Since 2015, the movement has become considerably more international, with almost 150 penyes in all five continents
The FC Barcelona Supporters’ Clubs World Confederation is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its foundation. Created to unite and drive support for Barça around the world, in its first five years the organisation has established solid, effective management of all of its supporters’ clubs, modernising and fostering the role of penyes in their communities. The Confederation now contains 1,265 supporters’ clubs and 170,000 supporters.
After renewing the agreement signed with FC Barcelona last year, the Confederation now has full control over its budgetary affairs. The aim now is to boost the activities of its 30 Federations and their respective penyes. It shall also continue to develop the Penyes s. XXI strategic plan, focused on international expansion, fostering sport, modernising penyes, driving charity work and taking the Club closer to its supporters, among other things.
Increased global presence
The most exponential growth has been internationally. In its first five years, the Confederation has gone from having 80 official international penyes to a total of 146. Through the World Federation, the Confederation has always been there to support its international fans, encouraging them to export the values of the supporters’ movement, spread the passion for Barça around the globe and ensure the team is always well supported wherever it travels.
‘Penyes’ driving sport
One of the most important projects has been Penyes i Esport, which fosters sporting activity among penyes, especially for younger members. The Junts+ program has been especially important, as has the work done on youth football through the Agrupació de Futbol de Clubs i Penyes del FC Barcelona, which brings together different penyes in the metropolitan area. There is also the Penyes Pàdel Tour, played by clubs around the country and currently in its second edition. The eSports world is also represented in the form of the Penyes Futbol Games, which involves Pro Evolution Soccer tournaments.
Charity, part of the identity
The Confederation has boosted the movement’s charity work by setting up a Solidarity Board, either to run its own actions or support those by its penyes. Programs have included the hosting of refugees in cooperation with Red Cross in Catalonia, the Member Solidarity Day to collect for the Food Bank, the “Invulnerables” campaign to support children at risk, organised by Sister Lucía Caram, and many other events and activities, which are greater in number every year, and which surpassed 500 last season.
Towards a new kind of penya
The modernisation of penyes has been one of the biggest challenges, seeking to create more open, dynamic penyes that are committed to the communities around them, and working to give them a fresher, more attractive image. The new headquarters of the Federació de Penyes del Barcelonès Est is the kind of thing that needs to be gradually introduced. The idea is for the Confederation to make qualitative advances, intensifying the social role played by its penyes and making them even more appealing to Barça fans.
More active printed and digital communication
The Confederation’s progress has been depicted on the pages of the Blaugranes magazine, eleven issues of which have been published to date. It has been consolidated as the must-read publication for finding out what’s happening inside the movement. There is also a new-look website to offer an even fuller service to supporters’ clubs, where they can make transactions and get all the news and information about the movement. On social networks, there is now an Instagram account that has gained almost 2,000 followers in its first year.
The Confederation is ready to continue evolving over the next few years. Antoni Guil, its president, says that “we are full of hope for the future, pleased with the way these first five years have gone and firmly committed to continuing to expand our presence around the world. We believe in the penya as the unconditional soul of our teams and also as representatives of the Barça values. We have been driving determinedly forward for a hundred years, and there is still a long road ahead, but we are doing so alongside the greatest Club in the world”.