. More Than A Song......
"Barca!" was written in 1974 to celebrate FC Barcelona's 75th anniversary. A great song for sure, but penned under the rule of a Spanish dictatorship on its last legs, after 40 years of power. And whilst the corrupt Franco regime had done lots of bad things to the entire population of Spain, nowhere had its vengeance against those who had stood, fought and died for democracy and freedom been harsher than in Catalunya, and its capital city, Barcelona.
But despite the oppression - including the bricking up of the Catalan Parliament, the execution and exiling of its leaders, and the banning of the Catalan language and the the Catalan flag - throughout, a safe haven for the people had been the terraces of FC Barcelona. Even attempts by the dictatorship to crush the club on the field through direct funding of its main rival, Real Madrid, plus the bribery and intimidation of officials and more had failed.
So listen the words of this rousing tune in this context. Yes a celebration of 75, now over a century of a fantastic football club, but more than this. More than a club. Mes.
That is just one - but the big - reason I will be supporting Barcelona tonight against Chelsea, and I hope beyond in the Champions League final in Rome next month. And the contrast between the fast flowing expansive football of a club owned and ran by its own members - its "Socis" 160,000 strong - and the grinding dull output of the personal plaything of a foreign billionaire could not be greater.
And whilst most Chelsea fans have thankfully moved on, amongst them will be a not insignificant band of racists and neo-fascists, who would have been well at home in the Falange of General Franco - they still even use his salute.
So Samsung or UNICEF? Democracy or dictatorship? Football from the community or bought in football - bought in with dodgy money.?
........I'm with the original, and forever, Peoples' Club!
- Et Viva la Quinte Brigada!