FC Barcelona is offcially a closed society, aka “Color me appalled”

Pep@Twitter couldn’t have summed it up better when he Tweeted on Thursday:

“This is a sad day in the history of FC Barcelona. The club has just been closed for new members if they’re not family of existing members.”

From the official site:

As of November 1, according to George Cardoner at a press conference, members can only be people who meet the following requirements: be first or second degree relative of a person who is a partner, be less than 14 years old or have been a member previously. Cardona, who pointed out that these changes, covered in Article 12a of the Statute, are “immediately applicable.”

In other words, FCB is not for you.

Note that this was one of the things that Sandro Rosell said that he was going to do. Prima facie, we were howling in outrage that the club was going to become not only more Catalan than thou, but solely Catalan. In fact, it’s even more restrictive, as even Catalans who aren’t members or family of members can join. So does the fact that our beloved club is equally exclusionary make it somehow right?


Make no mistake, FC Barcelona is a private society that can do what it wants. There are clubs and societies all over the world who restrict membership in some way. But until now, anybody who wanted to pony up the EUR150 fee could wear their club quite literally on their heart by becoming a soci and getting the bronze lapel pin, along with the other benefits attendant to membership. As a global club, a truly global club, FC Barcelona was exemplary in that it allowed any and all to become members. If you love the club, join us.

Now it’s “You can love the club, but you can’t join us. You aren’t special enough.”

If I wanted to become a soci right now, I couldn’t. And I fail to see how restricting membership makes membership more special, unless you’re already a member, and are clapping your hands in glee that the ticketing maelstrom will not be any more difficult to deal with now.

The club derives significant income from memberships, but not really all that much in the grand, global club scheme of things. So my outrage isn’t from a fiscal sense. But in the notion of this being a global club, “Mes que un club,” as our puffed-chest slogan crows, we have failed miserably.

Membership is now a family legacy, to be passed down through generations. Will this harm the club’s popularity? No. As long as it keeps winning, people will keep supporting it. Does it remove the special quality of being a soci from loving and supporting that club? You bet.

I still remember when my packet came in the mail. I almost started crying. It was tangible evidence of my love for FC Barcelona. During a recent visit to Spain’s capital city, I wore the pin on my chest as we toured museums and the city. I took joy in the visual daggers being shot at my chest. Because not only do I love this club, but I love this club enough to join it, to pledge my fiscal support. Nothing says love like money, right? And the membership is fairly poor value, compared to what you get for it: an FCB e-mail address, discounts at the official site or in the Camp Nou Botiga, the Barca magazine mailed to your door and the shot to buy match tickets early. But it wasn’t the perks that made being a soci so special.

Now, that special feeling is restricted to a chosen few. And it makes that feeling, that joy of membership, a lot less special. I don’t believe in it, and I can’t support this measure. I don’t believe that any right-thinking soci can, or should.

We are studying a way that rewards associated faithful supporters and have appreciation for the club,” said the vice president. In other words, an Orwellian we are are equals, but some are more equal that others. It’s elitist bullshit, no matter how you slice it. The club further goes on to say that right now, there are 9500 members on the waiting list for season tickets. So as the club loses about 225 members per annum, this puts the duration for a coveted, guaranteed spot in the Camp Nou at about 42 years. So hey, fewer members will make the process easier, right? Yay, for us!

No. Shame on us. Not everybody who supports the club wants to or can become a soci. But the privelege should be there. For the club to remove that privelege, to say “Well, we’re thinking of some way for you second-class citizens to support us,” is scant comfort.

Recall that Rosell, during his pre-election talk, mentioned the potential of all those foreign socis (Oh, ick!) and theh possibility of there being enough of them to somehow adversely affect the club, to elect the “wrong” kind of president, or somehow make it less Catalan. We discussed it a bit in the comments portion of the various Rosell posts with shock and outrage, and some said shame on you all for lambasting Rosell before he’s even taken office.

Well he’s in there now, and he’s done it. FC Barcelona is officially, and for all time, a Catalan institution. Not technically, because I can hand down being a soci to my children and grandchildren, were I to choose to have them. So can any non-Catalan socio. For now. Is it hard to imagine all foreign memberships being revoked, or reduced to this second-class status? Not all that hard, actually. After all, the news about this change in the statues is only published on the Catalan portion of the club site.

But the bulk of the club’s members are Catalan, and I would wager that of those 225 members who decide not to renew, a significant portion of them are foreign. So it isn’t hard to envision a time when FC Barcelona membership will be all-Catalan, all the time. You can love the club, but you can’t love it as much as us. If Samuel Eto’o wanted to become a soci and he wasn’t already, a man who bled for this club, he couldn’t. Would they find some way to get him in? Maybe. Maybe not.

It’s shameful. Truly shameful, and all we can do is take hope that the next president will be able to come in and reverse this stupid, stupid decision that damages the club in that it harms the perception of the institution. During the whole Cesc Fabregas debacle, Arsenal fans labeled us “classless” for the way that situation was handled. We laughed about it, and scoffed at them. But as we climb up into the treehouse and pull up the ladder behind us, hanging out the sign that says “Access denied, and this means YOU,” it’s just a say day. Maybe Rosell and his cabal don’t care. If they cared, they wouldn’t have done it, right?

