The abandoning of football, H Haugsbakken

Tags: market penetration, Camp Nou, footballers, football, Dracs, supporting, social anthropological study, Norwegian football, FC Barcelona, The members, social actors, social actor, international football
Content: The abandoning of football A social anthropological study of Dracs: a group of FC Barcelona supporters. Negotiating supporter identity in relation to the market penetration of international football By Halvdan Haugsbakken Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the Cand. Polit degree Department of Social Anthropology The University of Bergen 1
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Finally, it is done. The process that has endured for almost three years of my life is completed. Instead of calling it a process, it might be described as a journey where the support and influence from a number of persons deserve to be mentioned. I am grateful for the support from my supervisor, Yngve Lithman, who has made a number of inspirational proposals and critical comments throughout the writing process. I am also indebted to Thorleif Berthelsen, with whom I have enjoyed endless conversations on dance and supporterism. In the process of reading various drafts, and correcting my English, I wish to thank my father, Sturle Sшvik, my sister, Ylva Sшvik and fellow students and ex-students at Department of Social Anthropology: Tore Engelsen and Trine Halstadtrш Syverinsen. My furthermost thanks go to my other sister, Randi Sшvik, who has read endless versions from her hangout in London. I would like to thank friends and family in general. For psychological support before, during and after the fieldwork, my mother, Marit Haugsbakken, has been a central part of the journey into the wilderness of supporterism. In the end, I have to mention Anna Cascante, my Catalan love, for encouraging me and supporting me throughout the whole process. February 2004, Bergen. 2
Table of contents Preface................................................................................................................................................ 5 Inspiration and context.................................................................................................................................................5 Semi affection for a Norwegian football club............................................................................................................10 Market penetration of Norwegian football.................................................................................................................10 Chapter 1 - DEFINING a perspective.............................................................................................. 13 1.1 Introduction..........................................................................................................................................................13 Part I: Locating the market penetration ....................................................................................................................13 1.2 The Bosman-verdict and corrupt footballers........................................................................................................17 1.3 Strategies of implementing social cultural change ­ to buy footballers? .............................................................20 1.4 The conflicting individual agency........................................................................................................................23 1.5 Another agent of the market penetration - La Junta Directiva .............................................................................25 1.6 A social drama or a critical discourse? ................................................................................................................28 Part II: The abandoning of football: Negotiating supporter identity ......................................................................29 1.7 The meaning of supporting the less professionalized and remaining in Palau.....................................................33 1.8 Economic versus emotional sentiments and the difficulties of identification ......................................................36 1.9 Conceptualization of the market penetration through the deep versus the shallow player...................................38 1.10 Barзa, nationality and the state ­ not a soul wants to be Spanish ......................................................................39 1.11 Studies on football fandom and analytical approaches debated.........................................................................40 Part III: Methodological Notes....................................................................................................................................43 1.12 The structure of the thesis ..................................................................................................................................46 Chapter 2 - notes on Catalonia......................................................................................................... 49 2.1 Introduction..........................................................................................................................................................49 2.2 Catalonia ..............................................................................................................................................................49 2.3 Demography and identity.....................................................................................................................................51 2.4 Economic situation...............................................................................................................................................52 2.5 Early regional history...........................................................................................................................................53 2.6 An expanding region............................................................................................................................................56 2.7 Barзa in a Catalan context ...................................................................................................................................57 2.8 Catalonia before the Civil War ............................................................................................................................59 2.9 From the Civil war to transition ...........................................................................................................................60 2.10 The transition .....................................................................................................................................................63 2.11 Concluding remarks ...........................................................................................................................................65 Chapter 3 - Modes of local fandom ................................................................................................. 67 3.1 Introduction..........................................................................................................................................................67 Part I: Socios, penyes and presidentes ........................................................................................................................68 3.2 Presidents and amendments .................................................................................................................................69 3.3 Segment of penyes ...............................................................................................................................................75 3.4 Attributes of the socio..........................................................................................................................................78 3.5 Approaching Dracs ..............................................................................................................................................81 3.6 The meaning of animation ­ to create an ambience.............................................................................................85 3.7 Exploring internal attributes.................................................................................................................................87 3.8 To be committed or unenthusiastic ­ narrating loyalty........................................................................................89 Part II: Departing for Palau ........................................................................................................................................92 3.9 Disputes and social beliefs...................................................................................................................................94 3.10 Unifying the disunited ­ La Grada Jove ............................................................................................................96 3.11 The aftermath .....................................................................................................................................................99 3.12 Concluding remarks .........................................................................................................................................100 Chapter 4 - Dracs' entering of the deep ......................................................................................... 103 4.1 Introduction........................................................................................................................................................103 4.2 Knowing the players ..........................................................................................................................................103 4.3 The sacred curve ................................................................................................................................................106 4.4 Opposing the other in football ...........................................................................................................................109 4.5 A case of structured antagonism ........................................................................................................................111 4.6 The deep play in basketball................................................................................................................................113 3
Part I: The Separation - The Barricading of Curba Sud ........................................................................................116 4.7 Preparing of an extended community ................................................................................................................119 4.8. Antagonistic retailing socios.............................................................................................................................120 4.9 Antagonistic player influx..................................................................................................................................123 4.10 Selling the Dragon ...........................................................................................................................................126 Part II: The Deep play................................................................................................................................................128 4.11 The first playback ............................................................................................................................................129 4.12 The practice of tifo ...........................................................................................................................................130 4.13 Various tifos .....................................................................................................................................................132 4.14 Tifo employed between Barзa versus Real Madrid..........................................................................................132 4.15 The practice of chanting...................................................................................................................................134 4.16 The choreographic nature of chanting..............................................................................................................136 Part III: The aggregation phase - Game over ..........................................................................................................138 4.17 Practice of enumeration and dressing room incursion .....................................................................................139 4.18 Concluding remarks .........................................................................................................................................140 Chapter 5 ­ dRACS' Shallow play WITH Barзa .......................................................................... 143 5.1 Introduction........................................................................................................................................................143 Part I: The social manoeuvring within two opposing football worlds ...................................................................144 5.2 Locating an agent of true moral values ..............................................................................................................145 5.3 Observing Mad Boys .........................................................................................................................................149 Part II: Locating incentives for Dracs' shallow play ...............................................................................................152 5.4 Shallow play ­ the violation of locality .............................................................................................................154 5.5 Shallow play - the significance of the commodified..........................................................................................156 5.6 Shallow play with untrustworthy footballers .....................................................................................................158 5.7 Entering the role of the socio ­ symbolic protest? .............................................................................................161 Chapter 6 - Concluding notes......................................................................................................... 163 Bibliography................................................................................................................................... 167 Appendix ­ illustration of tifos ...................................................................................................... 175 4
PREFACE Inspiration and context The contemporary situation in international football can be traced to an economic development happening throughout the 1990s. The development is among other things characterised by footballers' towering wages and exorbitant transfer fees. These changes have influenced the Catalan football club FC Barcelona.1 In the wake of this progress, opinions and beliefs amongst Barзa fans appear to alter. Amongst committed Barзa supporters, which are members of a supporter organisation, the development is disliked. The main goal for this dissertation is to comprehend how the members of the supporter organisation called Dracs, have interpreted the economic development in football and its effect on Barзa. Analysing the members' supporter identity allows us to comprehend how the members negotiate and adapt supporter identity in relation to a process of global change. I suggest that the members' interpretation of the economic growth mentioned can be expressed through a reflexive project of abandoning football. During the writing process of this dissertation, several personal modifications have been completed. Returning to the Norwegian society after fieldwork in Barcelona implies a new understanding of fandom. Experiences from the field consist of realising the great variety in fandom. Such variety is expressed in contrasting styles, from that of attending a football match every second Sunday at Camp Nou, to that of constructing a life where an individual's single objective is to be a committed supporter.2 This thesis attempts to explore the meaning of the latter. Supporterism expressed through a supporter organisation involves communicating an affirmative devotion to the club. The devotion is conveyed through the members of Dracs unquestionable loyalty and voiced support of the players and the club regardless of the situation. As regular fans enter and leave the sporting ground, the members of Dracs are always present, chanting from Curba Sud. Always being present in a barricaded and monopolised part of the sporting ground, and regularly appearing from it, indicates what it means to be a supporter. Therefore, spectating is imperative for this dissertation. Analysing the members' social interaction, inside and outside the sporting ground, becomes imperative in order to understand supporter identity. The members' social interaction at the sporting ground helps us grasp how the members have interpreted the economic development in football. For that reason, the economic development is recognizable at the football ground as footballers convert to be individual agents of it. The members are familiar with this, something that leads to contrasting styles of interacting with Barзa. Field data indicates that the members had ways of recounting their relation to Barзa. A 1 FC Barcelona is from now on referred to as Barзa. 2 Camp Nou is Barзa's football stadium with a spectator capacity of 98.000 seats. 5
female member told me about her indefinite love of Barзa. Her interest for sports in general was irrelevant. For her, the club Barзa was the imperative issue. Abhorring football, she had frequently attended matches at Camp Nou since her childhood. The aim of attending matches involved supporting. Supporting the players through the staging of a show was the main objective. Watching games for pure satisfaction, as the case would be for other Barзa fans, was not a preferable action. For the female member, it represented an irreconcilable social ideal. What does it mean to be a Barзa supporter and how is it expressed? For the members of Dracs, to be a Barзa supporter involves stressing an intimate relation with the players through a membership of the supporter organisation. Stressing this relation, the members project a social idea of Dracs as a part of the team and Barзa. Projecting this belief is accomplished by displaying the self-ascribed metaphor of being the team's extra player. Supporting involves knowing the players by face and to have a possibility to converse with them. The relation between the members and the player is regarded as a symbiotic relation where each part depends on the other. The members and the players represent Barзa and meet on the sporting ground at equal terms. The players play to win a game, while the members help them to achieve it. Supporting the players towards victory means uttering an idea, where the fractions work together for one universal cause. But the relation between the members and the players comes under siege as the economic development has gained an increased significance in spaces where the members interact. In spaces where football is performed, the members have marginalized themselves into the periphery. One incentive for this action is identified through the increased means of security imposed on spectators; such measures are implemented to deal with the problem of spectator violence. But the members' way of marginalizing themselves into the periphery does not only deal with the problem of spectator violence. Committed supporter organisations are often latent opponents to those who make important decisions and introduce new changes. The members appear to be latent opponents of the development. Consequently, one can comprehend the members of Dracs as traditionalists. The members are unfavourable to endeavours of altering existing social patterns within the Barзa structure. Regarding the new economic development, the members come to short. The growth consists of an immense nature and seems to supersede the control of both supporters and club management in its influence on the social and cultural denotation of Barзa. As a consequence, the members' reflexive project of abandoning football needs a clarification. Barзa is a large sports organisation including other professional sports than football. It is in this context that the members' supporter identity must be understood. Barзa is a sports organisation including sports such as basketball, handball, indoor football, indoor roller-skating hockey, ice hockey, baseball, athletics, etc., but football holds a dominating position. Although Barзa is a large sports organisation, the club also holds leading ranks within sports such as basketball and 6
handball. But the social practice of supporting the club has normally been associated with the football field. This can be identified through how a group of supporters assembles behind a goal at Camp Nou. From a monopolised part of the stadium, the group of supporters displays a social imagery of being the club's most committed aficionados, claiming to have an undisputed allegiance to Barзa. Such a group of supporters also works as an extension of the club's collective representation. Such a cultural category is most valid for Dracs. The members monopolise a part of the sporting ground, demonstrate undisputed allegiance to Barзa, and the supporter organisation works as an extension of the club and is an advocate of Barзa's collective identity of representing Catalonia. The subject separating the members of Dracs from other Barзa supporters can be distinguished by how the members have transferred the practice of supporting from the football context to other sports practiced within the club structure. This means that the members are supporting Barзa in basketball, handball, indoor football and indoor roller-skating hockey.3 From a monopolised curve, the members have constructed a supporteristic social life that deals with the supporting of Barзa in the sports mentioned. The members' supporting is based on the similar principles as in the football context. Supporting Barзa in these sports involves that the members project a social imagery of being extra-devoted supporters. The members' supporting of the less professionalized sports extends the idea of being a regular Barзa supporter, because the supporting that the members carry out is normally delimited to the supporting of Barзa's footballers. How does the members' reflexive project of abandoning football fit into this background? Placing the group into a historical milieu provides certain remedies. In 1991, Dracs started out as a supporter organisation at Camp Nou, where the group supported the club's footballers.4 But supporting Barзa in football appeared as unsatisfactory. This involved that the members expanded their supporting activities to include the less professionalized sports. Dracs was divided into different sections, where each section organised its activity according to the sport that the members supported Barзa in. This made Dracs a large supporter organisation. Dracs consisted of a footballsection, supporting Barзa's footballers at Camp Nou, another section supporting Barзa's basketball players, and so forth. Expanding the group's supporter life to include the less professionalized sports, meant that the members moved into Camp Nou's neighbouring sport facility Palau Blau Grana.5 Dracs, under its former name, was a sizeable supporter organisation that supported the club in five different sports: football at Camp Nou and basketball, handball, 3 I refer to basketball, handball, indoor football and indoor roller-skating hockey as the less professionalized sports. 4 Dracs swapped name from Sang Culй to Dracs in 2001. 5 Palau Blau Grana is from now on refereed to as Palau. Palau is Barзa's indoor sport facility where the indoor sports are practiced. Palau has a spectator capacity of 8.000 seats. 7
indoor football and indoor roller-skating hockey in Palau.6 In 1997, the members suffered a violent attack from another supporter organisation located at Camp Nou. The members' immediate reaction to the attack involved the dissolution of the group. The members appeared neither at Camp Nou nor in Palau. Some months later, in 1998, the members returned to Camp Nou and Palau, but discovered that supporting Barзa at Camp Nou was not the same, and therefore the members came to a decision. The members decided to leave Camp Nou and exclusively dedicated themselves to the support of Barзa in the less professionalized sports. From the end of the 1990s, the members have remained in Palau supporting the club in the less professionalized sports. This is a part of my suggestion that the members of Dracs have a reflexive project of abandoning football. But the members' project of leaving Camp Nou goes a bit deeper than being assaulted by other supporters. In parallel to the incident at Camp Nou, the members have experienced the development of international football. Elucidating such an experience and connecting it with one specific event, explaining the members' decision of leaving Camp Nou, seems problematic. It needs to be narrated. The experience emerges as a reflexive claim and relates to a larger social process. Based on the members' statements, the members sense that the footballers have become more distant. Attaining an equal relation with the players is problematical. Through a number of symbolic actions, the members have a tendency of expressing dislike of the development. Supporting Barзa in the less professionalized sports is one of them. One incentive for performing such an action is related to the members' claim that footballers nowadays care more about the towering wages than playing for the club. The subject of footballers' towering wages appears to have constructed a symbolic gap between the members and the footballers. The members find themselves alienated and distant to the footballers performing at Camp Nou. For the members, interacting at Camp Nou involves the feeling of not belonging to the club. As a result, appearing at Camp Nou encompasses a minor significance. If the members appear at Camp Nou, they do so as anonymous spectators and vanish into the crowd. In contrast to this, when the members support Barзa in the less professionalized sports, the members sense an equal relation to the players. Presupposing an alternative example illustrates the argument. During a football match at Camp Nou in the Champions League, between Barзa and the Greek football club Panathinaikos, I accompanied Dracs' leader and other members. Barзa won the game 3-1. When Barзa scored, the whole crowd erupted in joy. In contrast, Dracs' leader, Toni, a devoted Barзa supporter since 1982, did not celebrate the goals. He demonstrated dissatisfaction by shaking his head while other Barзa fans were in a state of ovation. In comparison to other occasions, in Palau, I observed the 6 From now on indoor football is referred to as fъtbol sala. Indoor roller-skating hockey is in Spanish called hockey patins, but from now on referred to as hockey. 8
