PB Polska: A 2,000km distance, but exactly the same feeling
REPORTS 08 Jan 2020 - Supporters' Clubs World Confederation
The Polish association has experienced unprecedented growth: it started out with just 70 supporters but now, 19 years later, it has amassed over one thousand
Many years ago, a group of Polish friends began meeting up, full of excitement, in order to watch FC Barcelona matches together. Despite the distance, they all felt a connection to the Club’s tradition, values and playing style. What they didn’t know was that the Barça seed had already been planted, and that it would give them a colour, a euphoria and a sense of solidarity that, over time, would become a part of their lives.
Being aware that they weren’t the only ones in the country following every step of the blaugrana team with such enthusiasm, the group of friends decided to create the first FC Barcelona supporters’ club in Poland. Their objective was to bring together all those people who shared that same emotion and passion, match after match. And that’s how Fan Club Barça Polska was born in 2005.
A distance shortened by emotion
The formation of the first Polish supporters’ club didn’t happen overnight; it was the result of the combined effort of the many Barça fans who wanted to share their passion. As a result of their commitment, the supporters’ club was made official one year after its creation. In 2006, the organisation was recognised as a penya by FC Barcelona.
According to their President, Pawel Kolodziejski, one of the defining characteristics of PB Polska is the growth they’ve experienced: “It was created thanks to 70 blaugrana fans and, today, membership numbers have reached over one thousand”, he commented with pride. In fact, thanks to this constant growth, it has become one of the supporters’ clubs with the greatest number of members, with over 1,500 blaugrana fans.
An unstoppable supporters’ club
Like all supporters’ clubs, the Polish organisation enjoys watching their team play. Nevertheless, getting everyone together for the occasion is a real challenge for them: “We take into account the fact that the supporters’ club has members all over the country and, for that reason, we don’t often organise official events for watching matches. They are organised on a local level instead; our members organise their own meet-ups in small groups”, explains Kolodziejski.
However, this dynamic changes every time FC Barcelona faces their arch-rival: “When El Clásico is coming up, we choose a city and we organise a huge get together, not just to watch the match, but also to revitalise activities for supporters across the whole weekend”, he adds. This initiative has previously brought together more than 300 blaugrana fans at the same time, and it is growing year on year.
Following the Club with emotion
The supporters’ club considers itself one of the most active in the whole movement. And, with no doubt, it is so. It has its own football team that often organises tournaments for its members. It also promotes fifteen trips away every year to support the first team, primarily for Champions League matches. Those journeys strengthen the bonds of the supporters’ club and it gives the fans an opportunity to experience something truly special.
Some of those tours will remain forever engraved in the memory of Polish fans. For example, the journey made by the organisation in 2009, when they visited Camp Nou to watch the first team play against Seville, in a match which saw the scoreboard swing in favour of the blaugranas with an explosive 4-0. “The result, the emotion and everything we experienced on that tour made the 27-hour bus trip there and the 27-hour bus trip back worth it,” recalls the President, highly satisfied once again.