But I care. Very deeply. And right now, I am ashamed of my club. As NuriaMira tweeted, “Rosell tu no t’estimes el Barça” (Rosell, you do not love Barça).

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. Nik
    October 14, 2010

    Um, wow. I was hoping to someday buy a membership for myself once I’m not living of my parents + loans, but there goes that…

    Idk how Sandro and the board convinced themselves this elitist bullshit is a good move.

    • imransuhail
      April 22, 2013

      I am from a poor third world country and could not afford the membership earlier. Now that i can finally afford to “buy” membership for my beloved club i am not allowed to do so 🙁

      For someone who has been a barca fan since my first day of following football, this is very sad. I feel discriminated against. Like non catalans are not humans? Will they be able to earn as much from only showing matches in catalunya tv, selling shirts to only catalans and having advertising deals with only catalan companies? NO. They earn from us, us paying the cable companies to watch their matches, us buying their official merchandise, etc but they wont accept us as equals and let us become members? I miss Laporta. Would have have done something as horrible as this or as horrible as moving the unicef logo we used to brag about, to the back of the shirts, or removing Cruyyf from his honorary post?

      i sincerely wish Mr Rosell does not get elected ever again and the next president allows us non-catalan fans to be treated as equals… i feel insulted.

  2. Culer_Than_Thou
    October 14, 2010

    Sucks, sucks, sucks.

    I hope this is rescinded as early as the next term of Presidency. But i think it’ll take a couple of terms, in the least, to be overturned.

    My fear is that the Catalunyan wave has just only started. The electorate would now be mostly Catalans and that demographic will only gain a deeper Catalunyan tinge in the years to come – all thanks to this new ruling. Politic common sense would find no rationale for pleasing the non-voters and potentially offending the voters by opening up to all.

    Isaiah was right when he said – its No More Mes Que un Club.

    I wouldn’t have been able to afford membership in the next few years, but wtf, that does not mean this thing won’t hurt me.

    What a bad taste in my mouth I have right now. YUCK!

  3. Culer_Than_Thou
    October 14, 2010

    @ Kxevin, or any Soci who can read this… Please adopt me as your son/brother/whatever some years from now when i can afford the membership.

    On second thoughts, I would rather NOT be a member of such a Club.

    Up yours Sandro, you took a part of me from me today.

  4. October 14, 2010

    At least, no more illusions now. And you can be sure, this is just a beginning.

    • BarcaFan(BiH)
      October 14, 2010

      What do you mean, Ramzi about this is just a beginning? The beginning of what?

      • October 14, 2010

        As a Madridista put it, the beginning of the end. So much for more than a club.
        Screw You Rosell

        • farid
          October 15, 2010

          This is a very sad day. I’m just a medical student now and how i wish 1 day i can be a member. Now it’s all gone. GOD! Can anyone pleaase bring back Laporta???? People, is it possible for him to run for precidency again?

          Rosell u suck, big time. U made me post a status on my FB, saying bad things about barca. My barca. (oh wait, can i still say its my barca? cuz im no catalan). Danm it

  5. Luke
    October 14, 2010

    I had a really long post to write, but it’s not worth my fucking time.

    This is a god damn shame and something that moves this club from something I respected beyond football and into the realm of politics, from something that fought Franco, to something that is all about money, xenophobia, and rote nationalism.

    Fuck it.

    • October 14, 2010

      “to something that is all about money, xenophobia, and rote nationalism”

      You could have said “to a new Franco”.

      • October 14, 2010

        The challenge, for those of us who love the club, is to separate the stupidity of the people who run it from the club. It’s hard right now. Very hard. I only hope that this move gets the coverage that it deserves from the international sporting press.

        • imransuhail
          April 22, 2013

          agreed. i wont stop loving barca. rossel is not barca. he is just afraid he will not get elected again due to his stupidities if non-catalans are allowed to vote after becoming members. no more unicef, no more cruyyf, no more membership open to all,….. 🙁 rossel must go!

          someone should make a “I hate Sandro Rossel” Barca t-shirt. It will sell more than the first team jersey

  6. Kxevin
    October 14, 2010

    I hear you, Ramzi. Your comment in the old space about Rosell deciding how many children socis can have, so as to control future membership was funny, but unfortunately spot on.

    This decision means that we no longer consider ourselves a global institution. And I shouldn’t even say “We.” “They” consider us a Catalan institution that is supported by others.

    Some will say that this is as it should be. But don’t forget that the club was started by a Swiss businessman. Yes, the Franco years drove home the roots of Catalan nationalism that now are as firmly a part of the club and its history as the Blaugrana, but Joan Gamper couldn’t even join the club right now, much less start it.

    Maybe next they change the name of the Trofeo Gamper? I put nothing past these scumbags.

  7. Stephen
    October 14, 2010

    You said it best “Nothing says love like money”… its the truth, and I’m pretty sure there’s some suited guy in some office saying, yes cutting these “new people” is the best thing. Like you said people will still buy shirts and soci’s will still sell tickets they acquire. I think part of being a fan is also that, sacrificing for your team, be it money or what have you.

  8. majatt
    October 14, 2010

    I’m truly hurt, Sandro today killed a dream for many.

  9. October 14, 2010

    For me, it’s even deeper and more disturbing. I think of the monkey chants that used to greet black players in the Camp Nou, the Boixos Nois and the reality of my being a black person who loves this club. It is all that hard to imagine a time when it won’t be comfortable for anyone who isn’t “right” to feel comfortable going to matches?

