102 years of Barça supporters’ clubs: an increasingly global movement
NEWS 21 Jul 2021 - Supporters' Clubs World Confederation
Since 1919, the Barça Penyes collective ensures the club’s teams are supported wherever they go in the world. The World Confederation and regional Federations have been key elements in its expansion.
With about 1,260 entities and more than 163,000 supporters around the world, the FC Barcelona supporters’ clubs movement is more alive than ever and continues to expand across the five continents. It is not something that every collective with 102 years of history can say: an anniversary that is commemorated today, 21 July, and that underlines the strong bond that connects the supporters’ clubs with the history of FC Barcelona.
A journey of 102 years that began with a gathering of Barça fans at the stadium on Carrer Industria (Barcelona) in 1919, and that was officially recorded by the Club as the first supporters’ club event. Since then, the movement has not stopped growing and has been expanding and intensifying its sporting, social and charitable activities wherever it is present. All this with one clear common denominator: passion for the Blaugrana colours and the adoption and dissemination of the values represented by the Barça family.
Resilient and global
These values have come to the fore in recent months, as has the ability of the supporters’ clubs to adapt to any situation and overcome adversity unscathed. The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily prevented them from providing their support in-person from the stands and pavilions, but they have focused on helping those most in need and on the well-being of everyone in any way they can. An activity in which the Penyes, the Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation and its respective regional Federations have also played an important role.
There is another phenomenon, fostered by the combined action of the Confederation and the World Federation of penyes, which not even the pandemic has been able to stop: international expansion. In recent years, not only has the Penyes movement gone from strength to strength in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain, but it has also been able to establish itself all over the world. In Asia and Africa the number of official supporters’ clubs has grown significantly, though there continue to be more and more in Europe as well as in the Americas.
This not only shows how the passion for Barça and the values it represents crosses borders and cultures, but also ensures all of the Club’s teams will feel support wherever they go in the world. A role that the supporters’ clubs carry out enthusiastically and unconditionally: wherever a Barça team is playing, there will be a supporter in the stands.
Digitalization: Focus on eSports
Since its creation, the Confederation been firmly committed to the modernization and digitalization of the supporters’ club movement, as a priority objective. The consolidation of eSports among the youngest supporters is a clear example of this, first with the Penyes Futbol Games tournaments held in Catalonia and, since the arrival of the pandemic, with the eSports Penyes app around the world.