Record figures for World Congress of Supporters’ Clubs and centenary of the movement feature in latest edition of ‘Blaugranes’ magazine
NEWS 15 Oct 2019 - Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation
Tenth issue of the journal published by the Confederation looks at the latest news from Barça supporters’ clubs and its developments in recent years
The Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation has published its latest edition of Blaugranes magazine, the tenth, and mainly focuses on the 40th World Congress of Supporters’ Clubs held last August in the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya. The record number of participants felt that this was an unprecedented Congress that will go down in history. No fewer than 1,400 people registered for the institutional day that reviewed the year gone by, there were 1,000 people at the Gala Lunch including the FC Barcelona board of directors, and 900 guests attended the gathering dinner the night before.
The Congress activities also went down a storm, with 400 children competing in the 14th 7-a-Side Football Tournament, which was packed with excitement, goals and fair play. Some twenty players took part in the videogame competition, showing how esports are also becoming a major area for bonding between supporters. The card competition was the biggest yet, with 71 pairs entering, and the Masters Finals of the Penyes Paddle Tour were also very well received.
As happens every year, the new signings to the football first team also appeared in the Palau de Congressos, in this case Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Neto Murara and Junior Firpo, the latter on the day he was signed, as well as B team player promoted to senior level Moussa Wagué, all of whom got a first-hand feel for the unconditional support they will be enjoying at this Club, and in the build-up to the Joan Gamper Trophy match against Arsenal.
Penyes, one hundred years old
The tenth edition of the magazine also includes a special feature on the centenary of the Barça supporters’ clubs movement. The event has been a turning point for the history of the movement, a chance to admire it growth, evolution and constant activity that has achieved legendary status. Readers can enjoy a timeline of the most important moment across these 100 years and also read special articles that look in greater depth at certain events, all supported by wonderful archive photography.
The first documented mention of a Barça supporters club dates back to July 1919 when the term “Penya Barcelonista” featured in an FC Barcelona official publication. The supporters’ club was allowed to use the Carrer Indústria ground to hold a dance for the players and fans. The first officially recognised Penya would not be formed until 1944, the Penya Solera, and by 1957 the different clubs were able to parade at the newly opened Camp Nou.
The major growth in Catalonia and elsewhere in Spain came in the 80s and 90s, and especially in 1992 when the team won the European Cup at Wembley. A decade later, internationalisation was the prominent trend, boosted by the rise to stardom of Messi and the huge numbers of trophies won year after year. The Penyes movement was fully professionalised in 2015 with the creation of the Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation which now includes 1.247 official penyes with 164,113 members around the world, making the heart and soul of Barça, and which is sure to persist for at least another 100 years.
Three clubs in depth
As usual, the magazine also looks in depth at the history of three of the official supporters’ clubs, exploring their origins, their secrets and their anecdotes. This month’s trio are PB Trinitat Vella from Catalonia, PB Melilla from the Spanish enclave in North Africa, and the PB Polska from Poland.
This edition of Blaugranes ends with the usual round-up of the latest news from the movement in recent months.