On occasion of the Unicef deal in New York, president Joan Laporta wrote this open letter to Barcelona supporters to explain the full details.
With this letter I want to inform you of the agreement that today we will sign with Unicef in New York. For this five year agreement, the FC Barcelona football teams will wear the Unicef logo on their shirts from this season. On Tuesday, in the first Champions League match against Levski at the Camp Nou, the team will wear this new shirt for the first time.
The general assembly of delegate members of August 2003 authorized the Board of Directors to negotiate for a shirt sponsorship deal. The economic situation we were in when we arrived at the club obliged us to look into all the possible options available.
Fortunately, thanks to everyone’s hard work, the good economic development of the last years, sporting success, and the renewed passion of Barça fans, today the economic resource of a shirt sponsorship deal is no longer as necessary. A few months ago, the board initiated a process of internal evaluation of what the best option for shirt sponsorship deals would be.
This debate led us to agree to a different objective that would make FC Barcelona 'more than a club' in the world. The conclusion was that we had to put our greatest asset, our shirt, at the service of this ambitious project.
FC Barcelona is more than a club in Catalonia. It is the nation’s most representative sporting institution and one of its finest ambassadors. Also, for different reasons, FC Barcelona is more than a club for many people in the rest of Spain that have seen our club to be a firm supporter of democratic rights and liberties.
Today, football has reached a global scale. Barça support has spread spectacularly around the entire world. The number of members outside of Catalonia and Spain is growing every day. The club has to respond to this wave of global support for Barça. It is both a need and an obligation. And we believe that the most coherent way of doing this is to move towards becoming more than a club in the world as well.
The slogan more than a club is open in its definition. Maybe it is this flexibility that makes it so apt for defining the complex identity of FC Barcelona. There has always been the Barça that plays every Sunday and every Wednesday, and the Barça that beats every day in the hearts of its people. The Barça of Sunday and Wednesday is already a global club. Now, we want to globalize the Barça that cares for its people, we want to globalize the Barça of civilian duty, solidarity and humanitarianism.
We have decided that the best way to do this is to associate ourselves with Unicef, the United Nations organisation that fights for the welfare of children. On the one hand, we have decided to donate 0.7% of our income to the Fundació del FC Barcelona and associate ourselves with the objectives of the United Nations. And on the other hand, we have decided to collaborate with Unicef’s humanitarian efforts by donating 1.5 million euros a year for 5 years, and putting their logo on our shirt. We are convinced that it is a very good agreement, because it makes something unique out of FC Barcelona.
We are aware of the responsibilities that this decision bestows upon us. To be more than a club in the world is something we all have to do together, and we have to do it on a daily basis. The players, the managers, the directors, the employees, the members, the supporters clubs and fans, everyone is in this together. But we are convinced that we have the capacity to do it. Because we believe that with this project we can make FC Barcelona’s universal sentiment a reality.
We hope that this project excites you and that you will make it your own. It is the most important project that we have planned for the next few years. Thank you very much for your support and confidence.
Joan Laporta i Estruch
President of FC Barcelona