Dracs leader celebrating Barзa's victories on several occasions. Thus, how come that a committed Barзa supporter, who spends all of his spare time supporting Barзa, in one place remains passive, while in another place demonstrates deep sentiments for the club that he adores? In accounting for his reaction, the goals merely served the purpose of satisfying the Barзa fans. The victory served the cause of overlooking the problems in which the club is facing. For Toni, Barзa is a club with considerable problems, a club in a phase of disintegration. Toni stated that it was crucial to solve the problems first, and when the problems were solved, everybody could commence the celebration. The situation experienced with the members implies an element of reflexivity. Camp Nou is ascribed a negative social meaning, suggesting to have followed along with the economic development in football. Camp Nou materializes as a social space where the practice of supporting Barзa, and the members' idea of mutual respect, are less recognized. In contrast, as the members are relocated to Palau, the members live in emblematic symbioses with the players. Here the members carry out the act of supporting and it converts to be a meaningful human practice. The project of abandoning football is interesting since the group started out at Camp Nou. I suggest it is worthwhile exploring this in detail. In my first encounter with the members I was explained how the members interacted at Camp Nou and Palau according to two dissimilar practices. The members did not attend games at Camp Nou as an assembled supporter organisation. The members' non-presence meant that the members had to attend games at Camp Nou on an individual initiative, and this illumination attracted personal interest and necessitated the need for further exploration. In light of the members' high attendance-rate in Palau, it occurred as somehow quaint that a committed supporter organisation was opposed to the idea of supporting Barзa's footballers. The violent outburst with the other supporter organisation and the last decade's increased professionalizing of Barзa were provided as reasons for the practice, whereby this thesis attempts to explore the connotation of the latter. Whatever term is suitable describing the recent progress in international football, the advance generates a new situation for football fans, a state that I also have experienced. In consequence, I suggest it is vital to provide an account for my aspirations for conducting fieldwork in Barcelona. The objective of writing this dissertation rested on two motivations: (1) Semi-affection for a Norwegian football club and (2) the market penetration of Norwegian football. 9
Semi affection for a Norwegian football club The first condition is related to an autobiographic account where I hold affection for the Norwegian football club SK Brann. Brann is one of the largest football clubs in Norway, located in Bergen. Brann has not won the Norwegian football league since 1963. The fans are optimistic in front of every season and presume that Brann will battle toward glory and raise the trophy when the season is over. But the club seldom does. The social setting encircling Brann is reduced to genuine passion. It seems that the local media plays a crucial role in projecting an image of the Brann fans as local football loonies. Brann's symbiotic relationship with its fans has emerged into a cultural phenomenon reflecting robust local sentiments. For outsiders, Brann is one of the quickest access points in understanding Bergen's local sentiments. The author admits that Brann's social undertone had particular social allusions during my upbringing. I lived outside Oslo. On an everyday basis, I was repeatedly reminded of my geographical origin due to the dialectic differences in Norway. Whether I enjoyed it or not, I was socially categorised as "Bergenser". My parlance was closely related to the Bergen region implying that I was a Brann fan. I do not consider my origin to that of Bergen, but the district surrounding the city. These conditions gave the foundation for an eccentric upbringing. My interest for Brann had to be accomplished through a self-seeking process. I could not entrust my devotion to Brann to an elderly patrilineal pass-on tradition; I was not one of the lucky kids who had an engulfed nutty football dad with a passion for football. Being a Brann fan is for me a combination of a self-ascribed process and an ascribed identity category by the Other. 7 Market penetration of Norwegian football The second condition rests on a professionalizing process of Norwegian football. A process I have experienced throughout the 1990s. As the Norwegian society was on an economic upswing, meant the emergence of an undiscovered market ready for investments. Such an undetected market was Norwegian football. Prior to the entry of economic interests, Norwegian football was characterised as an amateur sport. Footballers were working part-time, football clubs were organised according to a social democratic ideology. This was soon to be altered. It seemed that a leading view within Norwegian football communicated that football called for modernisation. The success of the Norwegian national team, qualifying twice for the World Cup during the 1990s, Rosenborg's triumphs in the Champions League, the overseas transfers of Norwegian footballers, etc., provided additional spin-off effects in the professionalizing of Norwegian football. Only a small number of football clubs were successful, and the majority of the clubs could only demonstrate debts. Brann 7 Anne Norton argues that in the process of forming an identity, people need a contrast to see themselves against (Norton 1988). This contrast I refer to as the Other. The way I employ the term regards how the Other works as a contrast that supporters employ to negotiate and narrate supporter identity. 10
has to be considered an example of being a club with economic difficulties where professionalizing simply has not worked out. The professionalizing of Brann implied that extra hard currency was added into the club. The increased use of hard currency involved that Brann managed to fetch high quality footballers on the Norwegian transfer market. The club stadium was also modernised. The main drive behind such a development seems to be rooted in an idea that buying the best footballers would lead to success. Brann completed their best decade ever, measured in merits, but the outcome involved hard times. Brann had large losses and was frequently at the edge of going bankrupt. It seems that a social pattern developed in Brann: Throughout the 1990s, Brann had many coaches, the club bought footballers with fragmentary contracts. Encompassing large numbers of footballers and coaches, who came and left, involved compensating them because several of the contracts were never completed. The economic process could be read in the local media, which exclusively devoted itself to write about Brann's economic problems. These are my own personal reflections as a Brann fan. I have to underline that the total picture is more complex than described in this preface. My short analysis reflects a degree of reflexivity, where my beliefs and opinions are based on experiences I have acquired by interacting in the context described. I have observed and followed Brann as a regular spectator and read articles in the local media. Such background material provides the reader with a clearer view of what I intend to analyse. Based on my experiences from the Norwegian football context, it seemed interesting to conduct fieldwork in one of the largest football clubs in the world. Investigating a group of Barзa supporters implied that other fans might have experienced the economic development in international football. The remaining question was to endow it with meaning. 11
CHAPTER 1 - DEFINING A PERSPECTIVE 1.1 Introduction This chapter provides an analytical framework for the dissertation and is divided into three parts. In the first part, I aim to substantiate that economic transactions in international football have gained an increased importance. The increased importance of economic transactions suggests to have affected football's social and cultural meaning and I claim that this can be interpreted as a process of socio-cultural change. Consequently, it is important to identify various parameters, both on a local and a global scale indicating a process of change. Establishing these parameters involves dealing with the different agents of the market penetration.8 It is important to establish these agents in the milieu where the members of Dracs interact. In doing so, one achieves a clearer picture of what mechanisms that influence the current situation in international football. However, there are numerous similes applied describing the contemporary situation in football. Amongst football fans, the term "commercialisation" is commonly used. In contrast to this, I employ the term "market penetration". One incentive for using this term rests on the analytical scarce such an idiom holds. The term "market penetration" shows how football moves from being sport based on principles of idealism and amateurship to be a game holding virtues of the economic. The second part places football fans into the mentioned process. Here I will account for how the members of Dracs negotiate and adapt supporter identity in relation to the agents of the market penetration. This deals with how the members negotiate supporter identity in relation to the players. I will also look into analytical challenges in the studies on football fandom and imperative issues debated. The last part deals with methodological reflections from my fieldwork. Part I: Locating the market penetration Considering the contemporary situation in international football, involves a description of what I regard as the market penetration of professional football. Employing the term "market penetration" is to borrow Carlton Brick's description of the English football club Manchester United's tendency of going global: 8 Agency, or human agency, (Barfield 1997:4) might refer to the capacity of human beings to affect their own life chances and those of other and to play a role in the formation of the social realities in which they participate. Social anthropologist who stress agency are prone to reject overly abstract structural and system models of cultural and social action that give little or no place to the way human beings make and participate in the realties which they construct. Several agency approaches are rooted in subject/object dichotomies and emphasize the primary of subjectivist orientations and strategies, and such might include, transactional analysis, which reduces cultural and social processes to principles of individual interaction (Barth 1966: Kapferer 1976). Alternatively, phenomenology, which describes the concepts of social creation and ongoing process of social creation of objectifications of subjective experiences (Husserl 1964, Schutz 1967). Another might include culture and personality, such as the work of Victor Turner, who combined psychoanalytical insight and phenomenological/existential perspectives in symbolic anthropology in opposition to structuralism. The manner in which agency is employed in this thesis relates to how the members of Dracs negotiate and narrate supporter identity in relation to the agents of the market penetration. 13
"The footballing renaissance that has occurred at Manchester United over the last decade or so has coincided with the market penetration of the structures and cultures of English football by global processes. The Premier League has become home to an ever-increasing number of overseas players, Chelsea becoming the first `English' club to field a side comprised entirely of `non-British' players in domestic competition, during the 1999-2000 season." (Brick 2001:10) The market penetration involves emphasising how an economic structure has commenced to gain amplified significance in the field of football. It intermixes with football clubs as they emerge into global brands. Brick exemplifies this process through United's plans of opening merchandising stores in parts of Asia (Brick 2001:11). Barзa has gone through a similar process. The club has several merchandising stores, named La Botiga, located around in Barcelona in archetypical `global spaces'.9 At the Barзa campus, a large merchandising store is located. In Port Vell, at an enormous commercial centre named Maremаgnum, a La Botiga warehouse is situated. A La Botiga store is also located at Barcelona's principal global access point, the airport. Barзa, like United, has stores indicating that the Catalan pride has gained a global foothold. The practice of merchandising displays how football clubs are about to become even more professionalized. Merchandising is characterised by how football clubs and football stars are approaching the practice of branding, where the vended merchandise is aimed at a global audience. Such a practice brings an apparent representation to how football clubs and footballers are socially transforming into becoming commodities. Through this process, they are provided with a social life amongst fans. Providing fans with replica of shirts, sports clothes, shoes, wallets, belt, luggage, bone china, aimed on vending, share similarities to Arjun Appadurai's argument that commodities can have a social life (Appadurai 1988:3). Appadurai argues that the traditional concept of commodities is " most contemporary uses, commodities are special kinds of manufactured goods (or services), which are associated with capitalists' mode of production and thus are to be found only where capitalism has penetrated." (ibid.:7). Such an argument means that the understanding of commodities has been tied up to money. Demonstrating that commodities have an additional social significance beyond the meaning of exchange value is further illustrated by analysing the meaning of gifts. Gifts can render social values such as reciprocity, sociability and spontaneity. The Kula-trade, which Appadurai regards as a "tournaments of value" (ibid.:21), indicates that commodities have a social life. The organising of football leagues where clubs compete for the sake of a trophy reflects a type of "tournaments of value". Especially football clubs possessing scores of trophies come forward as highly regarded. The social significance of how a club is perceived is often communicated through sporting merits. In the wake of a club's social 9 Global space (my interpretation) means a place in the Barcelona context with intercontinental traits. It refers to places in Barcelona where tourists normally interact and could be located in tourist attractions. Vending of Barзa merchandise is regularly observed at these places. 14
significance, the practice of merchandising takes form. Club merchandise has a social meaning beyond exchange values. For the football tourist that appears in Barcelona's global spaces, the act of purchasing a Barзa shirt has an additional meaning. Dressed up in a Barзa club shirt, and strolling around in his hometown, is a fan's social testimony of having paid a visit to Camp Nou. Obtaining the name of a fan's favourite Barзa footballer, and returning to a fan's homeland for then presenting it to his mates, proposes to be a practice where social life is given to a Barзa shirt. One has to remark the shirt might can take on a social life after being in the hands of a fan after some time. Sponsorship is another trait indicating a market penetration of football. Raymond Boyle and Richard Haynes argue that a shift has taken place in the relationship between sport and commerce over the last thirty years (Boyle & Haynes 2000:46). The authors indicate that the extensive volume of reporting from the FIFA World Cup in 1998, points to complex links between television, football and sponsorship. Multinational companies such as Coca Cola, Nike, and Adidas try to enter into context of the World Cup, where the companies endeavour of constructing a social imagery of the corporations as a natural part of the football setting. For example, footballers are used as instruments to promote sportswear. Nike will pay out $ 400 million over ten years to the Brazilin national team. In return, the Brazilian footballers will help the sportswear giant to promote Nike's products (ibid.). Former FIFA-president, Joгo Havelange, suggested that the annual financial transaction in international football, for 1997, had an estimated value of 250 billion U.S. dollars (Sugden, Tomlinson & Darby 1998:11). The number serves as an indication that financial transactions have gained an increased role in the development of football. One should suspect that the entrance of commercial television has contributed to such high figures. Commercial television's entry to the football field can be comprehended from two perspectives. Firstly, emerging ties between football clubs, football federations and commercial television, and secondly, increased media exposure of football. Considering the latter, a growing number of European football fans have access to daily live football, broadcast on satellite or cable television (Armstrong & Giulianotti 1997:25). The increased media exposure of football can have implications on fans' relation to football, both in formation of fan identity and interaction with the sport. Several football clubs located in Europe are depending more and more on income from TVrights. The market penetration has contributed to create gaps and inequalities between football clubs. Simon Lee, for example, argues that the commercialisation of English football has not created, but merely has served to intensify and legitimate inequalities that now exist between the richer and the poorer Premier League clubs (Lee 1998:33). The five largest football clubs in England (Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal), named the "Big 15
Five", have played an important role in constructing differences between English football clubs. In the mid 1980s, the "Big Five" expressed a growing dissatisfaction with redistribution of revenues, especially from TV-agreements, to the lower division clubs. In post-war England, the interests of the lower division clubs were secured through mechanisms of redistribution of power and resources. This prevented all the top footballers from going to the biggest clubs, and the redistributed revenues from TV-rights to poorer clubs secured the poorer club income and functioned as means avoiding large differences between the clubs. Despite measures taken, inequalities still exist among English football clubs. The establishing of The Premier League, in the beginning of the 1990s, provided the largest clubs with an opportunity to negotiate with British Sky Broadcasting. As a result, the crosssubsidy under the old system was soon to be discarded. Income from TV-rights would reverse the financial situation and generate inequalities, which widened during the 1990s. Emerging ties between football clubs and commercial television shows that the market penetration is not synonyms with success. In 2002, several English football clubs playing in divisions below the Premier League were on the limit of going bankrupt. The reason for this was rooted in the clubs counting on revenues from a television agreement made with the television channel ITV Digital. The owners of the TV-channel, Carlton Communications and Granada, invested about Ј 1 billion in a television infrastructure network. ITV Digital's expensive television agreement and the company's large investments, made profit problematical. Many clubs had revenues from the agreement constituting their principal income resource. Along with ITV Digital's problem to pay the clubs' cut from the agreement, approximately 72 clubs were at the limit of breaking down (Dagens Nжringsliv 25th April 2002). Another example can be found in Italy. The kick-off date of the Italian Serie A for the 2002/03-season was delayed by two weeks. The kick-off date was postponed due to a disagreement between a large commercial TV-channel, the Italian football federation and Italian football clubs, regarding a disagreement on re-distribution of income from TV-rights. Eight clubs were without an agreement concerning live broadcasting of matches. The clubs threatened to establish their own TV-channels if the clubs were not offered higher income from the commercial TV-channel, holding the TV-rights to the Italian Serie A (Aftenposten 26th August 2002). The market penetration has also gained importance in other parts of football as well. Football stadiums all over Europe have undergone extensive modernisation. Throughout the 1990s, investments and modernisation of English football stadiums reached an estimated value of Ј 400 million (Lee 1998:32). Various motivations can be found for renewing football stadiums. The Hillsborough tragedy and the problem of spectator violence are amongst the motives for installing all-seater stadiums. The European Championships and the World Cup hosted in Europe have also involved a modernisation of European football stadiums. Installing all-seater stadiums are 16
symbolically speaking, measures assisting in increasing the social image of football. It helps football move from a "labour-class image" to a "middle-class" spectator sport. Building all-seater stadiums facilitates clubs in offering family solutions to nice middle-class families that wish to attend football matches. Increasing tickets prices and preparing a comfortable setting at the football stadium helps to clean out unwelcome elements. 1.2 The Bosman-verdict and corrupt footballers A significant development in European football is to be found in the implementation of the Bosman-verdict. Exploring the Bosman-verdict's juridical effects and consequences do not constitute a major objective for this dissertation. But the verdict's cultural and social influence on how fans identify with footballers might. It is imperative to explore the Bosman-verdict, as the verdict can create new social and cultural ideas about the footballer. In 1996, the European Court of Justice ended a legal trial finishing with the Bosman case (Football Industry Group 2003). The ruling is an attempt to comply with the European Union's juridical standards for worker-employer conditions. The verdict attempts to strengthen footballers' juridical rights providing independence in decision for choosing their club. The case determined the legality of a system regulating transfers of footballers between football clubs located in the European Union and the existence of a so-called 'quota systems': A scheme that allowed a limited number of foreign footballers in club matches.10 The outcome of the verdict relates to every football governing bodies situated in the European Union and indirectly affects all UEFA competitions. What was the situation before the Bosman-verdict became EU-law? The conditions for European football clubs were different, concerning transfers of footballers and quotas. A footballer could only sign on for another club with the agreement of both clubs. As a rule, this agreement was only reached by the setting of a transfer fee, where the buying club bought the footballer from the selling club. This applied regardless of whether the footballer's contract with the selling club had ended. If a footballer did not have a contract, he was not allowed to sign a contract with a new team until a transfer fee had been paid, or until a free transfer had been granted. Prior to the Bosman case, quota systems existed in many national leagues and in the UEFA club competitions. Consequently, what is the background for the verdict and what are the conditions after it became EU-law? The backdrop is to be found in a juridical dispute between the Belgian footballer, JeanMarc Bosman, and his former employer, the Belgium football club, RFC Liege. Bosman wanted to be transferred to a French club, Dunkerque. But RFC Liege declined Bosman to go from the club without receiving payment from Dunkerque. Dunkerque was reluctant to pay the transfer for 10 A maximum limit set to three foreign footballers simultaneously on the pitch. 17
Bosman. Bosman regarded such an action from RFC Liege to be in violation of his right to exercise the principle of "freedom of movement" as an EU-citizen. The footballer argued that he had a principle right to choose whom he wanted to work for. The transfer system prevented him of exercising his right as an EU-citizen. Bosman argued that the system should be changed so that footballers, who were out of contract with a club, could move to another club without the need of settling a transfer fee. This argument was tested in the European Court of Justice, where the court voted in favour of Bosman and against RFC Liege, the Belgium Football Association and UEFA. Two legal decisions were made from the case: Firstly, transfer fees for out-of-contract footballers were made illegal when a footballer was moving between one EU nation and another. From now on, footballers still serving under contracts with their teams could have transfer fees paid for them. Secondly, the quota systems were also held to be illegal. Football clubs situated in the European Union are now able to play with as many foreigners they want. The Bosman-verdict raises questions regarding discourses on footballers, masculinity and morality. With the dominating idea of footballers' towering wages and exorbitant transfer fees, the question of what legitimacy footballers have amongst supporters is certainly raised. Hitherto, masculinity refers to a concept dealing with manhood or male identity (Barfield 1997:310). The construction of modern masculine stereotypes occurred in relation to nationalism in the late nineteenth-century, where morality was an integrated part of this social scheme (Mosse 1985, 1996). Public sporting rituals such as performing gymnastic exercises in parts of Germany and other parts of Europe, played a crucial role in the construction of masculine stereotypes, reflecting male beauty. George Mosse argues that male beauty and a fit body were important attributes in the construction of modern masculinity, because it reflected "linkage of body and soul, of morality and bodily structure" (Moose 1996:26). In order to have a fit body, morals became imperative, as the male body attained a true symbolic value. The staging of sporting rituals in the public sphere, the construction of masculine stereotypes reflects the notion of agency, an agency where the male body materialises to be a carrier of collective values. This is clearer by seeing it in context of nationalism and sporting rituals. For example, the Olympics is a sporting ritual where nations assemble and compete amongst each other through the agency of the nations' sportsmen. Masculine symbols are also projected in the field of football. The Argentinean footballer Diego Maradona matches such a cultural category. Maradona is an agent of an Argentinean masculine symbol and holds the qualities of the pibe. A pibe is the picture of a young boy that plays football and is an architect in the Argentinean playing style criollo (Archetti 1998a). The mythical ideas attached to the pibe reflect the social imagery of a perfect footballer possessing creative and artistic control. As Maradona holds the qualities of being a pibe, the footballer complies with the notion of being an individual 18
