Who Owns Barcelona?

Updated: July 4, 2023


Barcelona Football Club, commonly referred to as FC Barcelona or Barça, is one of the most prestigious and renowned football clubs in the world. Established in 1899, it has captivated fans with its rich history, impressive achievements, and a distinct style of play that emphasizes flair, creativity, and a commitment to beautiful football. As a global sporting powerhouse, Barcelona has attracted a significant following and has become a symbol of Catalan identity and pride.

In terms of ownership, Barcelona operates as a member-owned organization, which sets it apart from many other football clubs around the world. The club follows a unique structure known as “Socis,” whereby its fans are also its owners. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, FC Barcelona had around 144,000 socis or club members who possess the right to participate in the club’s decision-making processes, including the election of the club president.

However, it is important to note that the ownership landscape of Barcelona may have undergone changes since then. Political and financial developments have occasionally impacted the club’s governance and ownership structure. Historically, the club has had presidents elected by the socis, who then appoint a board of directors to oversee the club’s day-to-day operations. These elected officials play a crucial role in shaping the club’s strategic direction, managing finances, and making key football-related decisions.

At times, FC Barcelona has faced challenges in maintaining financial stability and competitiveness in the highly competitive football landscape. Economic factors, including escalating player salaries and rising transfer fees, have strained the club’s finances. Consequently, Barcelona has sought external investments, sponsorship deals, and partnerships to bolster its resources and maintain its position among the elite clubs.

What Is Barcelona?

Barcelona is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city located on the northeastern coast of Spain, in the autonomous community of Catalonia. It is the capital city of Catalonia and the second most populous city in Spain, after Madrid. Known for its rich history, unique culture, stunning architecture, and lively atmosphere, Barcelona is a popular tourist destination and a thriving hub of art, design, gastronomy, and sports.

The city of Barcelona has a history that dates back over 2,000 years. It was founded as a Roman city called “Barcino” in the 1st century BC and has since experienced influences from various civilizations and cultures, including Roman, Visigothic, Islamic, and Gothic. This blend of historical influences is evident in the city’s architecture and urban layout.

One of the most famous landmarks in Barcelona is the Sagrada Família, a magnificent basilica designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. This iconic structure, still under construction, is an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of the city’s unique style. Other notable architectural gems include Park Güell, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà, all of which showcase Gaudí’s distinctive artistic vision.

Barcelona is also famous for its lively street life, with bustling markets, outdoor cafes, and vibrant neighborhoods like the Gothic Quarter and El Raval. The city offers a wide range of cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, theaters, and music venues. The Picasso Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) are among the prominent cultural institutions in the city.

History of Barcelona

The history of Barcelona stretches back over two millennia, with its origins as a Roman colony in the 1st century BC. Here is an overview of the significant periods and events that have shaped the city’s history:

Roman Era: Barcelona, known as Barcino during Roman times, was established as a colony in 15 BC under the rule of Emperor Augustus. It quickly flourished as a commercial and administrative center, with the construction of city walls, temples, and a forum. Roman influence is still visible in the city’s layout, particularly in the Gothic Quarter.

Visigothic and Islamic Rule: After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Barcelona came under the control of the Visigoths in the 5th century. Later, it fell to Islamic forces during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the 8th century. The city experienced a period of Islamic rule until it was re-conquered by the Frankish Carolingian dynasty in 801.

Medieval Expansion: Barcelona grew in prominence during the Middle Ages as a maritime power and a center of trade. It became the capital of the County of Barcelona and played a vital role in the expansion of the Crown of Aragon. The 13th and 14th centuries saw a period of economic growth, cultural development, and architectural achievements, including the construction of the Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona.

Catalan Renaissance: The 15th and 16th centuries marked a period of artistic, intellectual, and commercial flourishing in Barcelona. The Catalan Renaissance brought about advancements in literature, arts, and architecture. However, political unrest and conflicts, including the War of Spanish Succession, would later impact the city.

