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President Josep Maria Bartomeu, during his speech. PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB.

Sor Lucía Caram, with Bartomeu, Cardoner, Vilanova with members of the Solidarity Council. FOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO-FCB.

The Plenary Council met for a work session at the Camp Nou to lay the groundwork for this season’s projects. President Josep Maria Bartomeu, social vice-president Jordi Cardoner, the director responsible for supporters clubs Pau Vilanova and supporters clubs trustee Ramon Térmens all attended.

The attendees got the chance to discuss with the president and members of the Social Area the different matters of concern to the movement and club. The day ended with the traditional Christmas dinner.

The Council is the supreme governing body of the movement as established by the ‘Penyes Segle XXI’ project, and is formed by the 33 representatives from the 30 geographical zones (el Vallès and Andalusia have two and three representatives respectively). The council is divided into four main work areas: regulations; marketing and communication; events, activities and solidarity; and tickets, Camp Nou and away games.

The regulations committee approved the statutes for the forthcoming Supporters Clubs World Confederation that is set to be constituted in early 2015, the result of a historic commitment that was agreed at the last World Congress. This Confederation will be a legal entity in its own right and will be granted a recognition and collaboration agreement signed by FC Barcelona.

The marketing and communication commission has been working on a sponsorship plan agreed with the club that should benefit the movement in the future by generating income to help make it financially self-sustainable. The events, activities and solidarity commission has worked on ways of improving attendance at the Congress and establishing a method to improve the protocol. Finally, the ticketing and away trips commission has modified its criteria for the distribution of tickets among supporters clubs.

Collaboration with Sister Lucía Caram against child poverty

The representatives also met Sister Lucía Caram, a Barça supporter that is well known for her work in favour of the more underprivileged members of society. By initiative of the Grup Edelmira Calvetó, chaired by director Susana Monje, Caram was presented with an award at the last World Congress and in her acceptance speech commented that she would like the supporters movement to get involved in her project to combat child poverty.

Several months later, and that proposal has come to light, with the clubs combining forces to raise awareness of the project and collaborate with different actions, such as the use of SMS using number 28029 and the words 'AJUDA´ or ´AYUDA´ (‘HELP’), and have also assisted with sales of the book ‘Tu estalvies, guanyem tots’, published by the Fundació Alícia, by Dr. Jordi Forés, which encourages healthy lifestyles and includes information on how to avoid malnutrition.

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