    Joan Laporta emphasized the global quality of this club, and made it so. Rosell has in effect said to global fans, “Stuff it. You aren’t good enough to join us.”

    • imransuhail
      April 22, 2013

      son unless messi was a member, he cant become one now and his child too?

  10. SoccerMom
    October 14, 2010

    But this is what it’s about, kids!

    The slogan is not ‘Més que un club’ because we have més members!
    It’s because FCB is more than football. It *is* political. It *is* economic. It *is* cultural. And it *is* about Catalonia, which means it probably is *not* about you.

    What do you think is going on with all of this Estatut business?
    They are not arguing — really — about using this or that language, and they’re not arguing — really — about calling themselves a ‘nation’ or an ‘autonomous region’.

    This is about having an Estatut that overrides (not solely culturally, which everyone is o.k. with) politically (not so much) and economically (not at all) the Constitución. This is power and this is taxes, and this is power and taxes backed by Catalamania.

    This is like witnessing 1) a revival in the corrida with the Andalusian influx, and then 2) issuing a prohibition in support of animal rights :/? and then 3) Madrid goes and tries to make the spectacle a legally-protected institution of historic and cultural value so that 4) you are stuck with the corrida. This is the same bickering at the cultural level.

    Yes, this is a movement with an anti-Franco history. The Basques were anti-Franco too. The Levante went down last. Actually I can’t really think of any region, really, that lived it up under Franco. “Less Generalísimo than thou” is a lot more precarious statement than anything about being culé in the Peninsula, I’d guess.

    But being anti-Franco is not necessarily a ticket to moral authority, let alone a good seat at the Camp Nou. Maybe it is worthwhile to appreciate fighting the good fight. And maybe you can draw a line somewhere: Yes, it’s good not to be a fascist; yes, it’s good to celebrate the end with a hot-damn destape; okay, you can have a little more wiggle room in your estatoot; well, maybe you ought not override the Constitoot; no you absolutely cannot put a pillowcase over your head and make Caddyshack-like clay bombs in your flat.

    Where does denying socis come into play? Well probably somewhere between fascist and estatoot.

    I’ve spoken my mind about Catalanism before. It doesn’t affect me and so like Rick in Casablanca I will lean against a pillar in a jazzy club and smoke about it. “Interesante.” I appreciate the sentiments, which are real, and I appreciate the consequences, which are impractical. As Kxevin has said to me before, it’s a Romantic struggle. It’s an eternal conflict. It’s republica and fascism and oppression and resistance and conflict and harmony. There is so much to swoon over.

    But then there’s this part, too. This exclusivity. Once you’re for something so strongly, you need something to go up against. It can be Franco. It can be the Moncloa. It could be MouMou. Then we say, Yea! But sometimes that clash of hard shiny surfaces sets off sparks. It can be Andalusia. It can be the crisis. It can be the club. Keep a safe distance and be careful you don’t get burned!

    • October 14, 2010

      Spot on, SoMa. The only real damage here is in global perception. The money ain’t worth it, or more correctly, the pittance that socis represent make the gesture fiscally palatable.

      Unemployment in Catalunya is roughly half that of Spain overall. The Million Catalan Marches are about more than independence, something that even the most aggrorad Catalan knows will never come. But it’s also an unfortunate fact that club and politics took a giant step toward each other, in my opinion, with today’s news.

      Were they always hugged up? Fo’ sho’. And whether that embrace of “good” vs “bad” is a simple matter of semantics is another question.

      • Stephen
        October 14, 2010

        Thanks for the write SoMa, beautiful. and most importantly right…

  11. blitzen
    October 14, 2010

    Can anyone clarify the part about being under 14-years of age? Does that mean children of (shudder) foreigners can still become members?

    • October 14, 2010

      I wondered about that. I haven’t seen the text of the relevant statute yet, but I can’t imagine that’s what it means. Would be interesting if that was what it meant however, right?

      • blitzen
        October 14, 2010

        It would instantly become the most popular birthday present for Japanese and Korean children, if that was the case. But I’m certain it’s not.

  12. sheena
    October 14, 2010

    Sure, not every fan around the globe had the intention of becoming a soci, but the fact always remained that IT WAS AN OPTION. We knew that should we save up enough, or have the oppurtunity to, we COULD become an official member of our beloved club. The fact that they’ve basically exiled their non catalan supporters in order to “protect what the club represents” is disgusting. I had been so set on becoming a soci next year. Guess that’ll never happen now.

  13. October 14, 2010

    From Alfons Godall on Facebook:

    First, the current board rolls up its sleeves to dirty the most successful, Catalanist and global management in the [club’s] history. Now they renounce strategic projects of the future, like the development of the patrimony of Les Corts and the New Camp Nou and, now, they want to make a Club of elites for relatives and old members!! This will be worse than the dictatorship of Franco!

    Yes, Godall has a horse in this race, in that he took a shellacking from Rosell in the election, and there is a MASSIVE dose of hyperbole in this last bit of the comment, but still. Wonder when (or if) Laporta will weigh in. Negative comments about it might damage his future role as King of Catalunya.