Industrialization and Modernization: The 19th century witnessed the industrialization of Barcelona, transforming it into a major industrial and commercial center. The textile industry played a significant role in the city’s growth. However, social tensions emerged, leading to labor strikes and political movements advocating for workers’ rights and Catalan nationalism.

20th Century and Beyond: Barcelona faced significant challenges during the early 20th century, including the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the subsequent Francoist dictatorship. The city experienced rapid urbanization and modernization during the second half of the 20th century, hosting the Summer Olympic Games in 1992, which brought about extensive urban renewal and global recognition.

In recent years, Barcelona has maintained its status as a cultural and economic powerhouse, attracting millions of tourists annually and continuing to make significant contributions to the fields of architecture, art, design, and sports. The city remains a symbol of Catalonia’s unique identity and autonomy within Spain.

How do you become a Barcelona owner?

Becoming an owner of FC Barcelona, the football club, is a bit different from typical ownership structures of other businesses. FC Barcelona operates under a unique ownership model known as “Socis” or club members. Here are the general steps to become a member and potentially have a say in the club’s decision-making:

  1. Membership Application: The first step is to apply for membership in the club. FC Barcelona periodically opens membership applications, and interested individuals need to meet certain criteria, which may include being of a certain age, providing personal information, and paying a membership fee. The specific requirements and application process can vary, so it’s essential to stay updated with the official FC Barcelona channels for membership announcements.

  2. Approval and Acceptance: Once you submit your membership application, it goes through a review process. The club evaluates the applications based on the established criteria and determines whether to approve them. If your application is accepted, you will be notified of your membership status.

  3. Membership Card: As a recognized club member, you will receive a membership card, often referred to as a “Carnet de Socio.” This card serves as proof of your membership and grants you access to certain benefits and privileges, such as attending matches and participating in club-related events.

  4. Participation and Voting: As an official club member, you will have the right to participate in the club’s democratic processes. This includes the ability to vote in elections for the club’s president and board of directors. The club’s president, in turn, appoints the board of directors responsible for overseeing the club’s operations.

It is important to note that becoming a member does not equate to direct ownership in the financial sense. Instead, being a member of FC Barcelona grants you a voice in the club’s affairs and decision-making processes. However, the ownership and control of the club’s assets and financial matters lie with the elected officials and the management structure.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on becoming a member and potential owner of FC Barcelona, it is advisable to refer to official club sources or reach out to the club directly for specific details on membership applications, requirements, and processes.

What is Barcelona famous for?

Barcelona is famous for numerous reasons, as it is a city that offers a diverse range of attractions, cultural experiences, and distinctive features. Here are some of the things Barcelona is renowned for:

  1. Architectural Marvels: Barcelona is synonymous with the unique and visionary architectural designs of Antoni Gaudí. His masterpieces, including the Sagrada Família, Park Güell, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà (La Pedrera), are iconic landmarks that attract millions of visitors each year.

  2. Gothic Quarter: The historic heart of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic), is famous for its narrow medieval streets, charming squares, and well-preserved Gothic architecture. It offers a glimpse into the city’s past with its cathedrals, palaces, and historic buildings.

  3. Beaches: Barcelona’s location along the Mediterranean coast gives it a reputation for its beautiful urban beaches. The most popular ones, such as Barceloneta Beach, offer a vibrant seaside atmosphere and a place to relax, swim, and enjoy water sports.

  4. Football: FC Barcelona, one of the world’s most successful and beloved football clubs, has a massive global following. The team’s matches at the Camp Nou stadium draw large crowds, and the club’s style of play, known as “tiki-taka,” has left an indelible mark on the sport.

  5. Cultural Heritage: Barcelona boasts a rich cultural heritage, with a vibrant arts scene, numerous museums, and theaters. The Picasso Museum, the Joan Miró Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA), and the Gran Teatre del Liceu are among the city’s renowned cultural institutions.

