Barcelona Football Club

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Barcelona Football Club Business Environment

Barcelona Football Club Business Environment


At the beginning of 2003, Barca fired for the second time, Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal, the author of the variance of the Bosman trauma in Barcelona, while the team was barely a couple of points of the demotion zone, instead of fighting for the first spots of La Liga de las Estrellas. Then Barca remained without winning any titles for three years. In the new period, the club went through a revolution, a new board presided by young attorney Joan Laporta was installed, a new Dutch (the third in Barca's history) coach, Frank Rijkaard, was named, and a massive hiring of international stars (Deco, Eto' 0, teenager Messi, among the novelties), led by Brazilian Ronaldinho, was undertaken. Significantly, in contrasts with Van Gaal's era, only one Dutch player (Giovanni Van Bronkhors) was initially signed up, and a second (Van Bommel) stayed only one season.

The result of the successful recent years has been a match for the golden era presided by the coaching of Johan Cruiff in the early 90s. In 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 Barca captured the League twice, after three years of being surpassed by Real Madrid (twice) and Atletico, and the EUFA Cup once. But then the team was relegated to secondary posts for five straight years (1999-2004). The Ronaldinho-led resurrection came with two Spanish league titles in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006, and the golden prize of the second European Champions league in its history, won against Arsenal in May of 2006 in Paris. The balance of a decade and half since 2000 has been overall good, with 7 titles out of 16 won by FC Barcelona, for 4 by Madrid. So, moderately rephrasing my previous diagnose that globalization and Europeanization had impacted negatively the fabric of the team; the new evaluation is now that the experience has been good.

Surprisingly, it has not only kept its peculiar Catalan identity, but it has increased its specificity and exceptionalism in the overall Spanish panorama. Globalization and pan-Europeanism have expanded and have given new meaning to the genuine motto of "more than a club". Barca, for the first time in history, has allowed publicity to be placed on the players shirts, but instead of charging for the service, the club actually made an agreement to pay almost $2 million to the apparent sponsor, UNICEF.

However, realist meditation considering a prevalent assessment of the globalization trend in which football is enmeshed advises a touch of caution. The good feeling is probably attributed to the spectacular sporting success. Analytical voices point out that local loyalty for the home team, in the absence of local players, is closely link to winning. Loosing with a majority of alien players is something that the European clubs are not accustomed. Only time will say if the trend is permanent. Meanwhile, logic seems to point out that this is the case.

In spite of the recent sporting and financial successes, it still reflects on the impact of the Bosman ...
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