  14. Helge
    October 14, 2010

    We knew it, right? At least the majority of us saw this coming when Rosell was elected(!) new president – with the biggest amount of votes (in percentages) ever!
    It’d be interesting to see how many socis voted and where they come from. As Kxevin mentioned, Rosell didn’t hide his intention to catalanize the members and the statutes of “our” beloved club. So the question is, who is to blame? Rosell? The people that voted for him? The people that voted for him and want FCB to become a pure Catalan club and symbol?
    For me, this development shows more than anything else that FC Barcelona is ‘Més que un Club’. For (most of) the Cataln socis, it is about the dream of becoming an independent nation.
    Anyway, this is a highly questionable decision, and the fear of Rosell that some day FCB might be overtaken by non-Catalans is unreal. I mean, how many non-Catalan socis are there today? Less than 5%? There wouldn’t have been 50.000 new foreign club membership requests just because we’re (have been?) in the probably most succesful period of the club. Most of the newly gained fans will be gone with the wind when the success starts to disappear.

    I personally condemn this new policy of the club but they cannot take away my love for the football that we play.

  15. blitzen
    October 14, 2010

    This is really a tough one for me. One the one hand, I understand the cultural and political roots of this club. I understand and support Catalan pride and the way FC Barcelona represents that. I understand the concerns about the escalating number of members and the issues around waiting lists and access to tickets. On the other hand, I dislike exclusivity, elitism, and old-boys networks. Oh, and racism, or should we call this xenophobia?

    The part that leaves a bad taste in my mouth is this: “be first or second degree relative of a person who is a partner, …..or have been a member previously” Which basically means you can only be a member of “our” club if you are already a member of our club. Or have inherited the correct genes. As Kxevin points out, this excludes even local Catalans if they haven’t already signed up. What on earth is the point of that? Aren’t those the very people they should be targetting to sign up and support the club? That makes no sense to me at all. And, bizarrely, children are welcome but not their parents.

    Wouldn’t a better approach have been to restrict full membership to residents of Catalunya (without regard to actual nationality)? That would cut down on those pesky foreigners snapping up season tickets and send a strong message of support to the local fanbase. I might not have been thrilled if that had happened, but I can’t honestly say I would have had a huge problem with it. But this? This is elitism, and it sucks.

    • imransuhail
      April 22, 2013

      there is no cultural and political roots. joan gamper was not a cule or spaniard

  16. Hilal
    October 14, 2010

    Well this sucks, but lets face it, this is one of the things Rosell stressed in his campaign and he won the election based partly on doing this. That would imply that the majority of club voters agree with this course of action. Like it or not, thats what happens in a democratic organisation when you put the power in the hands of the voters. This was one of Rosell’s election promises, he won the election as a result and is now fulfilling that promise. Do I like it, certainly not, but he is only doing what he promised his voters he would do.

    I am not Catalan so I cannot pretend to know how they identify with this club, but I imagine it is alot more strongly than any non-catalan could imagine. If they want to keep the club membership Catalan, well I suppose that is their right as voters. It certainly won’t stop me from loving the club and supporting them as much as I did before.

    • blitzen
      October 14, 2010

      Well that was my point above, they are not keeping the membership Catalan, they are restricting it to people (Catalan or not) who are already members or related to members. They are in fact excluding Catalans who may want to join but haven’t been able to in the past. Maybe they couldn’t afford it. There is a depression on, after all. But now even if they can afford it, they are excluded from joining the very club that supposedly represents them. Unless they are under 14. That’s just not right, no matter how you look at it.

      • Helge
        October 14, 2010

        Well, given that Rosell also closed the door for many Catalans, you cannot accuse him of pure xenophobia, but as you’ve said rather of ‘elitism’. I just wonder why current members and their descendants are more elite than anybody else.

  17. Eklavya
    October 14, 2010

    When is the no confidence vote again? Ah yes, in 7 years!

  18. Philo Barca
    October 14, 2010

    I’m not in favor of the decision, but it seems like people are mischaracterizing the intent.

    On the face, it is less about Catalanizing membership than making it exclusive and giving it a character as something other than a purchasable commodity. That, I believe, is why you see the exception for allowing children who are not related to current members to apply, so they can be “brought up as a member.”

    • Kxevin
      October 14, 2010

      I think that exception is in error, and will be fixed. Otherwise, you have a 14-year-old who becomes a soci, with a status bereft of the familial tradition and history associated with such a thing. We learn family history and tradition from our parents and other elders. So as the statute now reads, and as we (I believe) mistakenly understand it, a 14-year-old Russian boy could be given the gift of being a soci by his parents, who would presumably be sufficiently rabid fans who would make the value of such a thing clear.


      But you’re right in that as I have pointed out, it’s a gesture that is almost universally exclusionary.

  19. Jose
    October 14, 2010

    Rossell just keeps making this club harder and harder to love. 🙁

  20. Eklavya
    October 14, 2010

    BTW, why under 14? Why not under 18?

  21. October 14, 2010

    As expected after Cryuff, Rosell deals with us(the non-catalan fans). Next is the non-catalan kids in La Masia, especially those from Africa. He has already said that they are taking the places of “Our Youngsters”.

    October 14, 2010

    there are any catalans barca fans in this blog to tell their opinion?for me it s logical desicion.i am a member but i don.t know for how long.i can.t watch more than 2 games in a season live.i will support the club as a fan and financialy when i can.barca is catalonia.