  6. Catalan Identity: Barcelona serves as the capital of Catalonia, a region with a distinct culture, language (Catalan), and a strong sense of identity. The city is often seen as a symbol of Catalan autonomy and has played a significant role in the region’s cultural and political movements.

  7. Cuisine: Barcelona’s gastronomy is highly regarded, offering a blend of traditional Catalan dishes and innovative culinary creations. The city is known for its fresh seafood, tapas, Catalan wines, and the lively atmosphere of its food markets, such as the renowned Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria.

  8. Festivals and Events: Barcelona hosts a variety of vibrant festivals throughout the year, including the colorful La Mercè festival, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, and the Festa Major de Gràcia, where the streets are adorned with impressive neighborhood decorations.

These are just a few highlights of what Barcelona is famous for, but the city has much more to offer, including its vibrant nightlife, shopping districts like Passeig de Gràcia, and its blend of modernity and historical charm.

The current logo of FC Barcelona, commonly known as the “Barça crest,” was designed by the graphic designer Claret Serrahima in 2002. The logo underwent a significant redesign as part of the club’s visual identity update.

Serrahima’s design incorporated several elements that are representative of FC Barcelona’s history and identity. The crest features the traditional red and blue vertical stripes, which are the club’s primary colors. At the top of the crest, there is a ball with a stylized knot, known as the “Duc crown,” which is a symbol of the Catalan Counts of Barcelona.

Below the crown, there is a stylized football with the letters “FCB” written on it, representing the initials of the club’s name. The letters are accompanied by the full name “FC Barcelona” written in bold, capital letters. Additionally, there are two small banners, or ribbons, on each side of the logo, which read “Més que un club” (More than a club), highlighting the club’s unique identity and significance in Catalan culture.

Why is the England flag on the Barcelona badge?

The current FC Barcelona crest, designed by Claret Serrahima in 2002, features the traditional red and blue vertical stripes, a crown symbolizing the Catalan Counts of Barcelona, and the club’s initials, “FCB,” among other elements.

It’s possible that you may be referring to a different badge or logo that includes the England flag, but it’s important to note that FC Barcelona’s official badge does not incorporate the England flag. Barcelona’s crest represents the club’s Catalan identity and does not typically include national flags from other countries.

If you have seen a Barcelona badge with the England flag, it could be a modified or unofficial version created by fans or for specific occasions. However, it does not reflect the official emblem of FC Barcelona.

Is it expensive in Barcelona?

The cost of living in Barcelona can vary depending on various factors such as accommodation, lifestyle choices, and personal preferences. Overall, Barcelona is considered to be more affordable compared to other major European cities like London or Paris, but it is still relatively more expensive than some other cities in Spain.

Accommodation: The cost of housing in Barcelona can be a significant expense. Rental prices for apartments vary based on factors such as location, size, and amenities. Generally, central areas and popular neighborhoods tend to have higher rental costs. It’s important to research and compare prices to find an accommodation option that suits your budget.

Transportation: Public transportation in Barcelona is relatively affordable and efficient. The city has an extensive network of buses, metro lines, and trains. Monthly or multi-trip transportation cards offer discounted rates for regular commuters. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also available but can add up in terms of cost.

Dining and Groceries: Eating out in Barcelona can range from budget-friendly tapas bars to high-end restaurants. Prices for meals in local eateries are often reasonable, especially when compared to other major cities. Supermarket prices for groceries can vary, but generally, they are affordable, and cooking at home can help save money.

Entertainment and Leisure: Barcelona offers a wide range of entertainment options, including cultural events, concerts, and nightlife. Ticket prices for attractions, museums, and entertainment venues vary, but there are often discounts available for students, seniors, or residents. Exploring parks, beaches, and free public spaces can also provide cost-effective leisure activities.

