Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Barcelona what happened?

Barcelona, mes que un club. (More than a club) This phrase is emblazoned upon the Camp Nou and ties together the players, fans, executive, city, and Catalonia. Barcelona have represented what a football club should be. They play attractive winning football and have an excellent youth academy programme. Until 5 years ago they had nothing on their uniforms except for their logo until they reached a deal to pay Unicef to put the Unicef logo on their kits. In my mind this was a big snub to the millions of dollars of potential sponsorship dollars and a challenge to other clubs to do the same. There were a few other clubs that adopted charities on their kit, but there was no revolution. Barcelona were alone amongst the big clubs again giving the feeling that they truly were more than a club.

Last month there were four match ups between Real Madrid & Barcelona across 3 competitions. As you know by in large the football public was disappointed in what we received. There were a few moments of brilliance that delighted us, but largely overshadowed by general nastiness (on and off the field) and a lot more play acting than we are used to seeing. I am well aware that there is a lot of fake injuries in football today, and I am not going to pretend that this is limited to one club, country, or league. However when you are being mentioned as potentially one of the greatest sides in the history of the game, then you should be able to get past your arch rivals without resorting to faking head injuries in the hopes of getting an opponent sent off. I know that there are worse offenders etc etc, all I am saying is that with the eyes of the football world all on Barcelona they didn't impress, in fact they embarrassed.

The champions league final is still to come, with Barcelona getting a chance to redeem itself with a beautiful performance at Wembley, but another aspect of the club is gone forever. Barcelona unveiled their uniform for next season, no longer is Unicef across the front. It has been replaced by the Qatar Foundation. The Qatar Foundation paid 125M pounds to have their name on Barcelona's shirts for the next 5 seasons. So now they are just like every other club in football. To me it seems that football as well as Barcelona have lost something. I know that in the new financial world money is scarce and the money will no doubt ensure that they can continue to pay inflated transfer fees and wages to remain competitive at the highest level. With a sponsor on their kit, they have joined the rest of the football world as a club. They are still a great club, but they are mes que un club no more.

1 comment:

Adt said...

Agreed, the most definitely made a mockery of the game and themselves. The made a lot more enemies than friends in the last month.

You know something is wrong if a club makes Mourinho look rational... and that is what Farca did.