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19.06.2010 10:50

Farwell letter from Laporta to the members


Joan Laporta, president of FC Barcelona since the summer of 2003 and until next June 30, has written a farewell letter to the members he has represented for all this time. The following is the complete letter.

Dear fellow member,

After seven years, next June 30, I shall be leaving my position as president of FC Barcelona. The members granted me this responsibility in June 2003 and voted me back again in 2006.

I have been a Barça member since I was very young. It was my father and my grandfather who introduced me to the wonderful world of the Camp Nou. At home, they also taught me to love Catalonia and to respect its virtues. Since the very first day, I have appreciated just what an honour it is to be the president of FC Barcelona.

It was a huge challenge, but also a unique and passionate experience. For a start, because Barça is so complex. We are a football team, and also a multi-sports team, yet at the same time, we are also a Catalan institution that is open to the world and aware of the immense symbolism that the avatars of history have created.

This peculiarity requires responsible management of our resources, but never forgetting that the prime material of football is emotion and sentiments. How else can we explain how Barça makes millions of people happy when things go well, yet, when things go badly, a whole country senses the disappointment?

I can feel proud and satisfied of the job I have done. We have worked hard and we have worked well. The results show that.

I was committed to dedicating the best years of our lives to making the club stronger, more alive and healthier. In short, putting Barça at the forefront of world sport and media. The idea was to make Barça modern and innovative. We needed to professionalise the club. My commitment also involved recuperating the club’s Catalan identity and adding new meanings to the idea of ‘more than a club’.

Barça is now financially solid, socially admired and unanimously acclaimed in terms of its sporting achievements. A love for sport, and especially football, and a generosity when it comes to offering goals and spectacle have regained the club’s prestige, and won us the kind of honours that do justice to the grandeur of the club. We have made a habit out of winning. And we have done so our own way, staying faithful to our style. When describing football, the FC Barcelona method has become widespread and important, but the same has also happened in basketball, handball and roller hockey.

Barça also has to be interpreted from a social point of view because this is a club with soul. Football, and this is our shared responsibility, has to be the civic expression of every club and every set of supporters. FC Barcelona has eliminated violence its stadium. We don’t want those people and they have gone. And they should never be allowed back. And not just into the Camp Nou, but no other stadium either.

Also, in social terms, Barça now has more than 170,000 members around the world, meaning we have more supporters than any other club on the planet. We have clearly met our target of globalising the club while also staying loyal to our own values. The evidence of that is the agreement with UNICEF and other United Nations agencies such as UNESCO and ACNUR. We are still ‘more than a club’, but are also a club for the world’s children. Barça’s commitment to charity and the work of the FC Barcelona Foundation have become new defining elements of the club.

In short, over these last seven years, we have constructed the model for a club that has enabled us to enjoy the finest years in Barça history.

I can now state that Barça is more Catalan, more caring, more universal and, competitively, the best.

But seven years after assuming the challenge of becoming Barça president, as well as this balance, this is also a time for thanks. To everybody who has helped us, either through direct implication or through understanding and complicity. And that is why I want to express my most sincere gratitude.

It has been an unrepeatable journey. It has been an immense experience that I shall always take with me.

It has been an honour. I assure you, the greatest honour of all.

Thank you.

Farwell letter from Laporta to the members

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