It’s important to keep in mind that prices can fluctuate over time, and it’s advisable to check current information or consult reliable sources when planning a visit or considering a move to Barcelona. Additionally, individual spending habits and preferences will ultimately determine how expensive or affordable the city feels to each person.

How safe is Barcelona?

Barcelona is generally considered a safe city for residents and tourists. Like any other major urban center, it is essential to exercise caution and follow common-sense safety practices to ensure a safe experience. Here are some key points regarding safety in Barcelona:

Crime: Barcelona experiences a moderate level of petty crime, such as pickpocketing and theft, especially in crowded tourist areas. Visitors should remain vigilant, keep an eye on their belongings, and avoid displaying valuable items openly. It is advisable to use secure bags, keep wallets in front pockets, and be cautious in crowded spaces like public transportation, markets, and tourist attractions.

Neighborhood Safety: Barcelona is made up of various neighborhoods, each with its own characteristics and safety levels. Generally, areas frequented by tourists, such as the Gothic Quarter and La Rambla, can be more susceptible to pickpocketing and tourist-targeted scams. However, Barcelona also has many safe neighborhoods, such as Eixample, Gràcia, and Sarrià-Sant Gervasi. It is always wise to research the neighborhoods you plan to visit and exercise caution in unfamiliar areas, especially at night.

Transportation Safety: Barcelona’s public transportation system, including buses, metro, and trains, is generally safe to use. However, it is advisable to be mindful of your belongings and be aware of your surroundings, especially during crowded periods. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also considered safe and reliable options for getting around the city.

Emergency Services: Barcelona has a well-developed emergency response system, including police, medical services, and fire departments. In case of an emergency, dial the European emergency number 112 for assistance. It is also advisable to have the contact information for your embassy or consulate readily available.

Tourist Scams: Like many popular tourist destinations, Barcelona can have scams targeting tourists. These can range from overcharging in restaurants or taxis to distraction techniques used by pickpockets. It is advisable to be cautious, use reputable services, and be wary of unsolicited offers or approaches from strangers.

Overall, by staying vigilant, being mindful of your belongings, and following general safety precautions, you can enjoy a safe and pleasant experience in Barcelona. It is always helpful to stay informed about the current safety situation and consult official travel advisories from your home country before visiting.

Frequently Asked Questions

FC Barcelona has sponsorship agreements with various companies and brands that provide financial support to the club. These sponsorship deals help generate revenue and fund the club’s operations, including player transfers, wages, and infrastructure development.

FC Barcelona’s ownership structure is primarily based on the club’s members, and there are no significant external shareholders or investors who hold controlling stakes in the club. The members collectively hold the ownership and decision-making power.

While FC Barcelona’s ownership model does not allow for a traditional purchase of the club, there have been discussions and speculation about potential changes in the ownership structure in the past. However, any significant changes to the ownership model would require the approval and agreement of the club’s members.

Becoming an owner in the traditional sense is not possible for FC Barcelona. Ownership of the club is reserved for its members, who have the right to participate in the club’s democratic processes and vote in elections for the club’s president and board of directors.

FC Barcelona operates under a unique ownership model where the club is owned by its members, known as “Socis.” It does not have a single individual or entity as the owner.


In conclusion, FC Barcelona, the renowned football club, operates under a unique ownership model. The ownership of Barcelona is not held by an individual or a single entity but rather by its members, known as “Socis.” Becoming a member of the club involves applying for membership and meeting specific criteria set by the club. Accepted members receive a membership card that grants them certain benefits and the right to participate in the club’s democratic processes, including voting in elections for the club’s president and board of directors.

It is important to note that being a member of FC Barcelona does not equate to direct financial ownership of the club. The ownership and control of the club’s assets and financial matters lie with the elected officials and the management structure. The ownership model of Barcelona reflects the club’s democratic and community-based ethos, emphasizing the involvement of its supporters in the decision-making process. This unique ownership structure sets Barcelona apart from many other football clubs around the world.



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