One and half thousand penyes attend 40th World Congress of Supporters’ Clubs
NEWS 04 Aug 2019 - Supporters' Clubs World Confederation
At Congress, the Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation presents agreement with Vueling for the next three season
The 40th World Congress of Supporters’ Clubs, the multitudinous event that brings together Barça fans from all around the world, culminated this morning at the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya with the celebration of its institutional day. Organised by the Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation, the meeting brought together 1,500 supporters’ clubs from five continents, a record that shows just how consolidated and professional the Barça supporters movement has become in recent years. The visitors represented 525 clubs from all corners of the world, including Russia, Japan, Brazil, Morocco, Colombia, Panama, Cuba, and others.
This year, the Congress coincided with the start of the centenary of the movement, as honoured by Antoni Guil, President of the Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation, in his speech: “This commemoration is recognition of all the people who have made this possible, but is also to make ourselves heard and to project a solid image of ourselves towards the future. We have overcome difficulties of all kinds and we have been able to adapt to the times and the environment, always guided by a constructive spirit of unequivocal support and defence wherever we are of FC Barcelona’s values and our Catalan identity.”
Work day with social and international flavour
As usual, the initial part of the Congress featured a work session led by the presidents of the 30 Territorial Confederations, which represent the clubs around the world. Throughout several interventions, the main conclusions of the 2018-2019 season were presented, as well as the goals for the next one.
The Penya movement is getting bigger and bigger, and currently has more than 1,245 clubs and 164,000 members around the world. With the objective of making Barça more visible and promoting its values throughout the territory, the clubs have organised more than 2,000 activities during the 2018/2019 season, with a special focus on charity, the promotion of culture and the Barça legacy, as well as fostering sport among supporters.
The day highlighted the major growth of the Penyes in the international arena. At present, almost 90% of new officially recognised clubs are from outside of Catalonia and Spain, such that there are now 134 international clubs spread across 65 countries. This impulse is reflected in the increased amount of support of that our teams are getting as they travel around the world.
Club’s commitment and presentation of the new signings
Once again, those attending the Congress were able to get acquainted with the new Barça signings for the coming season, namely Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong, Neto Murara, Junior Firpo and Moussa Wagué who got first-hand experience of the unconditional support they will be receiving here, and just a few hours before they appear in the Joan Gamper Trophy against Arsenal.
The event was not to be missed by the President of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, who was joined by board members Jordi Cardoner i Casaus, first vice president, who as the head of the Barça Foundation emphasised the current 25th anniversary of the organisation; and Pau Vilanova, board member responsible for Penyes.
Vueling, new sponsor of the Confederation
The Congress was also the setting for the presentation of the new partnership between the Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation and Vueling, which becomes the first exclusive sponsor of the organisation. The airline belonging to the IAG group and leading operator at Barcelona airport is thus demonstrating its support for the ‘Penyes’ movement and sport in general, in line with its commitment to society.
By means of the agreement, Vueling will be the airline of choice for the more than 1,245 Penyes and the 164,000 people belonging to them, who go on such vast numbers of trips throughout the year to follow the FC Barcelona team. Furthermore, Vueling will offer discounts and advantages for all the ‘culé’ supporters.