representative of a collective value. In doing so, Maradona materialises to be a positive symbol in Argentinean nationalism. Indeed, the individual role of the footballer goes beyond the increased autonomy provided by the Bosman-verdict. Footballers have emerged into public figures and their role has passed beyond the significance of the football field. There is one example telling a great deal. The icon status of the English footballer David Beckham is thus illuminating. David Beckham exemplifies the indulgence of the consumer market. His image has become a dominant icon in British sport representation. Attached to his stardom materializes a range of elusive discourses (Whannel 2002:202-212). He is the golden boy: Beckham possesses a football talent, has a nice look and encompasses a highly publicised romance with another British media star, Victoria Adams (Posh Spice in the Spice Girls). Beckham played for a dominant English football team, Manchester United, which attracted considerable supporting and significant loathing. The image displayed by Beckham, in its narcissist self-absorption and its departure from the dominant masculine codes of the footballer style, also represents a challenge to the heterosexual conformity of sport's mode of male self-representation. Beckham's image speaks louder than words, he seldom gives personal interviews, but it is Beckham's partner, Adams, which plays the "dominant" part in the couple's relationship. In contrast to Beckham, Adams displays a more assertive female. This might be a challenge to the hegemonic masculinity and its assumption of the man as the dominant partner. Beckham's sendingoff in England's key match in 1998 World Cup, denoted a point of condensation for discourses of morality and fair play in which English national pride became national shame. Despite Beckham having success with United after the sending-off the media displays a narrative of redemption and triumph. As a consequence, the individual role of the footballer progresses beyond the football stadium and enters into a commodified nature. The true symbolic meaning of a footballer as a masculine stereotype enters into a moral crisis. This has parallels to the current moral "crisis" in the discourse on masculinity. Garry Whannel (2002:5) argues that relativism and the "collapse of authority" are features from contemporary society bringing up a moral crisis in discourses on masculinity. Whannel argues that relativism, from a conservative perspective, has undermined the whole notion of cultural value (ibid.). It can be identified through how modern popular culture assaults the tradition on aesthetic judgements. The latter can be attached to the "collapse of authority", where typical male moral authorities such as priests, teachers, and fathers within families, have started to disintegrate. In context of the football field, footballers' entry into the consumer market means that their position as true masculine stereotypes starts to disintegrate: 19
"Sport, with its ethical structure of fair play, its roots in Corinthian idealism and its separateness from the contestation of the political sphere, appeals to the moral entrepreneurs. Here is a symbolic arena in which heroes can parade, epitomising the finest, most noble values, and providing role models to which boys can aspire. These hopes are doomed to be dashed for three reasons. First, news is negative ­ and the action of the good do not make big headlines; second, sport is no more free from the corruptions and temptations of the world than any other sphere: indeed there is some evidence that elite sports performers have less rigid moral principals than the average person: third, there is little, convincing evidence that the relation between young audience and stars in the public eye is as simple as the `role mode' concept implies." (Whannel 2002:7) Footballers as entrepreneurs of true moral ideas seem to be of a disintegrating nature considering it in relation to the market penetration. The Bosman-verdict casts light on exorbitant transfer fees and towering wages, and these features have some influence on how footballers are perceived as agents of collective values. As footballers are the sport's principal representatives, and in some measures, they constitute it, these conditions play a crucial role in how supporters choose to identify with them. In contrast to being identified as true agents of social values, which fans identifies with, the Bosman-verdict's relation to the market penetration implies that footballers are ascribed new moral values; they are being perceived as corruptive and fall easily for temptations. This provides a new denotation to which masculine symbol a footballer nowadays symbolizes. The increased autonomy given to footballers has played a role in altering the social image of the footballer. Seen from a supporter's perspective, for example, when a footballer comes to play for club, and is provided towering wages, and after time supporters see that the footballer is not performing well, questions come about if it was towering wages that were deceive in the footballer's decision to play for the club, than truly wanting to represent it. Alternatively speaking, the footballer is not playing for the club because it is a great honour, but represents it because it is his work. When such an idea becomes dominating in the discourse on the footballer, the agency of the footballer representing "Corinthian idealism" needs to be reconsidered, resulting in that the footballer has to defend his authority as custodian of noble values. One might say that footballers convert to be agents of other collective values on the road to commoditisation. For committed supporters, where morality and loyalty are highly cherished values, one might deduce that the market penetration has influenced how supporters choose to identify with footballers whereby making it problematical. 1.3 Strategies of implementing social cultural change ­ to buy footballers? European football clubs' adaptation to the Bosman-verdict diverges. Along with the verdict emerges a new set of unforeseen practices and modes of adaptation. One mode of adaptation is through employing the full opportunities given when the quota systems were abolished. Largely it consists of buying the best footballers on the market. Such a strategy might pursue two purposes. Firstly, in order to keep a social imagery of being a large club, a club has to demonstrate a winning 20
culture and possess sporting merits. Possessing the best footballers on the market, might facilitate the chore of upholding such an idea, on the condition that the best footballers perform their work of "bringing" the trophies to the club. Secondly, the other purpose might be identified in means of implementation for converting a club into a semi-multinational enterprise. As merchandising, revenue from commercial television and participation in European club tournaments normally provide increased income, then possessing the best footballers might further facilitate the task of making money on football. In such a context, what happens to a club's collective representation as such business ideas begin to obtain foothold? The Spanish football club Real Madrid is an interesting example. Since 2000, estimate goes that Real Madrid has spent almost 500 million on buying new footballers (Newsweek 19 May 2003). The club has operated according to a policy of fetching the best footballers on the market. This has resulted in signing on the Portuguese footballer Luis Figo from Barзa, the French football player Zinedine Zidane from Juventus, the Brazilian star Ronaldo and the latest acquisition, David Beckham from Manchester United. Three of Europe's 10 highest-paid footballers play for Real Madrid, earning a total of nearly 20 million a year. Assessments suggest that in the fiscal year of 2002 saw the Spanish football club spent 117.2 million on wages, which is almost 80 percent of Real Madrid's total operating revenues. There are downsides in buying the best footballers. Real Madrid's dept was calculated to be around Ј 70 million before the purchase of Luis Figo in July 2000 (Brown & Walsh 2001:94). Such data taken into the discussion raises the question on Real Madrid's collective representation. Since Real Madrid is packed up with football stars, and it is widely known that these footballers are well paid, suggestions are that Real Madrid is provided a new collective meaning, especially amongst non-Real Madrid supporters. Acquiring Beckham and other well-paid footballers shows how Real Madrid puts itself in a situation where the club's collective representation transmits cultural fusion. Real Madrid has carried the association of being a club with close ties to the Spanish state, especially during the Franco regime (Duke & Crolley 1996). Possessing football stars with different nationality - the footballers' appearance outside the football context, or not to mention, that Real Madrid's footballers are well paid - imply that Real Madrid's wider collective representation comes to question. Amongst Real Madrid's adherents versus disbelievers, the collective representation of the club could be interpreted differently. Beckham, who often appears in other public spheres, foremost in the fashion business, brings with him a new set of social values. Even if Beckham is a fashion icon, he has thousands of fans that are aficionados of him rather than being Real Madrid fans. But Beckham is also loathed by many (Whannel 2002:217). Such an argument addresses another characteristic of fans' discourses on masculinity and morality: a footballer's allegiance to a club. Real Madrid holds footballers that are subject to antagonism by many fans. Here Figo serves as an 21
unsurpassed example.11 Footballers that have signed on for Real Madrid are often ostracized because they "betrayed" their previous club. They are playing for Real Madrid merely because it is well paid, if one is to consider an endorsed argument amongst committed supporters. Possessing a great number of footballers ascribed such social values; Real Madrid attains an additional collective symbol. When seen from a non-Real Madrid supporter's perspective, Real Madrid could be interpreted as a club that possesses footballers with less developed ideas of true club loyalty. Similarly to Real Madrid, Barзa has also spent considerable amounts on buying footballers. The Catalan pride finds itself in a situation with large dept and "...FC Barcelona's Federation scheme ­ or that, because of their importance, they are allowed by banks and authorities to operate with massive debt." (Brown & Walsh 2001:94). Barзa's spending on acquisitions of players for the 1997/98 season, accounts for 7 billion pesetas according to the club (Burns 1998:349). The strategy of signing on footballers has involved in a rapid augmentation in club expenditures. Barзa has employed approximately 35 to 40 foreign footballers from 1995 to 2001 according to data obtain from fieldwork. For the period 1990 to 1994, the club employed seven foreign footballers. Although Barзa has bought footballers in great numbers, the Catalan pride is faced with another difficulty; the market penetration operates within the club structures: "{...the traditional Catalan values is somehow outdated. Post-Franco Spain is democracy, Catalonia has got back in large measure its national political rights and institutions... The problem is that in the last 20 years, under presidency of Mr Nъсez, our rights as members of the club have been dramatically reduced. In short, as Catalonians our situation has improved, but as members of Barcelona Football Club, our situation has deteriorated.}" (Brown & Walsh 2001:94)12 Certain individuals are required to make contact with the footballers and other business interests. These agents can be located in a club's professional staff. Since Spanish football clubs are based on a non-profit-making model, the members of Spanish clubs elect a board that governs the club. In Barзa, the former president, Josep Lluis Nъсez, who was president for 22 years, implemented various reforms attempting to restructure the club. Among such are buying up various land properties surrounding the campus. Throughout Nъсez's presidency, the former president consolidated his position within the club structures. It meant that he "systematically eroded the democracy enshrined in the club structure." (ibid.): 11 See chapter 4, page 103, for an example of Barзa fans' antagonism against Figo. 12 Quoted from "Burns, Barзa: A People's Passion. A. Carabйn, A. Godall and J. Laporta, `The Struggle for Democracy at FC Barcelona and the case for A European independent regulator of professional football', in Hamil, et al., A Game of two Halves? 22
"Nъсez saw his commercializing proposals as `progress' and his resignation followed the shelving of his Barзa 2000 project, which would have turned the site of the Nou Camp into a theme park complete with bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. As a property developer he has made his fortune ripping down the old and replacing it with the new and saw Barзa 2000 and his constitutional reforms as a way of updating the Barзa tradition." (ibid.) In the wake of the market penetration, emerges the question if football clubs are democratic institutions. In contrast to this, do they serve in the interests of their fans? Such an argument has a dual meaning. Club officials who sign contracts with footballers, and provide them with towering wages, might argue that such actions are carried out in order to satisfy the wishes of the masses. Furthermore, if Barзa has the best footballers, and they perform the assignment of winning the title; such an action fulfils the common interest for all parties involved - to become the champion. In contrast to this, fans might argue that they are a part of a segment possessing a distinct notion of loyalty and commitment, making them vulnerable to economic exploitation. For example, when a club introduces new products and services, supporters might sense a compulsion of buying them. For the social anthropologist, such mechanisms of social discrepancies reveal a social process where the creation of meaning takes place, and are therefore important to investigate. 1.4 The conflicting individual agency The market penetration's attempt to intermix with Spanish football clubs needs to be understood in the context of a club's regional attachment. Looking into a footballer's role in this project provides interesting remarks. Spanish football clubs are employed as vehicles to express collective identities. The Basque football club Athletic Bilbao is a leading example. Jeremy MacClancy (1996:10a, 1996:181-199b) shows how the club is employed to construct a Basque nationalist community. Footballers play an imperative role in this project. The footballers are employed as an instrument to fortify the idea that the club should be made up of local players. Athletic Bilbao employs a policy of only signing on Basque players, facilitating the claim that the club shares a special unifying role in the city, province and beyond, pulling its supporters together in a shared loyalty, which transcends class or politics (Walton 2001:122). The policy of only signing on footballers originating from the Basque region complies with the notion that Athletic Bilbao has a rigid social position in Paнs Basko. Moving on to the position of Barзa, being the principal representation of Catalonia, Barзa is also employed as vehicle for expressing Catalan sentiments. In contrast to Athletic Bilbao, Barзa does not employ a similar strategy. Communicating the notion that footballers from Catalonia are agents of Catalan values is accomplished through dissimilar means. This is achieved by employing symbolic images from Catalan nationalism. Catalan nationalism, for example, essentialises social 23
values that are believed to be distinctive Catalan and project them through symbols. The symbols are attempted mediated through footballers playing for Barзa. The countryside in Catalan nationalism evolves as a significant symbol and is ascribed a meaning of purity. The countryside was a place where the Catalan bourgeoisie socialised and performed various cultural activities (Thomassen 1996). Learning the children poetry and establishing an awareness of Catalan history, were imperative activities carried out by the Catalan bourgeoisie in the late 1800s. The former Barзa player, Josep "Pep" Guardiola, serves as an example of a footballer that supposedly acquired and possessed typical Catalan values (Lien 2001). Guardiola comes from the Catalan countryside and mediates purity. Here the poor playground provided him with his basic football skills, skills that he took with him to Barзa, and from there developed a special attachment to the club. Although Guardiola mediates the idea of Catalan purity, he converts to be a bodily materialisation of Catalan values and symbolism. In doing so, Guardiola becomes an agent of a collective value, creating unanimity that Barзa possesses an embedded social position in the Catalan society, bringing further meaning to notions of locality and social belonging. Mediating Catalan symbolism through Barзa can be examined from another perspective. The campo (the countryside) and La Masia (a Catalan rural farmhouse), are social imageries from Catalan nationalism attempted mediated through Barзa today (ibid.). These Catalan symbols are conveyed through Barзa's training program for fostering up young footballers. Next to Camp Nou, La Cantera is located. It is the recreation of the Catalan campo, where young Barзa footballers from Catalonia, and other places, live in a rural Catalan farmhouse. Here youngsters are allowed to study and to develop as footballers. The recreation of the La Cantera might inspire young Catalans to learn about Catalan values and wear the Barзa shirt one day. Such an arrangement shows how essentialised aspects of Catalan nationalism are communicated through footballers, being agents of collective values: "Through the guidance and teaching within the realms of Barзa and the `safe' and `protected' la Masia, the young players arriving Barcelona are exposed to pure Catalan setting where la gran familia Blaugrana protects them from the outside world ­ an exposure they one day will feel when representing the nation in the huge, modern Camp Nou lying besides the old farmhouse." (ibid.:67) The market penetration's impact on Barзa means that the idea of a footballer as an agent of Catalan values obliges to be reconsidered. After the implementation of the Bosman-verdict, an increased number of foreign players from South America and the European Union have started to play for Barзa, especially from the latter. After the takeover by another Dutch trainer, Louis van Gaal, for the 1998/99-season, an extensive number of Dutch players were brought to Barзa such as Phillip 24
Cocu, Boudwijn Zenden, Patrick Kluivert and the De Boer Twins. One might say that Barзa has been exposed of an "internationalisation" wave, but this is not big news. Barзa's biggest football profiles throughout the history of the club have been international footballers, such as Maradona, Johan Cruyff, etc. So the club possesses a practice of having overseas relations for some time. Even if the official discourse on Barзa mediates the belief of being a Catalan symbol, Barзa has had an international foothold before the days of the market penetration. The difference between footballers playing for the club nowadays, from the early international profiles, differs through the number of foreign footballers and how much they are paid. And this is significant. How much footballers are paid, their stardom, which actions they carry out, where they come from, how well they adapt to the club, footballers' loyalty and so forth, are closely monitored by Barзa's supporters. This signifies that the Barзa supporters have countless beliefs and opinions regarding the agents representing the club. The fans' way of being opinionated on dominant footballers means that a creation of meaning takes place and therefore there is unmistakably a social relation between the supporters and the footballers. The means involved in creating such a social relation and how it is put on display, of course, becomes a contextual affair. Viewing the social relation from a supporter's angel, a supporter's way of being opinionated, the supporter is narrating his- or her relation to the footballer, furthermore the supporter's relation to Barзa. The supporter's narration about the footballer means that social identity is negotiated, and this indicates that a Barзa supporter is continuously reflecting upon his- or her relation to the footballer and Barзa. When towering wages and exorbitant transfer fees become dominating topics in the discourse on footballers, implications are that supporters are rather active in their relation to Barзa. As such is asserted, it also partially confirms that the market penetration has influenced how Barзa supporters choose to identify with footballers, whereby emphasising its problematical aspects. 1.5 Another agent of the market penetration - La Junta Directiva MacClancy (1996:5a) argues that sports and sporting events cannot be understood without reference to relations of power. This certainly applies for the market penetration of Barзa. For the purpose of this study, however, it involves locating the governing body within the club structure. The leading governing body of Barзa is La Junta Directiva,13 with its front man, el presidente and other official representatives. The governing body of Barзa is a complex organisation. Besides the president, La Directiva consists of five vice-presidents and additional members. The governing body of Barзa is made up of roughly 20 people. But some 60 to 70 people are interrelated to Barзa's governing body. How well these individuals are integrated into the governing body, and furthermore, how well 13 From now on referred to as La Directiva. 25
these representatives are able to exercise means of influence, is not a particular that will be pursued here. Now, how is La Directiva interrelated to the market penetration? For instance, representatives of the board regularly carry out the work of signing contracts with new footballers. Barзa's governing body involvement in contract-signing processes, implies that La Directiva has played a significant role in bringing the market penetration closer. It also insinuates that La Directiva has a central role in transfer cases, indicating that the governing body has been an agent in providing footballers with towering wages. The relationship between Barзa's footballers and La Directiva leaves the impression of having an intimate nature, emerging as a private arrangement. The components mentioned, enter into a small-scale network of individuals where only a constrained number of persons possess legitimate admittance. It seems to be a secluded community, but has an outward form. In the secluded community, Barзa's footballers spend most of their time withdrawn from the public sphere. But the footballers appear in the public sphere when playing matches at Camp Nou, and in other official club settings. The footballers seem to be provided with a more professional outward form, and this can be related to the sports media. Boyle & Haynes (2000:168) argue that throughout the 1990s, the contemporary governing bodies in sports, individual clubs and athletes, manage sports news input in a much more structured appearance than previous generations. Keeping sports in the media spotlight, sports organisations have become more competent at producing press releases and staging press conferences. This certainly applies for Barзa, which performs daily press conferences where footballers and management in turn talk with the media. It is in such a context that footballers are provided with a more outward professional form. Besides Barзa possessing a professional staff dealing with public relations, the sports media have taken over the role of connecting Barзa`s footballers with the outside world. The power relations attached to the club structure seem to comprise of a small group of individuals. Barзa's governing body, the footballers, the media, etc., possess the legitimate right of entry to the secluded community. The Barзa supporters have limited access to the secluded community. Obtaining access to it turns out to be a challenging task. Since the sports media have taken over the role of connecting Barзa fans and the club, the relation between sports journalists, club officials, footballers, etc., enters into a social category subject to opinions. Fans' way of being opinionated of the agents representing the secluded community, implies that a formation of meaning takes place. Especially representatives of Barзa's governing body are subject to radical opinions. An accusation put forward by various Barзa fans during fieldwork, was that members of La Directiva hold other key positions in the Catalan society with considerable political and economic power. Employing Barзa's significant social value and integrating this into their own business, allegedly the members of Barзa's governing body used the club's social value to enrich themselves. 26
Persons permitted access to the secluded community are purportedly only granted access it they hold a social position in the Catalan society regarded as significant: "Based on the presidents I know, I'm against the members of the board. Members of the board only think of their personal economic benefits, - those I have seen." (Interview July 2002)14 Locating the power relations within the club structure, and comprehending how fans narrate and negotiate themselves in relation to it, helps us understand how a symbolic segregation between the footballers and the fans is being experienced. Dracs' leader stated that supporter organisations appearing at Camp Nou merely accomplished attaining a superficial relation to the footballers. Observations from the fieldwork suggest that this could be the case. Interacting at Camp Nou is a tricky matter. The club's security staff makes it virtually impossible to talk with the footballers. Though the security staff appear at Camp Nou in order to prevent spectator violence, their job also seems to consist of protecting Barзa's footballers from passionate fans. Barзa's footballers, adored by the many, bring an opposite social picture. Seeing that sports stars need to be protected, they also come forward as symboliC Property of the club. The market penetration of Barзa appears to be a "hot potato" and comes to view as a controversial topic. Based on field experiences, it seems that the market penetration is infrequently discussed. Addressing the deeper quandaries of the market penetration, and speak unreservedly about it in a public setting, might be considered as an act of condemnation of Barзa's governing body. This is not to say that club officials are not aware of the Barзa`s economic situation, and I am not claiming that Barзa is a non-democratic organisation. My impression rests on that the deeper quandaries of the market penetration seem to be overlooked. I was told, for example, that making enquires regarding the club's spending on transfers might be seen as an action harming the club's public relations. If a journalist started writing critically about Barзa, the journalist might put himor herself in jeopardy of becoming unemployed, according to informants. Through the narrative below, we find how the leader of Dracs describes his relation to Barзa and the sports media. The narration about the sports media shows how supporter identity is negotiated. It implies that the member is continuously reflecting upon supporter identity in relation to how Barзa is somehow governed: 14 My translation. The majority of the narratives employed are the voice of Dracs' leader, Toni. Toni has been my principal informant throughout the fieldwork. Throughout the thesis, I will try to indicate informants presenting their voice. 27
