Saturday, November 14, 2009

Barça, a 'wonderful rarity' - part 2 (by Agustí Benedito)

Barcelona presidential candidate Agustí Benedito published on Monday an opinion piece in Catalan newspaper El Periódico.

If we look at the official data, Barcelona is going through a very good moment: at a sporting level, we are living the most glorious period in history, with a coach, Pep Guardiola, who is loved by everyone and with a team mainly made up of players that were formed at the academy and are admired around the world.

Economically, Barça is one of the leading clubs, which allows it to be competitive in the transfer market when trying to recruit the best players; socially, the growth, with over 170,000 club members and millions of fans around the world, cannot be discussed. And finally, the agreement with UNICEF has given Barça an extraordinary cultural and human dimension.

So there is reason to be proud of being Barcelona fans. And yet, there is a persistent and perceptible murmur, that expresses a kind of discontent and unrest which might seem contradictory to such a positive moment. But there is no contradiction. What happens is that this situation is something superficial and does not serve to fully capture and explain the state of mind of the fans.

This background noise that is heard and that expresses a quite general unrest is the consequence of a growing disaffection, to use a concept that has been used in other domains. At Barça, as in the whole of society, there is a crisis that is not really a crisis of values but that is, above all, a crisis of behaviours, a crisis of responsibilities and a crisis of social participation.

The way to experience the club and to identify ourselves, as members, with the current leadership structure has been seriously upset. This is what we need to consider restoring, it's the task we most urgently have to deal with.

The club members are the owners of the club. In my opinion this is the key element starting from which the existing unrest should be resolved. Barça is a democracy and it is therefore understandable that it suffers the same problems, or at least similar ones, that affecting the western democracies.

It is an unrest caused by the lack of transparency, social participation and representativeness of the governing bodies. The social demands don't find adequate or sufficient ways of expression because the existing ones are out of date or not binding. That's why there is a serious crisis of legitimacy. The legal option is unsatisfactory and has become an excuse rather than an argument.

We need a change of culture. We needed a profound change that promotes a new way of living the daily reality of Barça, we need a club management that is more transparent, more honest and more participatory. And this should be a bottom-up movement. The members should make this happen. It should be a change for the members, yes, but it should above all be a change by the members. In a few months, we will have the chance to do this. So let's go!

this is the second and last part of this opinion piece. you can read the first part here.

Read more:
Agusti Benedito to run for president
Introducing Benedito (five-parts series)

picture: germán rodríguez rosas


  1. This article sounds more like a girly diary. I am not sure if its a smart way to promote himself.

  2. It's an opinion piece for a newspaper of course, should keep that in mind, Ramzi.

    I sure think he's hitting the nail about the fact that despite the fact that while if you look at it objectively things have never been going better, at the same time (and he's of course talking about what happens in Catalonia) there's nevertheless a feeling of discomfort.

    Don't know if his analysis of the reason for that feeling is correct though. The reasoning seems not really well thought-through. One can do better than that.

    But he's starting to get some positive comments and is scoring his points. Although he still needs a whole lot more to be even considered a more or less serious contender.

    And you for sure know interesting girls... ;)