    • October 14, 2010

      The only “danger” was the possibility that one sunny day people living in one block in Beijing would’ve said: Hey, let’s become Socis – and the next president of FCB would have been Xiangro Ryu-Sell. From that perspective, i could try to understand this logic…

      But, i wonder, do you know why initially Hans Joan Gamper founded FC Barcelona?

    • Kxevin
      October 14, 2010

      How can you support this as a “logical decision?” Support of this club via membership, or becoming a soci, is a big step. It isn’t some casual thing undertaken by folks who are willing to pony up EUR150 just to have early access to match tickets. And even if it has been, those people are already socis, and will remain thus.

      All that it does is restrict membership, and say to people “You can love this club, but only so much.”

      Barca is NOT Catalunya. Barca has become a symbol of Catalunya. Learn your history. Of the 11 original founders (Walter Wild, Lluís d’Ossó, Bartomeu Terradas, Otto Kunzle, Otto Maier, Enric Ducal, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol, Josep Llobet, John and William Parsons), fewer than half were Catalan.

      There is a lot of weight placed on the Franco years, a time that has, rightly or wrongly, come to define the club. It is true that during those years, matches were like a Catalan speakeasy, where you could go to be Catalan and support the club that was, in effect, your national team.

      But that time has long passed, and the club has been moving toward becoming a global sports entity, one that can and has been existing outside of the nationalist leanings of its supporters and board members.

      So. Can a non-Catalan love Barca in the same way that a Catalan can? Most emphatically yes. Because just as all Catalans don’t support independence, there are non-Catalans who care very deeply about the struggle of that region for its independence.

      So more correctly, Barca is in Catalunya, Barca is the unofficial national team of Catalunya, Barca is inextricably linked to Catalan politics and causes. But Barca is also a global sports entity that does its thing on the world stage. If it wants to become insular, that’s another matter altogether, but ask yourself how many shirts Athletic Bilbao has sold in Asia.

      On the surface, the club has taken this decision for reasons that are as yet unclear. We are reading all sorts of motives into it. For me, it’s something more basic: Somebody who loves this club can’t show that love in one of the the purest ways that a fan can.

      And that, my friend, is nonsense.

      • poipoi
        October 14, 2010

        well, I’m spanish non-catalan and my family is both spanish and catalan, fifty-fifty. What I always liked about barça is how they deserve to be the best team in Spain (and Europe IMO) and old ugly EE gets all credit playing horribly. Right now everything is changing but years before in terms of CL’s the count was like 9-1. And we still played better 😀

        I love barça to the bone mainly because how they have always played no politics going on there, other than showing centralist madrid who the boss is and how the game is played. Now with no raul and a FCB core Spain is world champion, barça is the best we live in a dream and now COMES THIS SANDRUSCO DUDE TO SAY WE ARE BROKE BESIDES XENOFOBIC OR SOMETHING? Laporta independentism and now this sandro crazyness is testing my culerism… thank god we still have the players we have.

        • October 14, 2010

          I am not talented as Isiah or whoever writes the plays on the blog, but i’ll do my bit with a four-liner named: The foundation of FC Barcelona

          Catalunya, 1899.

          Hans: Hi, can i play with you?
          FC Catalan Bad Asses: No, estranjero, screw you!
          Hans: Viel Danke. I guess i will have to form a club here, so that we can play some football…


          I know, it ain’t funny… Nor it was meant to be 🙁

    • Ryan
      October 14, 2010

      Are you really going to go the “non-Catalans aren’t real fans” route, Greece Barca? I thought we were done with that silliness after the Arsenal trolls left.

      Not that it matters, but as a guy with half his family from Barcelona (although my grandpa is “de Espanyol” for some crazy reason), I’m really upset with this decision. Rosell really seems to want to make his mark on the club, but with all the wrong decisions.

  23. Suresh
    October 14, 2010

    I really feel sorry for those fan’s of Barcelona who feel let down by their club and the feeling is completely justified. A club should be ready to embrace it’s fan’s with open hands & not try to hypocritical while deciding who can really be a socio, as such discrimination undermines the love & contribution of such loving fans.

    • October 14, 2010

      Suresh, exactly! It is pathetic that now we will become like you, the fans of other clubs. And that sounds disgracefully a downfall.

  24. October 14, 2010

    Spot on. You’ve all summed it up already, and i have verry little to add up:

    1. The membership is not closed, it just became more expensive: You pay once a fee of 150+ EUR for your little brother, sister, or cousin to become a member, and then you become one.

    2. The talking of the better chance to get a seat at the Camp Nou is yada yidi yada b-shit. I became a member because i wanted to show my (fiscal) affection to the club, as Kxevin noted.

    3. Obviously, the most important thing nowadays is to have 5.000.000 “likes” on Facebook.

    4. Sad. And i did my bit in informing the Macedonian cules that they’ll have to be adopted by me to get a chance to become members.

    5. Sad, once again. Gamper must be turning in his grave… But hey, “Tots som el Barca” and “Tant se val d’on venim”…

    • Kxevin
      October 14, 2010

      Batman makes a good point, which is why I think that the rest of this business will become clearer. Because as it stands, any family with a young’un can sign up the kid, and as family members of a socio, they too can join.

      It is just my belief that membership should be open to anyone who loves the club enough to want to support it in that way. I don’t see the point of restrictions. Not every soci will join the season ticket waitlist, or even be able to attend matches. But loving a club is deeper than buying a shirt.