"It's a symbiotic relation. For example, it is the similar relation that exists between the paparazzi and celebrities. They exist because the other one exists. Barзa needs the journalists, for they speak for the club and we read about it. The journalists need Barзa to have something to write about. It is a symbiotic relationship, one part does not exist without the existence of the other. It is simply an economic relation. It is a social relation of living together. In the end, the one that pays for it all, is us, the public. They say to us, what we want to hear. If they need each other, for that reason there are fewer problems. Football without television does not exist nowadays, before yes, but now, football without television, gone, television without football, gone. For all of the private commercial channels in Europe the most important thing is football. If Canal + did not have football, what does it serve for? It is a symbiotic relationship between both of them, but it is so special that it goes from being symbiotic to be a parasitic relation. It is in a place of helping itself from passing on to be irritating. Nowadays, football or sports without television and media wouldn't exist." (Interview July 2002)15 1.6 A social drama or a critical discourse? I would like to make some preliminary remarks concerning the market penetration. The heading of Boyle and Haynes' (2000) volume, "Power Play", fits to be an adequate idiom describing the nature of the market penetration. The market penetration, construed as a power play, deals with moral and emotional values attached to the legitimate ownership of Barзa. Is it the committed supporters of Barзa or is it the guidance of the commercial interests that play? Notwithstanding that supporters employ the term "commercialisation" to describe a period of change, the intension of this thesis is not to offer an over-all understanding of how the market penetration influences Barзa. But nevertheless I claim that the market penetration reflects a process of socio-cultural change evoking emotional and moral sentiments. The term "market penetration" is merely an allegory applied describing a process of change. This position shares some analytical analogies to Gustav Thaiss' argument. Thaiss infers for that social change can be conceptualised through analysis of metaphors, arguing that " social scientists use metaphor and analogies in constructing their theoretical model, so theological modes are constructed by religious leader in Iran, with relevant metaphors, to comprehend the realities of changing social system" (Thaiss 1978:13). For Barзa supporters, it is the sentiment of being part of an era of change that can be connected to metaphors such as "market penetration", "commercialisation", and so on. Barзa supporters experience that they are caught up in a complex process of socio-cultural change, and find themselves in a state where supposed traditional norms and values are no longer given. The market penetration emerges in such a magnitude that comprehending it becomes problematical. Narrating and negotiating the experience through a simile, which explains a process of socio-cultural change, contributes to construct a certain degree of awareness of a supporter's reality. 15 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 28
Hence, my inkling from the fieldwork was informants repeated statements with the underlying that Barзa is in a crisis. How the crisis is interpreted and how it is put on display differs. Dracs' leader, for example, explained to me that Barзa attempts to project itself as a large club, but for him, the club merely took the form as a seed, which was Toni's way of describing the present crisis. But Barзa's lack of winning titles in football is a trait that puts extra pressure on the alleged crisis. Since Barзa has not won an important title the last years, much effort has been put down in revitalising this project. Attempting to complete this scheme, footballers have been brought to Barзa in large number and coaches have come and gone. But as the amplified economic development has made its impact through these actions, Barзa is perceived as being in a state of crisis. Consequently, the alleged crisis share trait of being "...unites of aharmonic or disharmonic processes, arising in conflict situations." (Turner 1974:37a). This involves that a social drama is distinguishing itself in the Barзa setting. From the social drama is the progress of a critical discourse amongst the Barзa supporters, a critical discourse characterised by supporters' moral and emotional involvement. It deals with evaluating and conversing about how Barзa should be managed. For example, is Barзa's governing body methodological in their job, or are there any fields that can be enhanced? In sum, as Barзa fans possess a highly developed awareness of the club's present situation, it suggests a developed sense of ritualised involvement. This will be an aspect for pursuing in the following section. Part II: The abandoning of football: Negotiating supporter identity How do the members of Dracs relate to the market penetration in explicit terms? MacClancy's approach to the topic might pertain for clarifications. Concerning sport and identity MacClancy remarks: "Sport may not be just a marker of one's already established social identity but a means by which to create a new social identity." (1996:2a). Barзa being a leading symbol of Catalonia implies that in spaces where Barзa is manifested, the Catalan identity is expressed. To analyse the members' supporter identity involves dealing with the Catalan national identity, and this is interrelated to how the members foster the Catalan national identity. Entering into a discussion, which barely deals with how the group is an instrument of reproducing and expressing Catalan sentiments, is not the principal focus for the thesis. But the members' way of expressing Catalan sentiments will be an important theme evolving through the discussion. This implies a postulation that the members' supporter identity might be a discrete social identity, which I fairly believe it is. The identity category "supporter" is complex and interrelates to other identity categories as well. Despite numerous of Dracs' members being occupied with work or studies, indicating a complex social arrangement of different social identities, the main project of this thesis tries to describe how the members experience the market penetration of Barзa. 29
However, how do the members negotiate and adapt supporter identity in relation to the market penetration? This could be expressed through the mentioned project of abandoning of football. But how can we locate this more explicitly? For the members, it seems to deal with the establishing of moral and emotional borders between the members and the footballers. The abandoning of football can be established by asking if the members experience a sentiment of solidarity with the footballers. The method of not expressing solidarity with the footballers is recognized through the divergence between the actions of watching and supporting at a game. The distinction reflects the degree of involvement where Barзa is celebrated. Considering that the members' prime objective is to support, or to create an atmosphere that communicates solidarity with the players, to watch the footballers at Camp Nou means to express non-solidarity. Bearing in mind that Dracs started out at Camp Nou, where the group supported the footballers, and then afterwards left the football setting for moral and emotional incentives, suggests an abandoning of football. What incentives are then stated for supporting Barзa in the less professionalized sports? "Because it's the sports that Barзa has. If Barзa had eight other sports, we would support them as well, obviously, if Barзa had only two, then we would support them both. Look, currently, football and us no, basketball, handball, fъtbol sala and hockey patines, all of them yes. Afterwards, ice hockey,16 its a typical North American sport. It's a fast sport, but it endures for so long, it lasts for about four hours and during the game its so incredible cold. Maybe in Norway, but here! It's a sport that is very difficult to unite with our ideas, and the same with baseball and rugby! I think that we are supporting the most important that Barзa has, semi professional, as fъtbol sala, and the other professional sports." (Interview July 2002)17 Avowing that the economic development in football is a large-scale process, that challenges the members' supporter identity, the development in football might correlate to how modernity influences social identity. Putting forward such an assumption requires addressing how these influences work. Over the past 500 years, vast alternations have occurred on the globe influencing the concept of social identity. Social transformations, such as the development of modern technology, enlargement of cities, global migration linked to colonisation and industrialisation, are key elements in the transition to modernity. These alternations have also influenced the significance of social identity's relation to the spatial. The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu argues that what was taken for granted in urban settings becomes object of questioning as people encounter individuals from other places (Bourdieu 1977:233). 16 Barзa has an ice hockey team. Dracs attempted to support Barзa in ice hockey but abolished this project. Barзa also has a rugby and baseball team. 17 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 30
Parallels from the argument above can be related to how the members negotiate supporter identity in relation to footballers' agency. The Bosman-verdict has opened for a greater social mobility of footballers. Before the verdict, several national football leagues in Europe were tied up to the footballers' nationality. With the abolishing of the quota system one can identify a higher degree of circulation of footballers across national borders. For Barзa, the consequence was that a greater number of foreign footballers are now attached to the club. In a situation where the discourse on the footballers is dominated by the towering wages and the exorbitant transfer fees, a foreign footballer's possible task of being an agent of Catalan values and represent Barзa's collective identity becomes problematical to bring about. Based on a narrative, it suggests the construction of clearer symbolic frontiers between the members and foreign footballers; moreover, the criterion of identification with the footballer becomes difficult to accomplish: "Its very sad. If they could pay the footballers less, it could help the tickets to become cheaper, meaning that people could go the stadium. If the stadiums had been full, it would be different, but the majority of the football stadiums are empty. They are not full. They could pay the footballers less and make the tickets cheaper. But it would go bad, they say. (Author): So they need to set a maximum limit? Toni: Yes, they could put a maximum. It is not NORMAL what they earn these days! (Interview July 2002)18 Anthony Giddens argues that reflexivity characterises human action. Humans often keep track of why their actions are carried out (Giddens 1997:34). As humans interact in more modernised societies the notion of reflexivity converts to be of a fundamental nature. The consequence of modernity on social identity, or self-identity, which is the term that Giddens employs, human reflexivity is an essential instrument employed for narrating social identity. Facilitating Giddens' argument might be comprehended by contrasting self-identity in traditional societies against selfidentity in modern societies. According to Giddens' (1991) model, self-identity in traditional societies was more taken for granted. The self was less concerned with questioning the meaning of gender, place of birth and career. In contrast to modern societies, the situation is reversed. Individuals take these attributes less for granted. The self develops into being a reflexive project where individuals are required to narrate identity. Placing fans into the market penetration implies an element of choice as fans keep track of their fan identity. This seems to be the case in British football fandom. British football fandom falls into two general research categories, football sociology and cultural studies (Giulianotti 1997:212). Football sociologists have analysed British fandom in relation to football's internecine period, from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s, where main sources of conflict were related to player wages, football hooliganism and the intervention of the Thatcherite State. The latter analyses football fandom's reflexive virtue, involving an 18 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 31
investigation of fans' relation to football and how this is expressed through written material. Fans' manner of conversing about fan identity is expressed in social forums located outside the football ground. In these social forums, fans avow powerlessness and incapability: "The creative politics of football fanzines have been in the informational vanguard of a `new social movement' within football, which includes a new oeuvre of satirical plays, books and television shows, broadcasting phones-ins, fan demonstrations against directorial impositions and fan communication links via internet web-pages." (ibid.:215) A deliberation occurring in British football fandom, reflecting football fandom's reflexive virtue, can be related to the emerging opposition between the `traditionalists' and the `modernizers' (Boyle & Haynes 2000:200). The traditionalists are football fans underscoring a passionate belief for a club, while the latter consists of a fan segment regarding football as a leisure activity. The traditionalists tend to essentialise fan identity. Essentialsing fan identity is accomplished by reflecting upon how a football club holds a wider social significance. This implies that a club is seen to have a history and is an identity marker of locality. A traditional fan comes to think of himself, the club, the footballers, etc., as part of an `imagined community', with close links to other social segments in society (Anderson 1983). A traditionalist, for example, thinks of a football club as part of a working class culture. The construction of such an idea, that a club possesses a unique history and a tradition, implies that a club is provided with a set of legitimisers. The legitimisers help to create an idea of a club as being seen as historical. Such legitimisers can be identified through mythmaking of former footballers, glorification of the football ground, exhibition of sporting merits, etc. Mediating these legitimisers through media, family, school, supporter clubs, and other social institutions, helps to naturalise the idea of a football club. Traditionalistic fandom possesses a reflexive virtue where fans try to essentialise fan identity. When fans essentialise a club and fan identity, fans construct a clear link between the past and the present, representing stability and continuity. Essentialsing fan identity might be interpreted as an attempt to deal with alterations in football. The things taken for granted by traditional football fans need to be revitalised because new generations of footballers, fans and commercial interests have entered the field. Traditionalistic fandom is a reflexive project of reflections working as an instrument to oppose the new Other, commercial interests. For example, during the proposed takeover of Manchester United by Rupert Murdoch's media empire in 1998, populist media reactions tended to conceptualise toward an increased use of "mythologized' and ahistorical utilization of the concept local (Brick 2001:12). Untied fans argued that Murdoch's takeover of United, could have involved a demise of United's local significance. Such a claim was employed to oppose the takeover. Employing such an argument is an illustration of how traditionalistic fandom 32
inclines to essentialise United's particular significance, displaying how essentialism appears in contexts of social change. In contrast to this, examples from Scottish football tell another story. The social phenomenon of fanzines is a type of literature written by club fans for fellow fans on a profitless basis. Fanzines are completely autonomous from football authorities, club officials, or mainstream media and demonstrates a type of fandom where fans tend to mediate helplessness, irony and humour (Giulianotti 1997:211). Such type of fan identity expresses distance and alienation to commercial interests' in football. 1.7 The meaning of supporting the less professionalized and remaining in Palau The human practice of relocating to new places includes that humans invent new practices and provide life to them. The case of hybridisation from South America is an illustration. Millions of people immigrated from all over the planet to South America, a situation that opened for creative hybridisation (Archetti 1999, Papastergiadis 1997). The hybrid is defined as the "creation of a pseudo-species as a result of the combination of two discrete species" (Archetti 1999:25). The related "species", that of the Indian and that of the Spanish culture, consisted as social models for Argentinean nationalist in the construction of the improved criollo hybrid. Such an example shows how social identity is negotiated and constructed in relation to processes of immigration. When a set of individuals enters a new Social Context, they convey a collection of cultural expressions, discover new ones, combine the representations and construct new social and cultural expressions. A sign emerging from modernity is how social change and relocation to new places confront the individual self to reflect upon social identity. Inventing new practices and activities serve as an identity marker providing the social person with meaning. It enables the individual to narrate and negotiate social identity. In the process of inventing new practices, it becomes imperative to have legitimate variables explaining why these practices are carried out. Certain analogies from the mentioned argument could apply to the members of Dracs. This implies to identify the meaning of supporting Barзa in the less professionalized sports. Despite Dracs originating from the football context, the members expanded the group' activities to Palau, introducing the meaning of supporting Barзa to the less professionalized sports. Supporting Barзa in the less professionalized sports means that the sports themselves have a reduced social meaning. It is the club, Barзa, which enlarges social meaning and the relation between the members and Barзa is emphasized. The meaning of being a Barзa supporter did not eventually correlate with the idea that a member had to be fond of any sports to be a member of the group. But the member should be fond of Barзa. This suggests that the members' supporter identity is taken to a higher level of appearance. The interest for sports is seen as one separate subject and the interest for Barзa constitutes another, but they are seen as interrelated. For example, when it 33
came to express fondness for a sport, certain members stated that handball and hockey were tedious sports, while fъtbol sala and basketball were the sports preferred. Stating preference for one sport and to dislike another is not to say that a member is not a Barзa supporter. Relocated to Palau, the members' supporting are carried out from Curba Sud. Despite Palau being located merely 400 meters away from Camp Nou, the two sports facilities represent contrasting social worlds. In Palau, the members have developed an intricate supporter vernacular, expressing a variety of social meanings. Every sport has its own set of social conditions and social norms. For example, a great number of practices are carried out at each game. Such practices consist of chanting, putting on tifos, barricading of the curve with placards, administrative supporter work, the vending of the group's own fabricated merchandise, distribution of Dracs' bulletin, etc. The practices carried out, mediate a number of social meanings such as being a part of Barзa, stressing locality, loyalty, etc. The members' social life is well organised, reflecting a compulsive nature. Dracs' obsession for Curba Sud and Palau share an analytical parallel to what John Bale (1991) calls topophilia (love for a place), involving that the members' relation to Curba Sud and Palau are crucial parts of the members' supporter identity. Identifying the places where the members express supporter identity, makes it easier to comprehend the reflexive virtues of being a Barзa supporter. The members' main activity is the act of supporting. Comprehending the practice of supporting as a human pattern of behaviour, an analysis in light of ritual practice might apply. Taking this approach, Victor Turner's studies on ritual life pertains. Turner's theoretical contributions related to rite de passage and the meaning of ritual symbolism are relevant in this case (Turner 1967a, 1967a, 1969). The members' social life holds similarities to Turner's analytical approach for a number of reasons. Dracs' social life in Curba Sud is based on a number of activities with ritualised characteristics. Firstly, Curba Sud suggests being a space where the members dramatise and play out supporter identity. Secondly, Curba Sud comes forward as an area where the members essentialise the relation between the group and the players. Thirdly, the curve is a place where the members' antagonism against the Other is performed. Fourthly, Dracs follows a special ritual calendar providing guidance for carrying out their activities from the curve. Illustrating the members' practice of supporting, a basketball match will be analysed in its full extent (Chapter 4 deals with this matter). The game serves as an empirical example demonstrating the ritualised life of the group. In contrast to this, as the members interact at Camp Nou the spatial meaning alters. Camp Nou represents a contrasting social world. A social world where Dracs' complex ritualised procedure of supporting Barзa is not performed. The social interaction of the group is distinguished by the mentioned practice of watching games. Watching a game appears as a form of symbolic protesting, a type of protest taking an outward appearance with different social meanings. Firstly, it can be 34
regarded as a protest against the market penetration. - Even if Barзa's footballers are seen as agents of other collective values that the members cherish, criterion of identification becomes difficult to accomplish. The criterion of identification is difficult to accomplish, because footballers are perceived as alienated and remote. - Secondly, the symbolic protesting takes another outward form. This is connected to the members' sentiment of not being a part of Barзa. The narrative below illustrates this subject: "Always positive, never bad, always good, good, good, good, good, its not. Van Gaal, no. The important thing with Van Gaal, with Barзa, if you win titles, you are the best trainer ever, if you do not win, you are the worst. And I do not like this. (Author): What about other trainers? For example the coach in basketball? Toni: Aito, the previous one? (Author): Yes, for example? Toni: With Aito, look, for example, we did not understand what he was doing, his way of coaching. So we went to talk with him, and we asked, why? And he explained to us, for this and that. Then we decided that everybody had to remain in their places. We understood that we had to support the team from the curve, but we did not understand the coaching. Then, you decide to coach and we decided to support, a mutual respect. I respect your work and you respect our work, and with Aito, it worked. It existed with the trainer in hockey, with Alberto, the coach in fъtbol sala. We search for the coach's respect. You coach and we support, but we work together. If you have problem, speak! If I have problem, I speak, if not, let us do it together. With Van Gaal, to speak? For Van Gaal, I am an ant! The coach is part of the team and we are a part of the team. For Van Gaal, supporting is not important and the supporting is not a part of the team; therefore, Van Gaal, for me is not important. He doesn't respect my work, and then I don't respect his work!" (Interview July 2002)19 Dracs' appearance at Camp Nou comes forward as a strange undertaking, because the members' idea of being a supporter organisation is not recognized. The idea of Dracs' basic supporter function such as the mutual respect between the members and the coach is socially violated at Camp Nou. As the members stress unquestioned loyalty to Barзa, Dracs' practice of watching a game at Camp Nou is part of a strained re-socialising process into becoming regular spectators. It is a compelled re-socialising project into the feared and loathed role of the socio.20 A socio is a season-card ticket holder and enters into another mode of Barзa fandom. The constructed idea of the socio displays the image of a spectator who sits and watches a game. Such an involvement with Barзa is not favoured by Dracs, and represents the opposite idea of being a committed supporter. Therefore, as the members appear at Camp Nou, various incentives were stated for attending matches at this soccer field. The Dracs leader, for example, only attended a couple of football matches during my fieldwork. Attending a football game was more regarded as a "field excursion", an excursion where the aim was to observe the visiting supporter organisation (Chapter 5 deals with the field excursion). 19 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 20 Local modes of fandom are accounted for in chapter 3 of the thesis. 35
Suffering a violent attack from another supporter organisation (Boixos Nois), and experiencing the problem of spectator violence on the body, for the members of Dracs, to appear at Camp Nou comes forward as a social space embedded with equivocal meanings. (I deal with the violent event in Chapter 3). Experiencing violence on the body and being intimidated by parts of La Directiva, suggest that those of Dracs' members who experienced the event hold less positive views of Camp Nou and football. After the group decided to leave Camp Nou, suggestions are that sharing a sentiment of solidarity with established club structures appears to be problematical. An outline of such a process is identified through the particular interaction by the members at Camp Nou, displayed through means of symbolic protesting. But the symbolic protesting might be manifested through the words of the market penetration. Returning to Camp Nou, and observing that agents of the market penetration are dominating, to support Barзa in the less professionalized sports becomes a meaningful practice to carry out. 1.8 Economic versus emotional sentiments and the difficulties of identification The fact that certain members of Dracs have experienced the relation between supporter and player in two dissimilar places means that the players are ascribed a great deal of opinions. Ascribing the players moral values implies that the members can negotiate supporter identity by seeing themselves in relation to the Other. Comprehending how the members experience and see the market penetration suggests to be understood in context of the established supporting relationship between the members and the players. Examining the members' opinions on the players, which perform both at Camp Nou and in Palau, allows an approach to understand the members' reflexive project of abandoning football. The decision to support Barзa in the less professionalized sports means that the members are required to contemplate on this situation. The commercial nature of football facilitates the assignment of reflecting upon why the members have remained in Palau. Through the market penetration, the questioning of a footballer's motive for appearing in the Barзa shirt, azulgrana,21 takes form. Although footballers say that playing for Barзa is related to its honourable task, such statements seem to crumble. The members accuse the footballers of putting to much weight on an economic incentive in playing for Barзa. In contrast to this, the members favour players who have an emotional incentive. The emotional incentive is identified through a player's ascribed belief of playing for los colors. Players favouring the economic incentive play at Camp Nou, while players that are in for the emotional incentive appear in Palau. The difference between the economic and the emotional incentive, ascribed to players, reflects the dissimilarity between professionalism and amateurship in a given sport. For the members, the higher degree of 21 The colours of the club. In Spanish is azulgrana while in Catalan is blaugrana. 36
