclusive partnership with FC Barcelona, while it’s in fact “only” a partnership with a penya, that involves the normal penya advantages and no exclusive stuff.

    In general, I don’t really get what Barcaloco.com is all about. They don’t really have news articles on their site (one copied article a day), no opinion pieces, basically nothing. So I just don’t understand what the plan could be. But since their business section is well-developed, seemed already before that they are in it for the money. And this latest developments only confirms that image.

    But in the end, as long as they don’t act too cheap, there’s nothing wrong with making money. By free tickets… Or by free info, like this blog… 😉

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