      • blitzen
        October 14, 2010

        “Because as it stands, any family with a young’un can sign up the kid, and as family members of a socio, they too can join. ”

        Yeah, I’m sure we’re not getting this part right. There will probably be some kind of restrictions that a member can’t sponsor someone else until they are 14, or 18, or something like that.

        And it penalizes the childless. Boo.

  25. jordi(TM)
    October 14, 2010


    “tots som el barca”.Sandro been reading animal farm huh?

  26. poipoi
    October 14, 2010

    don’t know what to say other than “IS THIS SHIT EVEN LEGAL?” ONLY FAMILY???” this stuff makes me sick. we are ruining all this I’m about to cry.

    • poipoi
      October 14, 2010

      sandro is an EE spy he wants to destroy us… I mean. Just look at his freakin face! Now he’ll make iniesta swear over the catalan flag or something.

      FCB has always been proud of its number of socis and besides the ass kicking “tot el camp” our hymn says things like these:

      – “tots units fem força” all together, united we are strong
      – “som la gent blaugrana, tant se val d’on venim si es del sud o del nord” we are the blaugrana people, no matter where we come from north or south.

      why? I don’t understand… sorry about the rant.

  27. blitzen
    October 14, 2010

    They may want to update the official website. From the Members area:

    “Currently, Barça is the football club with the most members in the world, and we want to keep on growing. Participate in the triumphs of the club by establishing the strongest link possible with Barça: Join the club as a member.”

    Let me fix it for them:

    “Currently, Barça is the football club with the most members in the world, and we want to nip that in the bud. Although you are no longer eligible to become one of the chosen few, we would like to invite you to participate in the triumphs of the club in the only way left to you: Buy our merchandise!”


    October 14, 2010

    no you don.t undestand me.i am not a member to watch games.i am going in 2 in season.i am just saying that my love for the club as a member,will be the same as a fan.and i don.t give a shit how shirts we sell in japan.if the catalans want barca be like bilbao i am ok with that,i respect the elections and democracy.if you are against make something and don.t talk only.

    • poipoi
      October 14, 2010

      if barça was bilbao, there would be no messi… or iniesta. no migueli no zubizarreta no txiki no goiko no hristo no laudrup no romario no koeman no figo no rivaldo no ronaldo no ronaldinho no deco no etoo… no txigrinskyiyiyi 😀

      • IS
        October 14, 2010

        Aside from the long list of players (you missed out Cruyff), we wouldn’t even be playing our world renowned brand of total football..

    October 14, 2010

    and about financials.madrid have 80.000 members.that.s it.and they are more rich than us.the members number have nothing to do with sales of shirts e.t.c

    • October 14, 2010

      What is this comparison with Madrid? I personally do not absolutely love Barca only for the sporting results… As a matter of a fact, i found my love for Barca in a period which was far from the golden age in the past 5-6 years…

      And the membership fee (200.000×150 EUR = 30 millions) is not enough to support the club’s existance, but still it can pay for one leg and one arm of Cesk. Ha-ha.

      It is not a question of money that the club will receive from members. It is a question of a gesture of the club towards it’s international fans that have… well, let’s say, slightly different vision of Barca’s Image than a family-by-blood society.

      We all have Barca’s DNA. At least, that is what it was legislatively untill now…

  30. poipoi
    October 14, 2010

    starting to calm down, I wanted to become a soci someday 🙁 I guess that bullsh*t of the 6 degrees of separation will have to work here with less degrees if you’re at least half catalan, I guess I’m lucky

    IMO what is key is: have the socis asked for this?

  31. October 14, 2010

    Hm… So I need to convince daddy and mommy to deliver a young little baby so I can become a Socio. Piece of cake!

    • October 14, 2010

      A small cousin would do the trick! (first OR second blood-line relative… imagine that :))) )

      Next step: Barca will no more have president, but HH the Pope 🙂

    October 14, 2010

    do you want hours to spend talking for that?it s a fact?ramzi if the members are against they will do a vote against rosell.end of story.

    • October 14, 2010

      Hm…ok…now that you said “end of story” I will cover my head and sleep…

  33. Auld Super
    October 14, 2010

    I said that Rosell will be the ruination of the club and I was right again. I was a member but stopped a few years ago for various reasons but have my pin so f**k Rosell and his stupid new rules, the guy is an asshole.

    • Auld Super
      October 15, 2010

      Looks like as I was a member I can rejoin whenever I like, result for Auld Super it seems, lol.

    October 14, 2010

    ok.if you want that i tell you.i support 20 years barca when i was 15.then barca was nothing with now in titles and global publicity.i loved the history of the club,the democracy the pride and all that who are barca for me.so don.t tell me again that i have no clue.i respect your opinion,respect mine.if you want to male irony to me ok.i will stay away from that.

    • October 14, 2010

      No I wasn’t making irony of you. I was serious.

      We are not talking about how much money membership generates. Nor about members love and fans passions.

      Anyway, I agree with you on one thing though:

      “if you are against make something and don.t talk only.”

      I may buy you a Messi shirt for this statement. I’ve been telling people that there is a need to do something before the big chaos since 2 years already. I warned (and wasted time and effort trying) but only received passive feedback.