amateurship expressed, emphasizes a closer relationship to the emotional incentive. This furthermore points towards identification with players. The members have a higher degree of solidarity with players that perform in sports closer to amateurship. In contrast to this, footballers performing at Camp Nou are seen as corrupt. Here the footballers' agency of being custodians of true moral values is questioned. The opposition to the footballers performing at Camp Nou is connected to the sport fъtbol sala. Fъtbol sala is an example of a sport that reflects values that the members esteem. The sport has the attributes of amateurship, communicating that the footballer performing in fъtbol sala is representing Barзa because he wants to. For the members, the Barзa footballer of fъtbol sala and the sport in general, is an example of sport disconnected from the economic sphere mediating a purified supporter universe free of towering wages and exorbitant transfer fees. Supporting Barзa from Curba Sud involves that Dracs states differentiation from the Other. But the members do not only negotiate and narrate supporter identity in relation to Barзa's believed crooked footballers and the players playing in Palau. Stating differentiation from the Other falls into the members' project of narrating supporter identity. The appearance of narration is pending on the actors playing the role of the constructed Other. For that reason, the mode of expressing supporter identity has analytical similarities to Louk Hagendoorn's contention on how ethnic organisations employ cultural values and social stereotypes in the construction of ethnic hierarchies (Hagendoorn 1993): "{...ingruop values are used as yardstick to differentiate and evaluate outgroups in the process of self-definition. This fosters negative outgroup stereotypes. Outgruops will be placed further away from or further below the ingruop, the larger and more important these differences are. This means that the process of differentiation entails ethnic a rank-ordering. On the basis of stereotypes, outgruops are rank ordered in ethnic hierarchies.} " (ibid.:27) In contrast to Hagendoorn, the members way of narrating differentiation from the Other, does not simply deal with the construction of negative stereotypes, implying that the members construct a rank ordering. I argue that the members have a highly developed awareness of their own actions and ideas of the Other. The interesting aspect with Hagendoorn's argument relates to flexible social categories of the Other, which are constructed stereotypes. These ideas play an imperative role in the members' way of presenting themselves. Based on the narratives presented hitherto, render elaborate ideas of the Other. The Other can for example be Barзa's footballers, Van Gaal, the president, various sports, Camp Nou, Palau, etc. In the field where the members of Dracs and the Other interact, formation of supporter identity takes place. The Other is not one simple and static social category, but alters with social and cultural context, above all, the meaning alters with the 37
position of the role of Dracs' beliefs of the Other. The Other is related to the different agents I have discussed throughout the chapter, but another suggestion can be that these ideas of the Other are crammed with social meaning and are based on the members' social experience in fields where Barзa is manifested. Through ideas of the Other, which are continuously evolving, facilitates the members' project to narrate and negotiate supporter identity. The members' manner of stating differentiation is an imperative variable that will be focused on and pursued throughout the dissertation. 1.9 Conceptualisation of the market penetration through the deep versus the shallow player How is it possible to conceptualise the members' experience of the market penetration through the interaction of the members? An assessment following the group's social interaction in places where Barзa is celebrated could prove valuable. The members' way of demonstrating two distinct manners of relating to Barзa, pending on the members' interacting responsiveness in Camp Nou and in Palau, provides an approach of analysing the members' way of experiencing the market penetration. This can be done by relating the members' mode of spectating to Clifford Geertz's (1973) distinction between deep and shallow play. The deep player refers to a player with higher degree of involvement in cockfights. The deep player has a strong identification with the cocks that their whole identity is at state in the fights. In contrast to the deep player, the shallow player refers to a player located in the periphery of the ritual. The shallow player is watching the fights and has not fix loyalty to the cocks. In relation to the market penetration, a similar idea might be advanced about the members' identification with the players. The members as the deep players in Palau involves that the members sense a stronger identification with the players. The social requisites valid in Palau are of a different nature, making it commonsensical to support Barзa in the less professionalized sports. The members find social meaning being the deep player. The members are allowed to play out supporter identity, be a part of the team, know the players, and so forth. In contrast to this, the members' shallow play with Barзa is articulated from Camp Nou. The members' identification with Barзa at Camp Nou demonstrates the total opposite. The members relocate themselves to the periphery of the football stadium and remain passive. It comes forward as a place where the members feel that they are not allowed to be a part of the club and consequently identify less with the footballers. In sum, the distinction between the deep versus the shallow player opens for a comparative perspective. It involves an analysis of Dracs as the deep player in Palau and Dracs as the shallow player at Camp Nou. Hence, this involves exploring a case where the members carry out deep play, which is the subject of Chapter 4. In contrast to this, the members as the shallow player are subject to analysis in Chapter 5. It remains to discuss the influence and impact of the market penetration in 38
the spaces where the agents of the market penetration are dominating and absent. In Palau, where the agents are absent, the members choose to carry out the act of supporting, while at Camp Nou, where the agents dominate, the members choose not to carry out the act of supporting. The incentives for displaying such a relation to the footballers are rooted in the members' idea that the market penetration has constructed a gap between the members and the footballers. The next section puts in explicit terms the members' incentives for remaining in Palau. Here I look at the Catalan national identity and footballers' lacking ability of adapting to Catalan norms and values. 1.10 Barзa, nationality and the state ­ not a soul wants to be Spanish Considering that the members present themselves to be a group of committed supporters, the group without difficulty is an advocate for Barзa's collective representation. As Barзa is the principal representation of Catalonia, the club is employed as a vehicle to foster the Catalan national identity. Dracs contributes to make this visible through the members' supporting. The group works as an extension of the Catalan national identity through the act of supporting. This social identity is strongly interrelated to the members' supporter identity, implying that the members' appearance in spaces where Barзa is celebrated, the Catalan identity is equally notable. Bringing the Catalan national identity into the discussion involves that we are not far from coping with the conflicting differences between the regions inside the Spanish state: "Football represents society. If one think of the Spanish state, and then you take FC Barcelona and the club's footballers, which say they are not Spanish but defend Catalonia, then you take Osasuna, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad, which say that their footballers are not Spanish but defend the Basque Country. Celta Vigo and El Deportivo de la Coruсa also say that their footballers are not Spanish but they defend Galicia. If we take all these parts, and say that these parts are not Spain, what is Spain? (Author): Spain is a country located south of France! (Laughs) Toni: If nobody wants to be Spanish, what is Spain? This is the problem. Why does there exist a Spanish state, if nobody wants to be Spanish. Therefore, the important thing is to cut of all these parts, the Galician, the Basque and the Catalan, who do not want to be Spanish. It is important to alter the ideological representation of these football clubs. In Spain, they have achieved to damage the independent representation of Barзa, Celta Vigo and Deportivo de la Coruсa. They have not yet achieved damaging Osasuna, Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao, because the Basque Country is much more difficult. But for the Spanish state, the image of football is very important, the best! They put presidents, people, footballers that damage these images. Currently, the club Espanyol has more Catalan footballers than Barзa, while Barзa represents more Catalonia than Espanyol, or represented." (Interview July 2002)22 22 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 39
The Catalan identity is projected as a national identity, meaning that the overlap between the Spanish state and the Spanish national identity is of an asymmetric character. Football clubs located within Spain are projected as national/regional symbols, and what is more, - as the narrative above puts forward - there exists an intimate relation between the Spanish state, football clubs and national identities. Contextualising these differences are important to account for, a topic that will be the subject of the Chapter 2 below the thesis. Throughout the Cruyff-era Barзa enjoined great success in football. During his leadership, Barзa won the Spanish league four times and additional trophies. Narratives related to the Cruyff period, occurring from the end of the 1980s to the mid 1990s, project a social imagery of Barзa as united. Barзa is displayed as a club with robust Catalan sentiments. The club had footballers with close attachment to Catalonia, and Barзa was displayed as a "Catalan national team". Certain members of Dracs experienced this period. Informants tell that the relation between the supporters and Barзa's footballers constituted a different nature. The relation between supporters and footballers was of a more familiar type, reflecting a sense of solidarity. But as foreign footballers started to dominate the arena, the relation between the members of Dracs and Barзa's footballers altered: "We prefer to have players from Catalonia or foreign players that understand the meaning of Catalonia. But the club's foreign players do not understand the meaning of Catalonia, or nobody have explained it to them... Before, yes, but it lasted until Cruyff, but after that it stopped". (Interview July 2002)23 "Cruyff speak Catalan. Bakero and Txiki Bergiristan are Basques that came to play for Barзa. Txiki Bergiristan speaks better Catalan than me. Stoichkov is Bulgarian, but he perfectly understood the meaning of Catalonia. We do not discriminate persons that are not Catalans, but the current players do not want to adapt. There are players that adapt to Catalan values, but there are players that can, but they do not want to." (Interview July 2002)24 1.11 Studies on football fandom and analytical approaches debated A study of Dracs falls into the studies of fandom. This requires a mention of studies conducted on fan identity and a concise history of football. Focus towards a short history of the game gives certain clues to how football links up with modernisation. Football originated as an English sport and quickly became a popular social and cultural activity in England, after the sport was formalised in 1863 (Russell 1999) History indicates that football followed in the wake of British commercial interests spreading around the world. Through this process, we find the classic narrative about how members of the British middle class played football in their spare time. The English played football 23 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 24 My translation. Sol explains, a female member or Dracs. 40
in many countries throughout the world. Early participants organised themselves in leagues and introduced the sport to the "locals". For example, this would be the case in Argentina: "In the case of Argentina, the rapid expansion of the game and its internationalization was also related to the importance of the British colony in the last half of the nineteenth century." (Archetti 1996:203). Barзa suggests to have followed in the same social process. The club was founded by a group of foreigners belonging to an international community, a community located in Barcelona at the end of the 1800s.25 As the game spread quickly in parts of Europe and South America, one might remark that football has possessed a global significance for a long time, making it a masculine obsession for almost 150 years (Lanfranchi 1994, Giulianotti 1999a:6pp). Even though football has been a masculine obsession for many years, it took decades before social anthropology started to pay interest in the sport. Therefore, anthropology suggests to have failed in adequately addressing the game of football, the players and its supporters (Armstrong & Giulianotti 1997:1). But Empirical studies on fan identity have not passed in silence. Patronage from other scientific disciplines such as sociology and history, indicates that studies of British fandom have been devoted time and space (Armstrong 1998, Hognestad 1995, Robson 2000, Iost 2000). The problem of spectator violence has been an apex of focus shaping the understanding of football fans. In particularly Norbert Elias' "civilising theory" (Elias & Dunning 1986), has been employed as an explanation for the meaning of hooliganism. According to this theory, hooligans carry out violent behaviour at football games due to hooligans' age and economic status not having been encapsulated by a mechanism of social control, implying that hooligans were not "civilised". Holding an insignificant position in the British society, which had not been picked up by a civilisation process, was provided as a partial explanation for young men's manner of fighting amongst each other in the football environment. Such a theoretical approach has been criticised by Gary Armstrong (1998). Armstrong's study of Sheffield United fans indicates that the social phenomenon is more complex. Through Armstrong's study of Sheffield United fans', which allegedly are violent, Armstrong demonstrates that Sheffield fans' relation to football is characterised by a symbolic contest where shame and honour are displayed. Armstrong's monograph demonstrates that fan identity is articulated in other places than on the football ground. Especially is fan identity articulated in places like pubs or at private homes. While the problem of spectator violence in England has shaped the understanding of football fans a contrasting type of fandom has emerged, expressed through Scottish football. A carnivalesque fan identity, which is more positively Scottish (Finn & Giulianotti 1998). This type of fandom is distinguished by the supporters that follow the Scottish national team, expressed through the "Tartan Army". This fan identify is strongly interrelated with alcohol but is decidedly non-violent. 25 I deal with this issue in chapter 2, page 46. 41
Richard Giulianotti (1994, 1999b) and Hans Hognestad (1995) also explore aspects of Scottish football fandom on club level. Their contributions deal with Hibernian and Hearts of Midlothian fans, where focus is on the expressionist aspect of fandom and the subjective experience of being a football fan. The contributions give a more encouraging image of football fans. Here the aim is to understand how males seek liminality and play out fandom in discourses on morality and loyalty. Transferring the ethnographic context to the Mediterranean, the understanding of football fans seems to fall into a similar research category as the British one. In Italy, fandom expressed through the ultra movement, has played a crucial role in the understanding of Italian fandom. Rocco de Biasi and Pierre Lanfranchi (1997) argue that through the ultra movement one can locate a display of local civic identity, extraordinary fan choreography and the nomenclature of the 1970s Italian paramilitaries and international youth culture. Italian ultras have passed through four different stages (Podaliri & Balestri 1994). Prior to the 1970s, the political affiliations dominating Italian social life were reflected in which team a fan supported. AC Milan was for the workers and the Left wing, Internazionale for the bourgeoisie and the right wing; the communist dominated region of Emilia Romagna, made the support for the region capital's team Bologna's left wing, while Verona's support reflected Venetoґs conservatism. But the industrial turbulence at the end of the 1960s included new and extreme political formations. This had an influence on Italian supporter organisations. Antonio Roversi (1994) argues that the first ultra groups were found in La Fossa dei Leoni (Lion's Den) at AC Milan, the Inter Boys and the Red-Blue Commandos at Bologna. They began as loose supporter organisations and staged shows at Italian football grounds. The early supporter organisations were based on a network of friends and other fans. The loose network of friends was to be redefined by the common membership in extreme right or left-wing groups. In parallel to this development, there was a great deal of imitation of English hooliganism. But the ultras differentiated from the English hooligans by the distinct formalised nature of the ultras. Developing an extreme political culture, the ultras had a tendency to mimic political "commandos" and "militancy, clannishness and toughness" (Podaliri & Balestri 1998). Such groups began to exercise a level of control over their clubs. This can be identified through the monopolisation of the curves that became off-limits for non-ultras. Ultras were also key players in the distribution of tickets, production and sale of merchandise and the staging of shows. The second phase of the ultra (1977-83) movement began to reflect violent rivalry between groups, largely based on political affiliations (ibid.). Violence became organised. It was an increased use of weapons and tendencies to military specialisation of hooligan groups. Several ultras started to name groups after left and right wing imageries, where names closely related to political terrorist organisations of the time was an inspirational factor. The ultras also started to integrate with the team management. The third phase of the ultra movement was that rivalries 42
began to be dominated by regional affiliations. This was a consequence of local autonomy beginning to dominate Italian politics (ibid.). There was a rise in support among northern ultra groups such as supporting the Lombardy League. Almost the whole of AC Milan was employed as a springboard to launch Silvio Berlusconi's political career. In the same period, there was a rise in young ultras coming into the football ground. The increased immigration to Italy was also reflected at the football ground, identified through the problem of racism. The death of an ultra fan in 1995 began to split some of the ultra groups, leading to a re-evaluation of the ultras as supporter organisations. Ultras started to feel that they were being treated as second-class citizens. Along with this debate was the increased commercialisation of Italian football, which started to concern Italian football fans (ibid.). That spectator violence has been an apex of focus is reflected within the British and Italian research tradition (see for example Giulianotti, Bonney & Hepworth 1994). But the attempt to understand football fandom has also focused on the meaning of locality, moreover, on how fans make use of football to express ethnic and national identity (Sugden & Tomlinson 1994, Goksшyr 1994, MacClancy 1996b, Hughson 1997, Tuastad 1997, Archetti 1999, Giulianotti 1999b). Locality, in such a context, focuses on how fans connect fandom with the place where they are born. The celebration of locality is about how the eleven footballers on the pitch, or a group of fans, represents the neighbourhood, city or region. Despite anthropologists' focus on spectator violence and locality, football has always been a sport where males have played out their sentiments. Thus, implying football has been a male dominated cosmos free of female virtues. This implies that masculinities have been expressed through fan identity, rendering male virtues such as vigour, assertiveness and stamina (for examples, see Holt 1989, Archetti 1999). In contrast to this, how does this thesis differ and converge from the mentioned studies and approaches? This project looks into approaches such as locality, spectator violence and masculinity. The manner, in which the thesis differs, is through the thesis' main approach and its ethnographic context. The thesis' main approach, I suppose, sheds light on how the market penetration challenges the notion between team, locality and fans. Part III: Methodological Notes Carrying out fieldwork in an urban setting represented a major challenge for this research project. Conducting fieldwork in a large city such as Barcelona is not completed without exertions. This implied that practical and analytical issues had to be considered in order to carry out the participant observation. The standard setting for conducting participant observation has generally been a rural location. The social anthropologist enters a remote small-scale society where collection of data has been done on the premises of steadiness and homogeneity. The social milieu I experienced in 43
Barcelona involved a disparate social setting. Conducting fieldwork in conurbation can be complicated. The urban context implies a degree of fragmentation, specialization and a diversity of impulses. Contextualising such characteristics argues that new modes of practical strategies were required to be included in the collection of data. Grasping the myriads of supporter organisations interrelated to Barзa I regard as a potential menace to make over-hasty remarks and simplified generalizations. Carrying out such a project was difficult to accomplish, especially as supporterism manifests itself in an urban context and fans express it differently. This permits countless interpretations of Barзa as well as different interpretations of the market penetration. But this is to say that Barзa is a vehicle `pregnant with meaning', and fans interpret and attach to the club in different ways. Since this thesis does not explore a general understanding of Barзa, I felt an urge to demarcate the project so as to concentrate on a group of Barзa's strongest adherents. Carrying out fieldwork amongst the members of Dracs involved that I had to "become one of them". In doing so, I do not claim to represent them. The anthropological mission to comprehend the members' social life was accomplished by performing the similar activities to those of Dracs' members. Participant observation in Curba Sud was my way of entering into the role of being a committed Barзa supporter. In contrast to this, I conducted participant observation at Camp Nou as a regular spectator. An incentive for fulfilling such a methodological operation was interconnected with the members' principle of interacting at Camp Nou on an individual basis. The danger to make overhasty remarks and simplified generalizations are evident in the material I will present. Armstrong argues (1998:3) that his anthropological study of Sheffield fans has limitations; such a notion applies to the analysis to come. I could have proceeded with the idea of conducting participant observation in other fields where Barзa is manifested. But I decided to narrow my fieldwork situation by only studying one group of supporters. This involves that the views and the material to come have a biased nature. A great deal of the material is formed by the input from leading members of Dracs, pointing toward the use of informants. The most significant informant for this thesis is Dracs' leader, Toni. His knowledge and commitment for Dracs and Barзa are staggering. For more than two decades, Dracs' leader has been closely interrelated to the environment surrounding Barзa. Entering into Dracs' social life and the group's supporterism entail an entry into the life of a committed supporter. As Toni is the founder of the group, the experiences of the market penetration, moreover, the narration of Dracs is partially the life-story of Toni and other supporters close to him. Examining Dracs, we are partially accounting for a life-story project, a life-story project coping with the idea of being a Barзa supporter. Since Toni has substantial knowledge about Barзa, and the market penetration, I have chosen to include his beliefs into the dissertation. 44
Giddens (1991) distinguishes that written manuals and guides are expressions of modernity's reflexivity. Exploring written expressions provides a possibility to understand alternations in social identity. Alternations in social identity can also be grasped by exploring human behaviour and relate human reflexivity to social activities performed by individuals. For this raison d'кtre, the material presented in this thesis is based on a mixture of participant observation, conversations with Dracs' members, interviews with other Barзa fans and written material. However I have not excluded the possibility of employing narratives and written material as sources for analysing the members' interpretation of the economic development in international football. But I wish to note that, the use of written material as the substantial guide for analysing contemporary society emerges as a second-hand interpretation of reality. For this reason, I suppose, it is imperative to a researcher to learn about the social person by interacting with him or her. Nonetheless generalisations will occur as the text goes on. They might appear as unreasonable and effortless, but writing with an objective voice is unmanageable because the subject that I discuss is full of sentiments and moralities. Since the outcome from the fieldwork is not based on a random walkabout in "the wilderness of supporterism", but is rather a systematic view of experiences from the field, the subject offers a bias opinion. Moreover, it is an effort to procure the members' interpretation of an economic development occurring in the local context. A potential of encountering other beliefs and opinions of the market penetration, of course, fluctuates from the members' beliefs and opinions. The fieldwork lasted from January 2002 to August 2002. A method employed during the fieldwork was the use of case studies. Case studies refer to the basic descriptive material an observer has assembled by whatever means available about some particular phenomenon or a set of events (Mitchell 1983:191). I employed assorted case studies, which aimed to map out the significance of local fandom interrelated to Barзa.26 As the fieldwork progressed, contact with Dracs was established after one-months stay and I decided to use this as my main case. So my thesis can be regarded as the result of a single case study that I ensued to the end. The fieldwork was divided into a three-way approach; firstly, participant observation with Dracs. Dracs' main activities were concentrated to evenings and weekends. My involvement with Dracs was mainly carried out at the indoor stadium Palau. Secondly, collection of written material was completed on an individual basis, but I also conducted interviews with non-Dracs members and examined other fields and events where Barзa is celebrated. Thirdly, attending football games at Camp Nou was carried out 26 I have conducted various cases. These include: a (1) six-month collection of the sport newspaper El Mundo Deportivo. (2) Participant observation amongst the members of Dracs, together with formalised interviews and conversations. Mapping (3) of the Barзa Campus: The Museum, La Botiga, the ticket office, Camp Nou in relation to other architectural constructions. Attendance (4) at football matches, of Barзa 1st, 2nd and 3rd ­ team, whereas I have focused on the social life at football games, the organised black market and the vending of supporter gear. Formalised (5) interviews with various football fans and non Barзa-fans. Case study on (6) Barcelona Dragons, an American football team with location in Barcelona. Participant observation (7) at an Irish pub during 2002 the World Cup in Japan and South Chorea, observing fans' long-distance identification. The (8) social significance of bull fighting, and Barзa in relation to (9) global tourism. 45
