Today marks the 45th anniversary of the famous phrase of President Carreras, "Barça is more than a Club", spoken on 17th January 1968.
In the historical context of the dictatorship of General Franco, this phrase was a subliminal way of saying that FC Barcelona, in addition to a sports club, was also a powerful medium of expression of the Catalan identity.
Today, it is the phrase that best explains the idiosyncrasies of FC Barcelona, a club committed to the noblest causes.
Narcis de Carreras, a man of liberal and Catalan nationalist ideas, had been elected Barça president by acclamation in the assembly of delegates on 17th January 1968. He gave his acceptance speech in Spanish, as was mandatory by law. A representative of the government, charged with making sure nobody violated the prohibition of speaking Catalan in public or saying anything ‘subversive’, sat at his side. However, Carreras very skilfully included a phrase that would in time become very famous to the point that it has become the hallmark of the Club.
The famous phrase of Narcis de Carreras
At one point in his speech, and who knows, perhaps glancing at the governmental representative, the new president said: "Barcelona is something more than a football club; Barcelona is more than a place of leisure where we go on a Sunday to see the team play; more than all these things, it’s a spirit rooted within us, the colours we love above all else”.
A seemingly innocuous phrase, which taken in a literal sense only meant that Barcelona fans love their club but which figuratively gave rise to another interpretation; that Barça transcended its strictly sporting significance and became a symbol of oppressed Catalan nationalism and, at the same time, the only public means of its expression.
The subsequent popularity of "More Than a Club"
The phrase went unnoticed for a few years and did not see the light of day again until October 1973, during a publicity campaign launched by Javier Coma during the World Football Day in the Camp Nou, featuring a friendly match between teams from Europe and America. The advertising for this event, inserted in the Barcelona sports press in Spanish, said: "The history, the projection and the activities of Football Club Barcelona have always positioned this organization not only well above the ups and downs of its football team, but also at a cultural and emotional level much higher than would be logical in sports club. "
A few weeks later, the slogan "We are the ones who say Barça is more than a Club" (now in Catalan) was to be the central theme of the election campaign of Agustí Montal Costa to the presidency of Barça, in December 1973, but eventually the idea was abandoned. However, from that time on, the term "Barça is more than a Club” became a popular saying, of which everyone knew the implied meaning.
In recent years the phrase has become the official motto of FC Barcelona. Thus, "More than a Club" is now present in all areas of the Club, such as in offices, the Camp Nou stands, the shirt, the website, etc. And now the phrase has extended its meaning and has become more global. Now Barça is More than a Club not only for its defence of the Catalan identity and as a factor of integration of newcomers to Catalonia, but also as a tool of social action and charity in favour of the noblest causes, as evidenced by agreements signed with UNICEF, UNHCR and UNESCO and all the work done by the FC Barcelona Foundation.