      So yes, you are right. The thing is that I tried (and still trying) so (unlike some) I can complain a bit;)

      Have a nice day/night (I may go to Greece in December, so I won’t dare to make lot og Greek angry till then. not smart).

  35. cliveee
    October 14, 2010

    NEED A YOUNG BROTHER! ok! I am bummed because a 3 year old can be a socio while I can’t!

    Rosell deserves to step down already.

    • October 14, 2010

      That detail is still not clear. That’s why I will not have a talk with my parents yet.

  36. Helge
    October 14, 2010

    It really seems like any 14-year old or younger person of whichever nationality can become a club member. They want to “rejuvenate” the fans.

    • October 14, 2010

      No. They want to raise new fans in the coming 6 years who do not know anything about the pre-Sandro era.

  37. fcb
    October 14, 2010

    A small cousin won’t do the trick: cousin is no 1st or 2nd bloodline. Not even a small kid will do because the bloodline can only go down, not up. You should marry a soci, that’s the only way.

    • October 14, 2010

      F**k me in the ass and call me Sandro, but as i recall 1-st bloodline are brothers, sisters, parents – and second, cousins (i do not know the exact term in english about what exactly type of cousin to you is the child of your father’s sister (in Macedonia we say First Cousin).

      Or maybe i am wrong?

      And what exactly did you mean about the bloodline going only down? My child will be my bloodline, but i am not my fathers bloodline? 🙂 SANDRO IS THAT YOU SEEING THE FLAWS IN THE NEW RULES? :))))

      • fcb
        October 14, 2010

        You are wrong. I think bloodlines here mean “degrees”. Father is first degree, grandfather, brothers and sisters are second degree. The rest is out.

        Bloodline (degree) going up/down means: a member can make his son member, but a non-member can’t make his son member and then say “I’m first degree of a club member (my son), so I can join now too”. That last option is excluded.

      • fcb
        October 14, 2010

        Forgot to include (grand)mother. Wife/husband also counts.

    • October 14, 2010

      Actually, how is marrying a Soci making you blood relative to him/her and thus giving you the right to apply for membership?

      I cannot actually believe what are we discussing, since it is absurd as hell to me…

      Talking about (our 5 mil. on..) facebook, here’s an inciative… http://www.facebook.com/pages/NO-a-la-limitacion-de-las-inscripciones-de-socios-al-Futbol-Club-Barcelona/154416321263379?v=wall

      @Ramzi, instead of just having the right to “complain about it”, help other guys, who do care to get that right, to serve the cause in which we all believe in… I’m open to suggestions.

      • October 15, 2010

        Send me your email (or the Macedonian Penya email) on MaiLBarcelona(at)gmail(dot)com.

        I will email you some updates about what we are trying to do.

  38. ariston
    October 14, 2010

    i don’t really understand about this whole soci thing, so i just want some clarification.

    from my understanding, it means that most of the supporters won’t be able to be a member even if they want to right? how does this work in other clubs? what does it take to be a member in other clubs?

    • October 14, 2010

      Some clubs, you buy stocks/shares (which is completely different than Barca where members are not shareholders). In some other clubs you just cant as it is owned by one/two owners. Stocks are usually limited in number (unless if the club released more shares to increase capital). Unlike membership, you can sell your share to anyone else without major complexities.

      • ariston
        October 14, 2010

        meaning it used to be the case that anyone can be a barca member who has a say (or a power to vote) in the club?

        it really seems a stupid move in terms of global image.

  39. Kari
    October 14, 2010

    Some humor on a sad, sad day: the worst corner you’ll see in World Football.


    • ariston
      October 14, 2010

      let me add to that kari, hilarious penalty save/goal.


  40. Anton
    October 14, 2010

    This sucks. I was planning on joining. I love this club and feel like I am a part of it. Guess the higher ups wanted to make it clear that I am not. This sucks.

    • momo
      October 14, 2010

      Ya, I think its one of those things that you want when its gone haha.

  41. Colby
    October 14, 2010

    How come this isn’t being reported anywhere? Doesn’t anyone care? This should be front page news on any soccer website right now, this being an international break and all. Goal.com has nothing, the Guardian has nothing, Soccernet has nothing. If you search for it in google news all that comes up is a Bleacher Report article.

    • Rosell, fuera
      October 14, 2010

      Because all of those places are English-speaking websites, i.e. they will only “report” non-existent interviews and cry about how Arsenal’s beloved captain is being “tapped-up” by the evil ones from northeastern Spain.

      You shouldn’t care about those trashy sites.

  42. Colby
    October 14, 2010

    The following is from the bleacher report article:

    “Having dealt prompty with Cryuff and the non-Catalan members, Rosell most probably will sharpen his clutches to deal with the third item on his agenda – the non-catalan kids at La Masia. Prior to his election he made a statement arguing that these non-catalan(it looks like he has more problem with kids from Africa) was taking the places of “OUR YOUNGSTERS”. Yes, now it’s time to kick them away from the club. Surprisingly he doesn’t consider Messi as someone who took a place of a Catalan kid. I have no idea how he arrived at that distinction, may be the colour of his skin helped him in that. By electing him the club members have already endorsed that idea. We have to wait and watch how he plan to get this done. Meanwhile we could only hope and pray that these testing times will pass and the club will survive through this.”

    • blitzen
      October 14, 2010

      Yes, you see, when Messi was getting his growth hormone treatments he was also secretly injected with “Barca DNA”, to make him a real Catalan. So he doesn’t count.