on my own initiative with and without Dracs' members. I have spent extensive time in Palau, attending 80 to 90 matches. The being present at the Barзa campus has moulded the substance of the thesis. Besides appearing in Palau and Camp Nou on match days, I was also at the campus when games were not played. In relation to the analysis to come, a great deal of the empirical examples and descriptions treat the social spaces where Barзa fans interact and the human activities opening from such locations. 1.12 The structure of the thesis The dissertation is divided into five parts. With the introduction, I have attempted to define a perspective for the thesis. Analysing the members' supporter identity in relation to the market penetration is the subject of the forthcoming analysis. The analysis is separated into three analytical levels, consisting of four parts following the order of the chapters. The second chapter is the first analytical level of the thesis. Here I try to provide Barзa with a contextual reference. This involves accounting for Barзa's collective representation. As Spanish football clubs are significant identity markers, clubs are regularly employed as vehicles to express national sentiments. In order to analyse Barзa's collective representation, involves investigating the social milieu in which the club originated. Accounting for the Catalan region means to analyse how the Catalans see themselves in contrast to the Spanish national identity. These two conflicting national identities have often been reflected through Barзa. A closer examination of the relation between football, nationality and the state, exposes how Barзa has been controlled by the Spanish state. The third chapter is the second analytical level of the thesis. Here I try to curtail the analytical perspective to deal with local modes of fandom, which are reflected through the socio and peсa segment.27 Local modes of fandom tend to work as an extension of Catalan sentiments and seldom take a static form. In contrast to this, local modes of fandom are jam-packed with moralities and sentiments. This implies that there are a great deal of opinions and beliefs regarding the Other. Here I will contextualise how the members narrate and negotiate supporter identity in relation to modes of local fandom. The violent event leading to Dracs' decision to leave Camp Nou is also a subject I will look further into. The fourth and fifth chapter constitute the third analytical level of the thesis. These chapters analyse the social milieu where the members interact. Chapter four deals with a basketball game between Barзa and Real Madrid. It is an attempt to look at the alternative ritual universe that the members have created after remaining in Palau. In Palau, the members play out supporter identity and live in symbiosis with the players of the less professionalized sports. The fifth chapter deals 27 In Spanish, the term la peсa refers to supporter clubs, while in Catalan la penya. 46
with a case where the members first appear in Palau, supporting Barзa in fъtbol sala and then relocate to Camp Nou to attend a football game. The element indicating the members' project of abandoning football is the manner of going from the deep supporting to the shallow play through the act of watching. The final chapter deals with the dissertation's main approach. I intend to show how the members negotiate and adapt supporter identity in relation to process of socio-cultural change. The members' way of negotiating supporter identity can be identified through the group's own principles for interacting in spaces where Barзa is manifested. I argue that through the members' principle of attending games at Camp Nou on an individual initiative, and the members' way of appearing in Palau as an assembled supporter organisation complies with the thesis main approach. The case illustrates how the members first appear in Palau, a social universe where the agents of the market penetration are absent. Here the members perform the practice of supporting. Afterwards, Dracs dissolves as a supporter organisation and the members enter Camp Nou, a social universe dominated by the agents of the market penetration. An analysis of the case can bring a clearer understanding to the group's reflexive project of abandoning football. 47
CHAPTER 2 - NOTES ON CATALONIA 2.1 Introduction The common view is that the Iberian Peninsula consists of two nation-states, Portugal and Spain. Getting to know the latter, the idea of one single coherent Spanish nation, unified through a single national identity, seems to be of an ambiguous nature. Today Spain is characterised by how the Spanish state is made up by different regions. The regional identity of Castile has been promoted as the Spanish national identity. Economic and political collaboration across the regional borders might have allowed for a sense of national unity. The regions were granted unlike modes of governmental autonomy by the Spanish centralised power. The virtue of the regional autonomy has worked out differently, depending on the political climate between the Spanish state and the regions. The emergence of modern nationalism in the mid 1800s, the regions' prerequisite of stating differentiation from the Spanish state, identified through the regional movements, is evident. The football clubs located inside the regions are influenced by this advance. In the case of Barзa, the link between the Catalan national identity and Barзa suggests being similar. A closer examination of the relationship between football, nationality and the state, one might discover how Barзa has been employed as an instrument to express Catalan sentiments. If the Catalan national identity has been threatened or at other times strengthened, can be said to be dependent on the political climate. The changes in the political climate between the Catalan region and the Spanish state can be reflected through Barзa. Exploring this further, we might achieve a clearer idea of Barзa's collective representation. 2.2 Catalonia Barcelona is the capital of the region Catalonia and is located in the northeast of Spain. Catalonia is officially recognized as Principat de Catalunya and consists of four provinces; Barcelona, Girona, Tarragona and Lleida. All together, the four provinces add up to about 3230 square kilometres. This makes Catalonia the size of Belgium. Catalonia has about 6 million inhabitants, and Barcelona has historically been an indispensable merchant community attracting people from all parts of the world. This cultural diversity has been conveyed through art, architecture and a turbulent history. The population of Barcelona counts approximately two million inhabitants. It is crucial to underline that the Catalan sentiment goes beyond the borders of the Spanish nation-state. It can be related to Els Paпsos Catalans, and extends to other parts of the Mediterranean. In addition to Catalonia, Els Paпsos Catalans includes Andorra (where Catalan is an official 49
language), the Balearic Islands, Valenciа and French Roussilon and a minor town in Sardinia. Catalan is spoken in Catalonia and Els Paпsos Catalans and adds up to about 11 million people. The relationship between the Spanish and the Catalan language provides an approach to understanding the existence of a latent Catalan nation. The Spanish constitution recognises both languages as official ones. After the transition to democracy, in the mid 1970s, a normalization process was launched that included the integration of both languages. Catalan is used by Catalan officials as an important instrument in the fostering of the Catalan national identity. Although such measures are taken, the Catalan language runs into disputes with the Spanish language in day-today life. The printed media, for example, is predominantly Spanish. The largest printed newspapers in Barcelona such as El Paнs, La Vanguardia, El Mundo are in Spanish.28 There are also printed newspapers that only use Catalan. They are often in opposition to the newspapers printed in Spanish. Which newspaper a person buys can for example reflect the polarised nature between the Catalan and the Spanish national identity. Informants suggest that individuals regularly buying Catalan newspaper come across as more Catalanista (Catalan nationalist). Buying a newspaper in Catalan is a symbolic act, allowing the person to differentiate him or her self from the Spaniards. In contrast to this, the use of language in sports newspapers appears as a strange cultural project. As sport is likely to be a method to foster national identity, one should expect that a sports newspaper employs the similar language to the identity it plays a role in cultivating. The two largest sports newspapers in Barcelona, El Mundo Deportivo and Sports, use the Spanish language. The relationship between Spanish and Catalan is a disquiet for the Catalan government, causing them to attempt to regulate the flow of languages. With the aim of normalising the position between the languages, a number of laws have been drafted. Given the leading role of Spanish, the Catalan parliament has implemented laws favouring the Catalan language in the media. Laws have been drafted with the aim of regulating use of Catalan in movies, radio, music and literature. A motive for executing such actions might be the strengthening of the Catalan language, to foster national identity. Among the Catalans, there are those who favour Spanish to Catalan. All through my fieldwork, I was asked questions concerning the use of language in media. One time I was drinking coffee in a cafй in Barcelona, with a Catalan woman. The lady complained that too much Catalan music was played on the radio. Catalan radio stations were favouring Catalan songs, which made it almost impossible listening to Spanish songs. 28 Castellano is a term employed to describe the Spanish language, or Espaсol. 50
2.3 Demography and identity Another feature of approaching the existence of a submerged Catalan nation can be understood in relation to two different migration processes. The first one relates to an internal process of migration occurring during the Franco-regime. The second one relates to immigration from overseas, taking place in the 1990s (Mas 2002). Following the Second World War, the Spanish nation-state went into political isolation and overseas relations were cut of. As a consequence, former Franco adherent states such as Germany and Italy were defeated by the Western Allies. This involved that overseas relations became problematic to maintain. The situation demanded a shift in national policy, and the creation of national enterprises in centralised areas of the country was initiated (Biesacs & Tuсуn 1990). Parallel to this progression, the agricultural sector, concentrated in the southern part of Spain, experienced a crisis. As a result, the population started migrating from the southern part of Spain and into the centralised regions. People from Andalusia, Galicia, and Extremadura, settled in Catalonia. The national migration occurring was related to difficulties in obtaining work in the agricultural sector. The overseas immigration process has influenced the contemporary situation in Catalonia. It casts light on a new situation, involving challenges on both identity and language. The overseas immigration is characterised by ethnic and national minorities' way of settling in Catalonia. Particularly urban spaces are effected by the overseas immigration. Such a process can be a factor in creating more defined cultural borders between the Catalans and the immigrants. During fieldwork, I was told that the new wave of immigrants amended Barcelona's city picture. Informants tell stories about being insecure and how they avoided certain places, believed to be "dangerous". A stereotypical assumption made about immigrants, is one of ascribing them attributes as potential lawbreakers, being indolent, etc. Immigrants from parts of South America, Africa and Asia were ascribed distinct stereotypical ideas. For instance, in one case, where an employer had the opportunity of choosing between applicants from South America, England, Germany and France, the German would be the favoured applicant. The German would be the favoured due to Germans' alleged capability of being hard workers. In contrast to this, such a capability would not apply to the other applicants. In addition, the overseas immigration also calls attention to the problem of racism, a social issue frequently debated in the media. Due to immigrants experiencing difficulties in obtaining jobs, Catalans were often accused of discriminating against immigrants. Such a process might change the discourse on the Catalan national identity. The overseas immigration makes it necessary to promote a more inclusive role of the new immigrants in order to avoid problems such as racism and xenophobia. Regarding the national migration process, certain comments can be made. The wave of national migration comprised individuals that had Spanish as their mother tongue. It took place during a 51
period of the Franco-regime where Catalan was forbidden. During the Franco-regime, the Catalan language merely existed as a verbal language, spoken only in the privacy of the home. Facing the current situation, individuals who settled in Catalonia, have either never practiced Catalan or know it badly, both written and verbally. Because the transition has involved a spin-off effect in revitalising the Catalan language, the language situation becomes a polarised topic. It implies that there are great differences in the level of mastering Catalan. Catalans born after the transition, for example, are claimed to master Catalan better than Spanish. Although Catalan and Spanish are both official languages in schools, Catalan proves to be the preferred language. In contrast, the elderly part of the population is claimed to master Spanish better than Catalan. Young Catalans I met during the fieldwork explained how they practiced the languages differently. This meant that they spoke Catalan and Spanish according to different rules and situations. For instance, a boy would speak Catalan with his father and Spanish with his mother and Catalan amongst friends. In doing so, the boy would master both languages and adapt to the general language situation. Language, in such a context, is an imperative identity marker and is certain to have an influence on the self's formation of social identity and belonging. 2.4 Economic situation The coastal regions, such as Paнs Basko and Catalonia, are significant economic contributors to the Spanish economy. Given that Barcelona encompasses a tradition of being an important merchant community, Barcelona has been a central connecting link between harbours in the Mediterranean (Alnжs 2000). Each year the region contributes about 18 to 20 percent of the Spanish gross national product. The presence of an international financial market, intercontinental corporations, the annual shipping traffic and other industrial companies, play a valuable part in the Spanish economy. However, during my fieldwork, Catalonia's significant role in the Spanish economy was used as an argument to declare dissatisfaction with the Spanish nation-state, communicating an idea of being "exploited". It was above all the question of the unfair redistribution of tax-money. Informants remarked that the state's incentive for holding on to Catalonia and Paнs Basko merely rested on the substantial amount of levy the regions disbursed into the government's coffer. The levy collected by the Spanish nation-state was not equally redistributed back to the regions. Jokes were often about how the Spanish state would go bankrupt, if Catalonia and Paнs Basko had evolved to be free nations. True or not, they reflect the highly developed awareness of a Catalan national identity. 52
2.5 Early regional history Dealing with the Catalan national identity implies that one need to examine aspects of Catalan nationalism. One attribute of the Catalan national movement, as it emerged in the mid 1850s, was its attempt to project Catalonia as an ancient culture. The notion of having an ancient culture is present in current discourses on the Catalan national identity. I was frequently confronted with the evidence that Catalonia was an ancient country, moreover, possessing a prehistoric culture. It was claimed that the Catalans were occupying parts of the Iberian Peninsula before the Spaniards. This contributes to draw clear cultural lines between the Catalans and the Spaniards. Projecting the idea an ancient history, and including this into present time activities, is an attempt to create continuity between the past and present. Such statements share similarities to Anthony D. Smith's (1991) notion of national identity. Smith argues that national identity is based on ethnicity. A significant trait of an ethnic group is the believed shared cultural fellowship that connects the group together by sharing the same myth through decent and history. These features are manifested through religion, customs, language and institutions where historical memories generate continuity and structures coherency. The Catalan nation defines its origin back to the year 801. The borderland south of the Pyrenees separating Charlemagne's Frankish kingdom from Al-andalus, as Muslim Spain was then called, was known as the Hispanic March. It formed the embryo that later would become Catalonia (Balcells 1996:2). The Hispanic March was a territory made up of nine earldoms, which enjoyed equal status. But owing to the decline in power of the monarchy in France, the eastern earldoms became inherited by Count Wilfred the Hairy. In 878, Count Wilfred the Hairy was able to unite them under his rule. He united the earldoms of Barcelona, Girona, Osona, Urgell, and Cerdany. Distinctive of the period up until 1070, previous to the first steps of forming the Catalan Corts, a Catalan parliament, are certain traits: The Muslim's sacking of Barcelona in 985 that led to a series of violent attacks, a period of economic growth, the Catalan nation was losing political alliance with the Frankish Monarchy, local nobles seizing of public prosperity and fiscal land and setting themselves up as hereditary lords. In sum, one might remark that this period is exceptionally turbulent, where local king's fight for power or are attempting to consolidate it. The internal status in Catalonia is characterised by how minor nobles were displaying insubordination. The count of Barcelona, Ramуn Berenguer I, would stop this development and impose explicit vassalage on them. In exchange, he had to accept the jurisdiction of the barons, over the land they had usurped. An outcome of Berenguer I's political activities, was the emergence of a Catalan feudal state. A state possessing a highly institutionalised political structure of feudal vassalage (ibid.). Establishing a feudal state, Ramуn Berenguer I allotted an agency of aristocrats and lawmakers, which drew up a note of customs recognized in Catalonia. The result 53
was Usatges - The Book of Usage (Alba 1975). As noted, the Usatges acknowledged the equality of the law of the bourgeoisie and the nobility. In the thirteenth century, the dependency of the nobles was manifested through the creation of the Corts. The Corts was a governing system providing the leading groups with rights and privileges. It was a political system being made up of three traditional arms: nobles, church and the bourgeoisie. The political institution of the Corts cannot be comprehended as a democratic institution in modern sense. According to Albert Balcells (1996:8), one is not dealing with a political institution based on constitutionalism. The consuetudinary nature of the system, based on privileges of the three estates, suggests that it was merely a "complex system based on negotiated agreements" (ibid.): "The Catalan parliament, know as the Corts, was born in the thirteenth century when the King summoned the representatives of the self-governing boroughs to discussions, along with the nobles, bishops and abbots. The relationship between the Counts of Barcelona as Kings of Aragon, and their Catalan subjects was seen as being based upon negotiation, and the Corts were a centre feature of this concept." (ibid.) Faced with external threats, the King of Aragon (Catalonia was in political alliance with the Crown of Aragon) was forced to grant the three entities joint legislative power. Further steps were taken, as the Corts restricted royal power. A committee was established, consisting of parliament members that acted while the parliament was not in session. The committee was called Diputaciу del General or Generalitat. But the bourgeoisie would strengthen their part in the committee. The Generalitat did not only partake in the collection of money, but also carried out administrative tasks. However, the historical fact of a governing body and its use of Catalan as the administrative language provide the current discourse on the Catalan national identity with a genuine link to the past. It helps the Catalans to distinguish themselves from the Spaniards and gives meaning to that Catalonia is the factual holder of democratic values. A significant trait within the Iberian Peninsula is the lack of a centralised power that could impose a single Spanish national identity. The political systems that governed parts of the Iberian Peninsula, demonstrate great political shifts, displaying consolidation and oscillation of power. To speak of one single coherent Spanish national identity seems difficult. One ought to note that the relationship between Castile and Catalonia possessed a nature of mutual economic interests. But the Iberian Peninsula consisted of several political units during the Medieval (mid 1300s), the largest Aragon, Castile, Portugal, Navarra and Granada (Linz 1985:38). Facilitating the objective to consolidate power, the marriage between Isabel of Castile and Fernando of Aragon in 1474, marked the shaping of Spain into a political entity. It meant that Castile was the leading political and administrative centre (Tamames 1990). Two years later, they took over a kingdom each, 54
Castile and Aragon. But the political system of governing that emerged, bears the trait of being a cluster of independent regions. The Catalan Empire was at its most powerful in the early fifteenth century. Catalonia's political alliance with Aragon, involved that the empire was controlling large parts of the Mediterranean. The empire was in control of the Balearic Islands, Valencia, Sardinia, Corsica, Italy south of Naples, Malta and parts of Greece. Barcelona was the centre of the empire working as a well-built merchant community. The distribution of power between Aragon and Catalonia was decentralised. It was divided into separate political components. Each political entity had a distinct political institution. The previously mentioned, the Corts, had the capability of formulating legislative actions. The power in Catalonia was divided between the King of Aragon and the Corts. The Corts had the La Generalitat, which acted as a governing body when the Corts was not in session. In 1462, due to an internal dispute regarding supremacy, a war broke out between the King of Aragon and the Catalan Generalitat (Balcells 1996:11). This indicated that Catalonia's era as an influential region was coming to an end. The centuries to come were going to be characterised by crises, both on a political and economic level. Madrid was soon to become an administrative centre as the imperialistic expansion gained importance (Tamames 1990). An outcome of the imperialistic expansion involved in an increased collaboration across the regional borders. Human and military resources were required in order to accomplish the imperialistic expansion (ibid.). Such an enterprise contributed to the emergence of various economic clusters, located in the regions, which saw the economic potential in collaborating with Madrid. The expanding middle class in Catalonia and Paнs Basko enjoyed a beneficial relation with Madrid, and managed to establish close ties to the central kingdom. Along with this process, each of the regions had their own defined imperialistic interests. For example, Paнs Basko had connections to South America, and Castile was with North Africa, America and central Europe. Catalonia and Aragon turned to the Mediterranean (Heiberg 1989:2). The unity between the regions was mainly based on overseas conquests, the result being that the idea of uniting in one single nation-state gradually faded away. Juan Linz (1985:47) argues that the Spanish patriotism, emerging during the colonial age, was not employed to instigate an integration process of a single Spanish national identity. Features indicate that such a process was difficult to complete. It can be found in a budding disintegration process of the Spanish colonial empire, occurring at the end of the colonial period. A Spanish centralised state could only be established, if the regions acknowledged that an economic and political collaboration with Castile were beneficial (Heiberg 1989:2). Therefore, an economic and political centralisation process was implemented at the beginning of the 1700s. It was carried out further in parts of the 1800s. Other features might have played a role in establishing Spain as a centralised state, for example, the role of religion, the crusades, the "discovering" of America and 55
the persecution of Jews. At the beginning of the 1800-century, the royal family of Bourban seized power in the War of Spanish succession (1700-14). The Catalans battled against the Spanish Crown and lost. This involved that the Catalans aimed for obtaining a leading political role, but failed in their political project. The Bourbonnais tried to alter the existing political and economic structures of the Iberian Peninsula. It blocked a development of Madrid as the centre of political and economic governance. As the Catalan was the losing party in the war, the Generalitat was disbanded, along with the Municipal Assembly, called the Concell de Cent (Council of one hundred). Other Catalan political institutions were abolished and Castilian laws were imposed. Catalonia was losing its qualities as an independent nation and becoming officially a part of Spain (Alba 1975:38). But Catalonia preserved certain important institutions for legal tender and language. 2.6 An expanding region The 1900th century in Catalonia became a period typified by urbanisation and an expanding industry. Quite the reverse occurred with Spain, as it "lost" several of its markets, implying a loss in a number of colonies. In experiencing such a transformation, Madrid weakened its supreme political position, while an economic expansion was occurring in the costal areas of Spain, foremost in Catalonia and Paнs Basko. The problem of centre-periphery emerges from such a milieu; the segment of political control is subject to back-fall in their economic and political interests and the periphery is taking over. The attempt of defining Madrid as the centre of Spain's economic and political development, failed. It was utterly undermined as the segment of political control was facing a situation where the periphery took over its role. This might facilitate to comprehend Spain's "provincial dilemma", displayed trough the emergence of sturdy national movements in Paнs Basko and Catalonia. In the 1800s, one can identify a rising Catalan national movement as a product of a rapid modernisation process. The advance of Catalan nationalism and its significance can be displayed through a literary national movement called the Renaixenзa, as described by Josep Llobera (1998). The nature of the Renaixenзa shows the reinventing and reflection of Catalan culture and language. Romanticising of Catalan culture also appeared, furthermore, it started to take a political form, shaping a number of fields in the Catalan society. The Renaixenзa movement enjoyed substantial espousal from the Catalan bourgeoisie. The Catalan bourgeoisie took an interest in the national movement believing that it could help the bourgeoisie in claiming increased autonomy and improve their business interests. From the Renaixenзa, emerges a political movement appearing as el Catalanisme that started to gain significance later in the 20th century. 56
