opinions | 2015-04-13
A Call for Unity
It's time for Barcelona fans to fight the real enemy
I saw this comment from an English follower on Twitter a few days ago: “What a weird fan base.”
I didn’t make much of it then but after talking to some close friends, then having the shock of seeing a good culer like Jordi Sirera leave us, I realize we have our priorities all wrong.
Fighting with other Barcelona fans is pointless. Our club has suffered for decades because of divisions: Nuñistas, Gaspartistas, Laportistas, Rosellistas — now there are even Bartomistas. But the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
We should stop fighting among ourselves for one simple reason: The fans and members aren’t the problem. Some media groups who make sure this board is protected no matter what they do and every single member of this board, should be the constant target of our attention.
Recently, a dear friend wrote to me: “You are spending tons of energy trying to do the impossible, convincing the unconvinced. Forget about them, life consists in being able to disagree with millions of people and, still, keeping your life on and on following your strong and fundamental beliefs.”
He’s right. I’m done fighting among ourselves. It's time we unite.
So this is for the dozens of culers I have fought with and blocked during the years on social media. I’m done looking at ourselves to solve our problems. I will now look exclusively at the actual culprits.
It’s time to focus on what really matters. In three months we will, potentially, have a new FC Barcelona president. And we must — every single one of us — make sure that once the season ends, the focus is on the best project for the club’s future.
No “names” or no signing promisess, no tickets for older people and kids, but projects. Plans. An actual way to make our club grow and flourish in the next century.
Starting today, my attention will be solely on the following:
1) Support our team
Two more months and it’s done. This is the team, and it won’t start playing in a different way now. So we should swallow what we think it should play like, stop attacking players to defend the ones we like. Actually, we stop doing anything that isn’t supporting them, believing in them and seeing things as they actually are, instead of being the historic pessimists that culers have always been.
Fighting, picking sides, and dividing ourselves haven’t done much good so far. I hardly mention Pep Guardiola but back in 2012 we were more united around the idea of our club, of our style, of our team.
Now we have a chance to regain our unity. Thirteen to 16 matches to battle with the team. We might not get anything out of this season in terms of trophies, but we will get a lot in terms of collective sanity and common sense.
2) Watch every step this board makes and doubt everything that comes from certain media outlets
The next two months will be vital to our sporting success this season but even more important to our club’s long-term future. In three months we will know our next president, and we must make sure the current board has no one giving weight to their efforts to damage our club.
So stop caring and fighting about who should start and who is our best right back: If we don’t stop the current board from remaining in power, our declining dominance will only get worse.
The Triplete we should look and wish for is:
A) Seeing this board out.
B) Putting the candidate with the best project and ideas in power.
C) Making sure the current board pays each cent they cost the club due to their mismanagement.
3) When we actually get an election date, start following each candidate closely
Soon, and no one knows when, Bartomeu will call for elections and step down. From then on, the focus has to be on every single candidate and on their plans to bring our club back.
Since 2010 our club has declined, not only in sporting matters but on the social, economic and cultural sides. Instead of actually analyzing sporting projects and being watchful over their management, we get distracted from what we actually need: Making sure we have elected the best possible candidate to manage our club for the next six years.
We must talk to each candidate, ask them important questions and have their views on everything that has happened to our club since 2010, and what specific plans they have to put us back on the right track, from the sporting and economic projects to how to honor our history and make sure that none of the mistakes made by the current board are repeated.
When Frank Rijkaard was fired, there was talk about Mourinho in certain media outlets, day in and day out, for three months. Even so, Laporta and his team fought back and put Guardiola in charge.
The rest is history. Fourteen titles in four years. The best Barça of all time.
It’s Time to Unite. We don’t have the same reach that some of the real enemies do — not the money, influence or power. But we do have each other.
Most of us, fans from around the world, people who might never have set foot in Catalunya, love this club dearly. If we unite, stop fighting among ourselves, focus only in supporting this team with our hearts and souls for the next two months and pay attention to actual projects and plans for our club's future, I can assure you we will be acting in a way that will benefit our club the most.
I can promise you this will be my focus.
And I ask you, especially the culers I have fought for the last few years, to be at my side in the trenches that are emptier, now that Jordi is gone.
If we can stay together for three months, and put our focus on the actual enemies, we will be making sure our club has a bright future for many years to come. And maybe, just maybe, we can stop the infighting for good and always put the needs of the club before our own instead of only doing it from time to time.
Then we might not even have to fight so hard, period — maybe we won’t need to get into trenches against these people anymore.
A hug from a tired culer,
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