      Of course, Iniesta isn’t Catalan either. Maybe Rosell would be happier if he had gone to Real Madrid?

  43. Dave
    October 14, 2010

    Have not read the article yet but am doing so now, just returned from a debate that included Jonathan Wilson and Philip Auclaire. Good stuff

  44. Andrew
    October 14, 2010

    Can I be the first to say, Happy Birthday, Isaiah.

  45. ajani
    October 14, 2010

    …and this american independentista won’t be able to become a soci as i’d hoped to do in 2 years.

    awesome…so much for tots units fem forca…

  46. momo
    October 14, 2010

    Slightly offtopic here guys but how inspirational is the last minute of this leo messi video? I swear I tear up every time I watch it….

  47. October 14, 2010

    For me, it’s simple: FC Barcelona, more than a club? Mmmm, not really. This proves they are *little* more than a club. A club gets to choose their members. That’s their right. That’s what FC Barcelona is doing, no more and no less.

    I’ll always love the way FC Barcelona plays soccer. I’ll still watch the matches. I’ll always admire their charitable work, but right now, they are nothing special to me. They are no better than any other exclusionary club of a social or sporting nature.

    If they don’t want me as a member, that’s fine, just don’t expect me to get all dewy-eyed for them anymore. If they don’t want me, well, I have other ways to spend my time and money.

    October 14, 2010

    ramzi if you come to greece i will be happy if we met and talk.there is nothing personal.i was out of my mind.just i don.t find logic a club have 10.000.000members and 100.000stadium.for me it s simple.they want to make new kids members and that.s good.people in barcelona are not in the streets now.so blame them no sandro.

  49. Luna
    October 14, 2010

    Sad day, sad day. What’s next on the list for Rossel, sigh

  50. Ramos
    October 14, 2010

    If you read the article on the website it also says “The board of directors are also looking for other ways to regulate the admission of new club members” wait and see if you are not Catalan you cannot join.

  51. Eduard
    October 14, 2010

    This is political, Catalans have always been a little mafioso so I hope you don’t take the Rosell thing personally. It doesn’t affect me because lots of my relatives are socios and I didn’t have any immediate plans to become a socio; although, one day I hope I can afford it. But the truth is, Rosell is a slippery piece of shit. And as you notice on the headlines of MundoDeportivo.es this morning Laporta started an assault on Rossels intergrity. Timely,? YOU BET! As a Catalan-born American-raised blaugrana I think it’s great that Nou Camp is a Catalan Flag Ship, however, I think we should try to be a club for people with excemplary values with a common sporting interest and not be exclusive, like Athletic Bilbao(they’er pretty babass though). All in all, I believe most Catalans think if you want to be a member and are willing to pay, become a member. Rosell can crawl up the ass he slipped out of.

  52. Lisa N
    October 15, 2010

    There goes my chance of ever being a member, though I live overseas.
    The new rule has kind of put me off. Screw U Rosell.

  53. October 15, 2010

    they might take some measures regarding the discriminated fans and implement some crappy chelsea-like “fan cards” system. It’s all about the Benjamins, so do not worry, they will find a way to “keep you satisfied”.

    I do not understand this nonsense, even hours after the first shock! I mean, if the main reason was to have a seat for the members, they could’de make lottery, to be fair, and if that was not the case, then they could’ve also say: this 30.000 seats are for members, and they wil rotate each month. In this scenario, once a year each member would get a chance to see at least 3-4 home games for sure /except El Classico. Other solution, if they are so worried about the elder members (even though that’s not what they say): tell everyone that has the Soci # from 104.000 untill nowadays (by example) that they can fuck themselves because it’s an ugly world and there ain’t no democracy, because only the first 100.000 members will get a chance to “enter the ticket lottery”… etc etc

    But it’s not about the tickets.

  54. Chelsea FC
    October 29, 2010

    More than a club eh? This hardly surprise me…

  55. rainbow84uk
    November 7, 2010

    Amszingly as a culé living in Barcelona, I’ve only just come across this change of policy today. I’ve supported Barça for years now and last season started going regularly to matches and looking into making myself a soci, but I didn’t have the money. Today I started thinking about it again and decided to do it for 2011 – not for the discounts or the goody bag or any other stupid reason, but because I truly feel culé and being a member would make me incredibly proud. So, not remembering exactly how much it cost, I went to check the website and got a huge shock.

    Gutted is not the word. If I’d thought about it a month earlier, I could be a soci now. As far as I know, this hasn’t been widely reported at all here and I’ve certainly not heard anyone complaining about it.

    I can kind of understand the desire to make membership a bit more exclusive…just stumping up the 150 a year wasn’t the toughest of requirements; after all, for many people that isn’t all that much money (not that I have that kind of cash to throw around on a whim!)

    However, there must be thousands of fans like me who live in Catalunya – some indeed born and bred here – who never miss a match, wear their shirt with pride and regularly pay good money to go to matches and support the team at Camp Nou, but who are not related to a current member. I’ve lived here for 5 years, am quite strongly pro-Catalunya and speak pretty fluent Catalan. However I am English and clearly don’t have any Catalan family at all, so unless I marry a member, I will never become a soci.

    How things can change so radically from one week to the next is mindblowingly baffling. Shameful, shameful decision.

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