In the Catalan legitimising process for an increased independence, early agents of the Catalan movement can be identified. For example, Valenti Amirall, Josep Torras i Bages, Prat de la Riba, La Lliga Regionalista, Centre Catalб, were all organisations and ideologists carrying out the task promoting Catalan culture (Malmstrшm 1992). A range of activities was carried out, emphasising consciousness of a Catalan national identity. But the political campaigning was expressed in various manners: uniting the Catalans in organisations opposing the central government, promoting ideas of a Christian Catalan state, distribution of political material at schools, libraries and at scientific academies, etc. The emergence of Catalan nationalism can be seen as a rejoinder in requirements of improved political liberalisation and restructuring of the Catalan society. Attaining social conversion inside the Spanish state appeared problematic, due to the traditional power segment being made up of nobles and militaries. The Catalan national movement might have assumed that increased awareness on regional differences could have resulted in political upheaval in the rest of Spain. Seen from another perspective, the Spanish state is often regarded as corrupt and inefficient and as exploiting of the periphery. Therefore, the increased awareness of regional differences can be seen as a way of protecting local interests from the Spanish state. 2.7 Barзa in a Catalan context The Catalan national movement and the socio-economic situation related to the expanding industry and urbanisation of Barcelona is a proper background to comprehend the origin of Barзa. Barзa seen in relation to such a background also reveals how the club shares links to modernisation. For example, Barзa was founded in an era of an expanding industry; also, the club follows as football is spreading around in the world. Indicated earlier in the thesis, football's spread to Argentina was interrelated to the British presence in the country. Eduardo Archetti (1999:48) notes that the majority of football clubs located in Argentina originated from British schools situated in Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is a city that was with a high concentration of immigrants with different nationalities. The pattern of football's world dispersion is similar to what we find if one is to look into to Barзa's origin. We find the classic narrative of how members of an international community, where the majority of the individuals were closely linked to the British industrial interest present in Barcelona, played football in their spare time. And from the community, Barзa was founded. Barзa was founded in 1899. The community's first partakers consisted of foreigners, mostly from England, Germany and Switzerland. Agustн Rodes i Catalа (2000:19) notes that the community's members had Protestant background and counted about 430 individuals. From its beginning, Barзa has been a club characterised by possessing an international foothold. For example, Hans Gamper, the founder of the club, was from Switzerland. The majority of the initial 57
Barзa footballers were English: "While FC Catala was made up mainly of Catalans, the majority of Barcelona's players were foreigners, notably Englishmen." (Burns 1998:70). Although the early partakers of Barзa being interrelated to the mentioned community, traits suggest that the founders of Barзa made an effort to make the club a representation of Catalonia. The club emblem is a reliable indication for such a postulation. The Catalan flag, la Senyera, and the cross of St George, St. Jordi, are attributes incorporated into the club emblem. This provides Barзa with a distinct sentiment of belonging to Catalonia. The Senyera as an integrated part of the club emblem, the story of Catalonia's origin becomes an incorporated part of the club. This establishes a closer link between Catalonia and Barзa. The Senyera has a mythical and heroic narrative worthwhile exploring: The Death of Guifeй el Pilуs, the Count Barcelona, died in the year 878. He was asked what type of reward he desired in fighting alongside the Frankish king Charles the Bald. In response, the Count showed his guilded shield to the monarch, dipped four fingers into the Count's open wound, and wiped them across the yellow shield. The Count split his land among his sons without notifying the Frankish King. This action marked the establishing of the Catalan independence and is the original story for the existence of la Senyera (Alba 1975:16). Putting this forward, remarks concerning Barзa's origin, and the social circumstances in which the club was founded in, can be made. What is made evident is how the club materializes to be part of a hybridisation process, appearing as a cultural hybrid. Originally, hybridisation and hybrids were concepts developed by natural science. It dealt with how an animal or a plant produced from the mixing of two spices. Hybridisation implies the creation of a pseudo-species as a result of the combination of two discrete species (Archetti 1999:25). Applying such an idea to culture, Nйstor Garcнa Canclini's work on hybrid cultures in Latin America is significant to mention. Garcнa Canclini claims that Latin American countries are the result of "sedimentation, juxtaposition, and interweaving of indigenous traditions, of Catholic colonial hispanism, and of modern political education and communicational action." (1995:46). This is to say that the mixing of tradition and modernity designate processes of hybridisation (Archetti 1999:xv). Creating a hybrid implies that cultural borders between "us" and "them" become manifested on the condition that individuals interacting in a "hybridised" world recognise such a cultural border. It means that the concept of hybrids can be employed when referring to something of mixed origin. This can clarify how Barзa suggests being a cultural hybrid. 58
It seems to be the intermixing of the pre-modern sport of football and a set of cultural traits, displaying ancientness, which suggest that Barзa is a cultural hybrid. Barзa stems to be an integration of supposed traditional traits with a pre-modern phenomenon. Especially Barзa's club emblem is a powerful symbolic representation. The club emblem indicates that Barзa is a sign of a cultural manifestation and is the outline of a human entrepreneurship. Seeing that Barзa enters into the social milieu where structured opposition is played out, the club is a powerful cultural expression of national capability evoking affirmative force within the cosmos of its adherents. Spanish football clubs' tradition of being coalescing symbols, means that changes in the political and economic sphere are somewhat reflected at the sporting field. Catalan nationalism's distinct anti-Madrid sentiment has often been expressed through Barзa. Investigating the political climate through two different periods, before and after the Civil war, different examples show how the manifestation of anti-Madrid sentiment has been accomplished through Barзa. Therefore, one can identify clearer relationship between football, nationality and the Spanish state. 2.8 Catalonia before the Civil War The period from 1900 until 1936 bears the virtue of being highly politicised. As mentioned, the central government of Spain was at war with the United States, attempting to secure the last parts of their remaining empire. In 1901, agents of the Catalan movement, represented through Lliga Regionalista, promised a more modern and efficient government. The movement managed to secure La Mancomunitat de Catalunya in 1914. The Mancomunitat was an administrative union of four Catalan provinces and was part of the phase of establishing the Estatut de Catalunya. It worked as an autonomous region within the Spanish state. The dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923-30) marked an impediment for the development of a Catalan republic. When Primo de Rivera stepped down from power, Generalitat was re-established. A referendum was held in order to resolve the issue of the Generalitat functioning as an autonomous government. This indicated that the dream of a Catalan Republic was heading for an end as the Spanish Civil war commenced. The period from the mid 1900s to the establishing of Mancomunitat (Llobera 1998) was a pinnacle for the Catalan movement. Agents of the Catalan political movement managed to establish an idea of a Catalan national character (Duke & Crolley 1996). Due to Catalonia being an expansive region, the idea of the Catalans as hard working and progressive developed. The socioeconomic conditions of the North Eastern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, might have contributed to the creation of a distinctive Catalan character. It smoothed the progress of enhancing the differences and the mentality between the regions (ibid.). This was incorporated into the discourse against the central government. Such a task was fulfilled by opposing the conservatives and intellectuals. The conservatives and intellectuals had a tendency to employ romanticism and 59
glorification of the mythical past (Thomassen 1996). In contrast to this, to advocate for the Catalan character as being part of modern life and an integrated part of the Catalan culture, seems to be the way of coming to terms with economic and political conditions of that time. Certain examples show how football has been employed to express anti-Madrid sentiments. When Espanyol, the other football team located in Barcelona, was founded in 1900, the club supported a no-foreigner policy. Espanyol was in this period regarded as a representation of the Spanish state, which partially fortified the Barзa fans' anti-Madrid sentiments. Although Barзa had numerous international players, this allowed Barзa to label Espanyol as xenophobic. In 1902, Barзa refused to play a tournament because of foreign players were not entitled to play. Barзa's protest was related to the feeling of being persecuted and punished by football authorities because of what the club represented: "They feel that it is precisely because it is seen as the team that represents Catalonia and anti-centralist Spain that they are treated unfavourably: talk about `political referring' is common." (Duke & Crolley 1996:27) The modes of expressing anti-Madrid sentiments become clearer as social space is subject to social unfolding. This is a distinct social pattern with Barзa. Being imposed restrictions by the Spanish state Catalans searched for a sanctuary in new spaces where they could express themselves. The football stadium appears to be such a space where sentiments could be displayed. For example, during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, the Catalans were suppressed. The football field turned out to be one of the few places where Catalans could express anti-feelings. Significant at that time, was the rise in number of socios. When Primo de Rivera stepped down from power, and the Catalan society normalised, there was also a decline in numbers of socios. Numbers obtained from my fieldwork could sustain such a statement. Barзa had in 1922: 6.341 socios, 1924: 12.207 socios, 1928: 10.045 socios and in 1931: 9.581 socios. Taking into account that the Spanish national football league commenced at the end of the 1920s, moreover that Barзa had played in regional tournaments before that time it is plausible to argue that the football field represented anti-Madrid sentiments for Barзa fans. 2.9 From the Civil war to transition During the civil war, Spain was divided into Republicans versus Nationalists (Duke & Crolley 1996). The defeat of the Republicans in 1939 led to the establishment of the Franco-regime and the country remained territorially divided. The Civil War is a revealing period in the relationship between football and politics. Numerous footballers left Spain during the Civil War, particularly footballers closely connected to the Republican areas. The political division that existed between the regions could be identified through football clubs. Barзa and clubs from Paнs Basko were 60
synonymous with separatism, signifying nationalist aspirations (ibid.). Clubs like Osasuna and Espanyol represented the regime. Football clubs closely connected to the regime enjoyed various forms of subsidies. Clubs received extra money for financing away trips and players were exempted from military service. Not only football clubs were militarised: The Spanish football association (Federaciуn Espaсola de Fъtbol ) was run by military figure. Here one can identify how the Spanish state started to intermix with football clubs, which gradually fortified throughout the dictatorship. Vic Duke and Liz Crolley (ibid) note that the state's motivation for engaging with the football field was less related to football being a leisure activity, but had military purposes: "We all need to get used to the idea that in the immediate future, sport is not a pleasant leisure activity, but a necessary way in which the country can improve its men and have them prepared for action whenever they are needed".29 (ibid.:30). There were no national football competitions during the war. This implied that football was organised in regional leagues. In the absence of a national league, Barзa went abroad to play. Playing a broad became a manner of expressing antiMadrid feelings. The club entered into the role of being Catalonia's "national team" and played against clubs located outside Spain. The Franco regime led to a militarised penetration of the Spanish society. Football clubs, like any other public institution, were subject to government control (Duke & Colley 1996:32). The football clubs' administration, organisation and ownership were under governmental surveillance. The state was militarising Spanish football clubs by appointing military figures into key positions. The existence of a governing body in Spanish football clubs permitted the regime to intervene by ensuring that the "elected" president was loyal to Franco. Such a policy was made explicit and dates back to 1938. The regime appointed the president or ensured that the person in charge was steadfast to the establishment: "Most football clubs, even Barcelona, the club which is today usually considered to have been that which demonstrated most antifranquista feelings, had a directorate which consisted almost exclusively of Franco followers, and were indeed appointed by Franco." (Duke & Crolley 1996:32) The governing body of a football club was affected by the regime, and the Spanish football structure was attempted "democratised". The alternations taking place were a reflection of changes occurring in other parts of the Spanish society. One interesting feature with the regime was the concentration of power in the hands of a small number of individuals. For example, in contrast to the first part of 1940s, when the Ministry of Sports (DND) appointed a football club's president, this changed in the late 1940s when elections were held. In 1946, the DND made a decision that 29 The minister of Sport, general Moscardу, quoted in Vic Duke & Liz Crolley (1996). 61
the board of directors could elect their own presidente on the condition that the president was approved by the Spanish state: "Some 200 socios, chosen at random (at least in theory) were to be allowed to attend annual general meeting. In 1948, Barcelona, frequently the pioneer of any moves towards democracy, allowed al its supporters to vote for the presidente: this provoked a rapid response by the DND who immediately made its recommendation which allowed 200 socios to vote legally binding." (ibid.) Few efforts were put into having new elections. The national football federation was criticised for not representing the clubs. Until the 1970s, naught was achieved to change the unequal and atrocious conditions in Spanish sports. Sports under the regime were not a successful social enterprise. The individuals holding power of the governing bodies were regarded as unskilled (Shaw 1987). Franco attempted to destroy all institutions that held traces of regionalism or separatism. Languages other than Castilian were proscribed. The Spanish state being well integrated into football, the regime saw the sport arena as an instrument for the fostering of the Spanish national identity. Monopolising central key positions allowed the regime to carry out Hispanicisation of football clubs. The process of Hispanicisation of football clubs is found through the changing of a football club's names. From 1941, follows a directive from the Home Office Department for Press and Propaganda (Duke & Colley 1996:36) commanding all football clubs to have Spanish names. For example, the Basque football club Athletic de Bilbao became Atlйtico de Bilbao, Sporting Gijуn became Deportivo Gijуn and Football Club Barcelona became Club de Fъtbol de Barcelona. Focusing on the football ground, any effort opposing Hispanicisation was prohibited: "...Las Corts had been converted overnight into a passive theatre of orderly entertainment and harmless encounters between competing teams: not a flag or banner in sight, thousands of spectators in suits applauding respectfully, a few men in uniform here and there, and then the players, doing the one thing they had been called upon to do and nothing more ­ play football and obey the referee" (Burns 1998:137) Any visible traits referring to regional sentiments were harshly dealt with. The Catalan flag, La Senyera, was made illegal. In contrast to this, ceremonies celebrating the Franco-regime were favoured. Footballers had to carry out the fascist salute before football matches. By the 1960s and the 1970s, the opposition against the regime started to strengthen. For example, a number of clubs, footballers and fans were often displaying regional sentiments. These dissidents of the regime were constantly portrayed in a negative way by the Madrid-based press. Duke and Crolley (1996:37) argue that Franco did not see the political manifestation that took place in the 62
footballing context as potentially dangerous. It has been suggested that football was a sort of "escape valve" (Vбzquez Montalbбn 1975, quoted in Shaw 1987). Former Barзa player and coach, Charles Rexach, proposed that it was a mistake by Franco to underestimate the strength of the Catalan sentiment expressed through football: "He [Franco] tried to get rid of all regional rivalries in Spain, apart from in the footballing context. He promoted football as healthy way for the regions to relieve the tension. But with Barзa the dictator made a mistake. As the Catalans had no political parties, or regional government, or any right to use their own language, they put all their cultural pride into Barзa. At a Barзa match, the people could shout in Catalan and sing traditional songs at a time when they couldn't do it anywhere else." (National Geographic 1984, Duke and Crolley 1996:37) The Franco-regime did not only militarise the football structure but also exercised means of power in transfer cases. In 1953 emerged the famous caso di Stйfano. Alfredo di Stefano, originally from Argentina, was a footballer that Barзa wanted to buy. Di Stefano was on loan from Colombian Millonarios de Bogotб but was officially registered with Argentine River Plate (Burns 1998). Barзa officials believed that they had signed di Stefano from River Plate. But the Spanish FA stopped the transfer, claiming that he was a Millonarios player. Meanwhile, Real Madrid started to negotiate with di Stefano. The Spanish FA was called to arbitrate over who had in fact signed on the player and came to a surprising result: di Stefano was to play a couple of season for Real Madrid and then play some seasons for Barзa. Barзa pulled out from the deal, and Real Madrid built a team around the new player and won several national and European cups with di Stefano as the leading footballer. 2.10 The transition The transition to democracy involved transformations in the Spanish political system. The regime started to lose its grip during the 1960s and in the 1970s and manifestations against the regime occurred. The transition has been painstakingly debated. The author Gregorio Morбn (1992:11) enquires if the death of Franco has guarantied a complete democracy. It is interesting to raise Morбn's argument, since it casts a light on how the transition occurred. It has been suggested that Franco planned the transition before his death and the new power-holders lingered to take over. For example, certain individuals I met during the fieldwork claimed that the transition took on a hideous nature. For them, the succession of power had dealt with overlooking four decades of despotism. Pondering if the transition was successful or not, is not a subject I will ensue further. But the transition has involved a refurbishment of regional and national sentiments. The rise in interest of regional identities is obvious, as we look into aspects of cultural activities. There has been an amplified interest for traditional folklore, dances, songs and the promotion of regional 63
languages. The football ground in such a context, has been made an important place for expressing regional and national sentiments. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 involved the creation of `states of autonomies'. The assorted Comunidades Autуnomas have various degree of autonomy in legislation and administration. For Catalonia, the transition involved obtaining autonomy from the Spanish state. This can be expressed through the Spanish state's recognition of Catalonia as a Comunitat Autуnoma. It is a region with self-governance expressed through the system of La Generalitat (Fossas & Colomи 1993). La Generalitat refers to a common denominator that governs Catalonia's political autonomy. El Estatuto de Autonomнa de Catalunya consigns to the constitution of Catalonia and defines La Generalitat's supremacy, institutional content and means of financing. Catalonia's autonomic means of governing are restricted to La Generalitat's jurisdiction. What regards the division of political power between regional authorities and the central government, someone is required to fulfil the roles of the political system and exercise a policy. The defined political structures, allows that courses of actions to be carried out with legitimacy. An important policy is the promotion of the Catalan national identity. The policy deals with evoking sentiments of what it means to be Catalan. An aspiration for the politicising of the Catalan identity has various objectives: increased autonomy from the central state, legitimising the existence of Catalonia, etc. The agents of Catalan nationalism can be connected to a movement that perform the "work" of reflecting upon the Catalan national identity. The movement can be portrayed as nationalistic. In preventing any further associations of being a nationalistic movement, a substitution in name has been made. The term El Catalanismo is employed to characterise Catalan nationalism.30 Compared to the Catalan nationalism occurring under the Renaixenзa period, the movement differ in how it promotes Catalonia. An important agent of Catalanismo can be recognized through the political movement Convergйncia i Uniу (CiU). The movement's front man, Jordi Pujol, has agitated for a higher degree of autonomy and been an important agent for Catalanismo. The CiU might be considered a nationalistic political party where the political aim of the movement is preserving the Catalan culture. But I will leave the issue of Catalan politics, and focus on the aspects of the ideological content of Catalanismo. An ambition for Catalanismo is to create awareness of a Catalan national identity. The Catalan national identity is believed to have special social norms and values and these can only be learned through living in Catalonia. The norms and values can be conceptualised through a national character, which is different from the Spanish national character. The norms and values ascribed to the national characters can be displayed through Lien's comparison between Catalan and Castilian stereotypical ideas (Lien 2001:124). For example, the Catalans project themselves as modern and 30 El Catalanismo in Spanish and in Catalan El Catalanisme. 64
dynamic, while the Catalans see the Castilians as stubborn and backward. It has to be underlined that these social values and norms are of a stereotypical nature and are often rendered in media and popular discourse on the Catalan identity. From these social norms and values, emerges a social imagery of Catalonia as a modern society. Being a modern society implies that the Catalans emphasis differences from the Spaniards meaning that the Catalans attempt to portrait themselves as being more "European". Agents of Catalan identity have a tendency to accentuate that Catalans have more in common with countries located further north in Europe, such as Germany, France, The Netherlands and England. 2.11 Concluding remarks This chapter explored the first analytical level of the thesis and attempted to provide Barзa with a contextual reference. It involved accounting for Barзa's collective representation, meaning that the club is a leading collective representation of Catalonia. I have also accounted for the social milieu in which the club originated. Since the Catalans often see themselves in contrast to the Spanish national identity, it has been crucial to describe the context in which the national identities take place and how it has been reflected through the football field. The examining of the relationship between football, nationality and the state shows how Barзa has been controlled by the Spanish state. Carrying out the contextual elaboration is necessary as it facilitates the task to understand the notion of locality. The notion of locality is an essential feature that runs into the project of conceptualising modes of local fandom. Grasping these modes of local fandom is the subject for the next chapter. The transition to democracy involved alternations in the Catalan society. Catalonia has attained a great deal of autonomy from the Spanish state. This has involved that much work has been put down in strengthening Catalonia's position within the borders of the Spanish state. In the discourse on the Catalan identity, a political issue has been the importance of stressing that Catalonia is a nation and not a region (Malmstrшm 1992:12). The role of prevailing and reinforcing the Catalan culture and language has been a central objective for this matter. For example, the Catalan literature has experienced an enormous progress. Barcelona comes across today as a significant city where modern art and architecture flourish. But Catalonia appears also as a heterogenic society, where the "real" Catalans seem to be a figurative minority. Large groups of immigrants came from various parts of Spain looking for work in Catalonia. This cluster of people does not speak Catalan, or knows the language badly, is considered as part of the Catalan population and make up 60 percent of it (ibid.). The project of promoting the Catalan language and culture becomes therefore a challenging issue. Another important social feature worthwhile looking into is the subject of independence from Spain. Catalonia's autonomy has provided the region with the 65
possibility to draw up lines concerning the future. The question of independence from Spain seems
to divide the Catalans. Certain Catalans think that they have achieved a great deal within the
Spanish state's rule. In the debate on independence, recognition as a nation seems to be a desired
issue (Duke & Crolley 1996:42).
As the Catalan society has undergone transformations so has Barзa. The period subsequent to
the transition brings up interesting features relevant to the market penetration. For the club's
members, the socios, one of the first alternations to take place, was the possibility to vote for the
club's president. This implied that Barзa was becoming a democratic institution. Even if Barзa
promotes an idea of being a democratic football club, it needs some reconsideration. Especially
considering who is elected president. Nъсez was elected as Barзa president after the Spanish
transition to democracy. He held the presidency until he resigned during the 1999/2000 season.
Throughout his presidency, Nъсez seems to have consolidated his position within the club
structures (Burns 1998). A response to this development was the formation of the fan movement
L'Elefant Blau, an association consisting of socios. The movement was founded as a counterpart
and endeavoured to campaign against Nъсez's attempts to undermine Barзa's democracy and the
commercialisation of the club (Brown & Walsh 2001:94). Nъсez's legacy bears the virtue of
restructuring the club in means of implementing a range of "commercial" projects. For example,
the "Barзa 2000" project, the increased significance of merchandising, the establishing a TV-
channel, etc, can be identified as measures taken that share parallels to the mentioned market
penetration of football. A social process that is difficult to pinpoint directly to one single event, but
might be the result of a series of commercial projects that Nъсez implemented as president. The
L'Elefant Blau movement serves as a helpful example of how fans experience to be caught up in a
CHAPTER 3 - MODES OF LOCAL FANDOM 3.1 Introduction The previous chapter indicated that the Spanish transition to democracy marked adjustments for Barзa, and this can be identified through Nъсez's projects of "renovating" the club. In response to the progress, the fan movement L'Elefant Blau saw the light. This might be one example illustrating Barзa fans' response to the market penetration. In contrast to this, the members of Dracs have experienced and dealt with the market penetration in completely different terms. The members' way to cope with the market penetration is to support the club in the less professionalized sports. Relocated to Palau, the members have developed a complex supporteristic social life dealing with the idea of supporting Barзa's players in the less professionalized sports. Therefore, this chapter aims at exploring the second analytical level of the thesis, implying a curtailing of the analytical perspective. As the previous chapter analysed Barзa's collective representation, this chapter looks into local modes of fandom. Local modes of fandom tend to work as an extension of the Catalan sentiment, and one might declare that modes of local fandom are jam-packed with its own moralities and sentiments. The chapter is divided into two parts: (1) the first part deals with the contextualising of local fandom. Here I will look into the socio and the peсa segment as traits for organising local fandom. Since Dracs is interrelated to this subdivision, it is essential to have it contextualised. The mode of organising local fandom also reflects a set of power relations. Stating this is to come to terms with MacClancy's (1996:5a) argument, that sports and sporting event cannot be comprehended without reference to relations of power. Looking into such relations and the members' beliefs and opinions regarding them, might help to comprehend the members' means to narrate and negotiate supporter identity. Narratives will therefore play a crucial part in the outline of the chapter. The second part of the (2) chapter explores the event leading to Dracs' decision to leave Camp Nou. I believe it is imperative to explore the event as it relates to how the members of Dracs have experienced the relations of power encircling Barзa. Being subjected to the event might have contributed to construct the unenthusiastic ideas that some members have about footballers and Camp Nou. 67
Part I: Socios, penyes and presidentes The modes of local fandom interconnected to Barзa are officially divided into two types of segments. The first segment relates to that of socios and the second segment relates to that of penyes.31 (1) The segment of socios refers to an ownership model employed by Barзa. Several football clubs in Europe are organised according to various models, ranging from substantial power concentration into few hands or distribution of power into small entities. Barзa follows a non-profit-making model, where the revenues from the running of the club, are reinvested into the club. This involves that Barзa is owned by its members. The day-to-day running of the club is administrated by a professional staff, with the development and direction of the club governed by a board elected by the socios. Possessing such an ownership model, Barзa claims to be a democratic organisation. The socios elect the president and a board, La Directiva, which runs the club according to club statutes, rules and regulations. An interesting feature regarding the statutes is how they lay down rules of representation. The best seats at Camp Nou and in Palau, for example, are pre-reserved for Barзa's governing body. This reflects that the relations of power within the club structures are located through Camp Nou and Palau's stands. Possessing a non-profit idea as the basis of the club's ownership model, Barзa claims to have strong ties with the club's grass-root level. The term "socio" should illustrate such an idea. Socio meaning "partner", "co-owner", or "shareholder", involves that when a person purchases a membership, or a socio-ticket, he or she becomes a shareholder of Barзa. Along with the club's other members, a socio possesses the authority to decide the future of the club. The socios are provided with a democratic authority as elections are arranged. Any person can become a socio and there are no rigid principles of who is allowed to become a socio. To become a socio means a lifetime investment. It has a tendency of being a social object, which is passed on within families and works as a parameter determining if a person is a Barзa fan. Buying a season ticket involves that a socio is physically acquiring a seat (by paying an extra fee) at Camp Nou, a seat that becomes a socio's personal "item". In principle, no other spectator can employ the seat, as the seat is the "property" of the socio. The socio segment has a symbolic significance for Barзa. The symbolic significance of the socio segment can be viewed from several angles. It somewhat provides Barзa with a sense of complying with the club's slogan "mйs que un club".32 The socio segment says something about the magnitude of the club, as well as it directly tells us that Barзa possesses an embedded position in the Catalan society. In fact that most of the socios live in Catalonia brings a clearer link between 31 From now on I will use the Catalan term la penya (in plural les penyes) throughout the dissertation. It has to be noted that the terms are employed differently. Supporter clubs located outside Catalonia often employ the Spanish term la peсa, while the supporter clubs located in Catalonia employ the Catalan term. 32 Catchphrase introduced by former president Narcнs de Carreras, meaning "more than a club". 68
the club and locality. The large number of members attached to Barзa is impressive. For example, the latest figures (1996) indicate that 104.442 were registered as socios (La Vanguardia 1999). The magic 100.000 limit has stayed ever since it was passed in 1982 (103.027 socios (ibid.)). This provides Barзa with a rather unique status, and no other football club in the world can measure itself with Barзa in this way, and the club management is also aware of this fact. This piece of detail often enters into a popular discourse where the club promotes itself to be the biggest football club in the world. Barзa also enjoys promoting an idea that the club has famous socios as well. Underlining that Barзa has famous members, renders an idea of the club's genuine social interest beyond the borders of Catalonia. The symbolic significance of the socio segment also possesses a historical value. For example, as demonstrated in the previous chapter, during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923-30), Barзa experienced an increase in the number of socios. In such a historical context, the socio segment seems to be projected with a mythical value telling Barзa's embedded position in the Catalan history, and enlarges its meaning when placed in a context associated with repression and authoritarianism. 3.2 Presidents and amendments Despite Barзa displaying an idea of having a harmonic chord with the fans, there is a great deal of football turmoil related to Barзa. The football turmoil seems to deal with a tension between the Barзa fans and the board, and the opposition is displayed on a daily level. How this comes to view and what it deals with, depends. At first glance, one might postulate that the disharmonic chord is linked to the fans' moral and emotional condemnation of the president's actions. El presidente is habitually under pressure and is repeatedly criticised by Barзa's fans, regardless the circumstances. For example, if Barзa is performing dreadfully and fails to win, the president converts to be a permissible target of fans' antagonism. Barзa's previous president, Joan Gaspart, had to leave the presidency in 2003. He was held responsible for Barзa's ghastly situation. No other Barзa president had spent so much money on new footballers as Gaspart, according to informants. Since his investments in new footballers did not pay off in titles, further antagonism evolved. The fact that Barзa has not won a significant title the last years makes it easier for the Barзa to portray the club as being in a "crisis". Taking into consideration that Barзa is not winning titles in football, the club is also facing other challenges. The new challenges bring about the question on Barзa's collective representation, and what is more, the idea regarding what Barзa denotes among its nearest adherents. Confronted with a situation where financial transactions are shaping the social connotation of Barзa, the club has also acquired a fan segment beyond the frontiers of Catalonia. This fan base is not located outside Spain, but has its locality within the borders of the Spanish 69
state. As Barзa has numerous penyes interconnected to the club, it has been a policy of integrating the supporter clubs further into the club structure. Integrating the penyes closer to Barзa implies that the club takes a plural form.33 Incorporating the mentioned penyes into Barзa, for pro-Catalan Barзa fans, such actions are seen as Hispanicisation of Barзa. The individual agency carrying out such an action can be identified to Gaspart, according to members' social beliefs. For Dracs' leader, Gaspart is seen as an agent of Spanish nationalism in Catalonia, where Gaspart's scheme of providing priority to the penyes with locality outside of Catalonia produces reminiscences from the Franco-regime. For the members of Dracs this appears to represent a dilemma, as the idea between Barзa and its locality appears to disintegrate: "During the Franco-regime and before the dictatorship, Barзa represented Catalonia and Espanyol, Spain, but as time passed it changed. The mentality has altered and La Directiva of Barзa has changed this image. For example, Gaspart is a representative of Espaсolismo (Spanish nationalism) in Catalonia and he tried to destroy the unity of the club by giving more importance to the penyes located outside Catalonia, consequently, making them to represent Spain and not Catalonia. The penyes located in Spain were favoured, but the penyes located outside of Spain have a minor significance and were not favoured. He intended to unite an image of Barзa and Spain, rather than Barзa and Catalonia. He was afraid that Barзa represented Catalonia. For the Spanish, Barзa is the image of Catalonia in Europe and he had to destroy this image. Because when Barзa played abroad, one did not see Spain but Catalonia and this was a problem. Therefore, he tried to destroy it, or to destroy the unity between Barзa and Catalonia. I did also explain to you, that some years ago, there was a relation between a penya and an armed resistance group in Catalonia. An armed resistance like ETA and this created problems, because members of the armed group were also members of a penya related to Barзa. Then the Spanish government said: it has to stop and one had to destroy this relation. Then the government started to put Spanish representatives in the board of Barзa and Gaspart is a clear example. His intention was to destroy the political relation between Barзa and Catalonia. It was a relation between Gaspart and the Spanish movement, not any relation between the club and Spanish government. But Gaspart helped to de-Catalanise Barзa for personal interests and the interests of the Spanish government." (Interview July 2002)34 The narrative above suggests that the members of Dracs negotiate supporter identity in relation to the governing body of the club. But the narrative points toward a social category of the Other and narrates where the members choose to position themselves in relation to the club structure's set of power relations. Claiming this, the narrative shares analytical similarities to Hagendoorn's (1993) argument on how ethnic organisations employ cultural values and social stereotypes in the construction of ethnic hierarchies. It is particularly Hagendoorn's analysis of stereotypes that is appealing. Hagendoorn argues that stereotypes provide criteria for social categorization as "...The search for a favourable self-categorization, driven by the differentiating and evaluative functions 33 Barзa taking a plural form I mean that the club is obtaining a fan base, which exceeds the club's notion of locality. 34 My translation. Dracs' leader account. 70
of stereotypes, leads to a positioning of the own group relative to other groups." (ibid.:36). The Other in this case is located in the individual agency of the president and La Directiva working as the idea of the Other. The members' ideas of Barзa's governing body suggests being partly conventional, whereas the board is displayed as fraudulent. This is underlined by the claim that the substantial power attached to holding a position in La Directiva is allegedly abused for selfbeneficial incentives. For the members, the way to negotiate supporter identity relates to La Directiva's actions, decisions and way of appearing in public settings. Evaluating the board's actions and decisions, contributes to characterizing Dracs' self-representation of being Barзa supporters. Taking Gaspart's undertaking of favouring the penyes located outside Catalonia is in this case seen as act of Hispanicisation. It suggests that La Directiva's actions of turning the club into a plural project involves that Barзa's collective representation alters social meaning. An interesting social pattern with the presidency and La Directiva is how this body seems to have close ties to influential institutions in the Catalan society. This indicates to be a pattern that follows a large numbers of Barзa's presidents. For example, the founder of Barзa and later president, Hans Gamper, seems to have had close ties to a small commerce community located in Barcelona. Barзa has regularly been associated with nationalistic sentiments, but the club is still careful in denying any close links with the political sphere. There are cases illustrating relationship between Barзa's presidents and Catalan political interests. For example, the Catalan Nationalist Party backed a candidate, Cambra, at the club's presidential election in 1989 but did not obtain the presidency (Duke & Crolley 1996:44). Informants suggest that Gaspart had close ties to the Catalan government's Minister of Cultural affairs. In such a context, since Barзa is such a powerful unifying symbol, the club also materializes as a significant influential institution, and this attracts influential persons. Former Barзa president, Josep Lluнs Nъсez, was Barзa president for almost 20 years. Nъсez comes forward as a symbol of a constructed masculine stereotype of influence. Nъсez is the narrative about a Basque, who "immigrated" to Catalonia, made a fortune, is a self-made millionaire, is a workingman, embattled away his opponents, and finally took control of Barзa. Nъсez is an example of a president that runs into a list of presidentes with intimate relations to an influential community in Catalonia. Nъсez had close ties to an influential community consisting of individuals running large Catalan corporations, the local banking system and possesses close ties to the political sphere, etc. (Burns 1998). Jimmy Burns describes Nъсez as one of the " breed businessmen taking charge of football in the 1990s" (ibid.:353). Aside from possessing a significant head, Barзa's presidents do not materialize as an exclusive example, implying that Barзa's presidents are not released from the political and economic sphere. In contrast, one can 71
say, in cases where there is a large football club perceived as important, agents of the political and the economic sphere are never far way. In a study of Maltese football, Gary Armstrong and Jon Mitchell argue "...The fact that football and politics are intertwined in Malta comes as no real surprise to those familiar with the country, in which there is an element of politics in everything." (Armstrong & Mitchell 2001:143). Armstrong and Mitchell's study indicates that Maltese football clubs are closely embedded into the country's political sphere. In fact the Maltese state's size suggests that this becomes transparent as the football sphere is analysed. The close ties between football and politics, how it takes form through the agency of an influential person, are further illustrated as we look to Italy. As Nъсez can be distinguished as a business tycoon that administrated Barзa, the current prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, emerges as an example that makes the link between politics, economy and football explicit. Berlusconi has large ownership interests in the Italian football club AC Milan. Berlusconi is one of the richest persons in Italy and is the elected leader of the country. An interesting aspect with Berlusconi's interest for football is how he creates an explicit link between the football setting and politics. This is performed by transferring words and expression from the football background into Italian politics: "In recent years, this link has been emphasized by Silvio Berlusconi, first when he used football to develop his private television network in 1981, then upon becoming chairman of AC Milan in 1986, and then in his use of a football slogan to christen his political party as Forza Italia! (Come on Italy) in 1993." (De Biasi & Lanfranci 1997:91) However, as Nъсez was elected president in 1978, he replaced a somewhat patriarchal style of management, with a sharper and ruthless administration, where emphasis was put on maximising the club's economic potential. Burns (1998:349) argues that the economic transformation of Barзa commenced after Nъсez took over as president. Nъсez consolidated his position within the club structures and took progressively control of the club's affairs. A reaction to this development is to be found in the grass-root level expressed through L'Elefant Blau, a fan movement that started to question Nъсez's way of running Barзa. The fan movement questioned "...the true identity of the members for the assembly of delegates, and about the decision-making process of the economic committee, both of which bodies which seemed to rubber-stamp most plans put forward by Nъсez." (Burns 1998:354). As Nъсez stepped down from power and elections were held, L'Elefant Blau candidate Gaspart won the elections. This implied the downfall of Nъсez's long period as president, but Gaspart would suffer the same consequence, as he had to leave the presidency as well. 72
The discussion on Barзa's presidency suggests that the market penetration is nothing new. Proposed transfers of footballers indicate how the market penetration is expressed in explicit terms. Identifying which role candidates for the presidency play in transfer cases can provide some remedies. For example, at the presidential elections held in 2003, this was articulated in a straightforward way. Candidates running for the Barзa presidency promoted uncomplicated arguments for why Barзa's socios should vote for them as president. The candidates competed by proposing the name of several football stars, which the candidates would sign if they became president (Bergens Tidende 5th of June 2003). Current Barзa president, Joan Laporta, launched the proposal of bringing the football stars Thierry Henry (currently playing for Arsenal) and David Beckham to Barзa. Of course, on the condition that Laporta was elected president. Laporta claimed that he already had been in contact with Manchester United, regarding a prospective transfer of Beckham. Another candidate, Jaume Llaurado, stated: "I was surprised to read that another candidate had signed on a contract with a footballer, which had provided me with his word that he would be mine, the day I would win the elections."35 (ibid.). An alternative candidate, Josep Martinez Rovira, promised Barзa's socios that he would sign on contracts with United's striker, Ruud van Nistelrooy, and Rennes' keeper, Petre Cheh, if Martinez Rovira became the president. Surprisingly enough, the expected candidate to win the elections, Lluis Bassat, did not assure the socios in fetching any footballers. Bassat assured the fans that he would bring back the previous Barзa footballer Ronald Koeman. If Bassat became the new president, Koeman would then become the new Barзa trainer. The propositions for acquiring the best footballers serve more as an overbidding contest among the candidates. It demonstrates how the candidates act as agents of the market penetration. The candidates, through the competition, contribute to bring the market penetration closer to the local context. As transfers convert to be "political issues", one might postulate that the candidates contribute to alter the symbolic role of the footballer. Firstly, through the candidates' internal competing, secondly, the contenders' racing with other clubs, these actions enter into a discourse of displaying footballers as commodified entities. Footballers are displayed as entities that can be "bought" and "sold". Placing footballers into such a setting socially reduces footballers to commodified bodies, seeming to be "exchanged" among top European clubs. The issue preventing the candidates from buying the footballers are exorbitant transfer fees and other economic means. Such ritual competition within the club and between clubs undermines the true meaning of a footballer as a masculine stereotype. In addition to this, as footballers seem to benefit from such ritual competing, the idea of footballers as moral agents of collective values turns out to be problematic for fans to identify with. For committed supporters, where moralities and loyalty are 35 My translation. 73
cherished social values, observing that footballers are provided with towering wages and exorbitant transfer fees, increasingly put focus on supporters' problem of identifying and sharing solidarity with the footballers. In 1996, two dissimilar events occurred, two episodes that act as occasional explanatory occurrences on how the market penetration made an impact on Barзa. The episodes might have been a factor to create the alleged crisis that Barзa's fans are experiencing. This can be related to the sacking of Cruyff and the implementation of the Bosman-verdict. For Dracs, they work as two overlapping events, providing the members with legitimate arguments for the group's support of the less professionalized sports. During the Cruyff-era, Barзa experienced its most successful period ever. It represented a period when Barзa played with a number of footballers with a local attachment. The footballers were the result of the club's training program for young footballers and the club possessed few foreign footballers. This convincingly provided Barзa with a Catalan phizog. For Dracs, this period represented a period where the relation between the members and the footballers was of an equal nature. The members, who were present at Camp Nou, tell stories about how they could converse with Barзa's footballers. Due to a disagreement between Nъсez and Cruyff, regarding the buying of footballers, Nъсez went behind Cruyff's back and signed on a contract with a new coach without Cruyff's knowledge: "The headline news in the sports paper that morning was that Nuсez together with his vicepresident Joan Gaspart had met with Bobby Robson in Madrid the previous day and singed him as Cruyff's replacement. It was not unusual for Nъсez, his vice-president or one or other of his ruling junta to spin a tale or two through trusted journalists, but Cruyff had never in his life suffered the indignity of being fired through the media." (Burns 1998:326) After the sacking of Cruyff things changed, implying that agents of the market penetration started to gain importance. The implementation of the Bosman-verdict implied that the quota system was abolished, suggesting that a great number of foreign footballers entered the Catalan setting. Several trainers have also coached Barзa after Cruyff, such as Louis Van Gaal, Bobby Robson, Frank Rijkaard (current coach), and Carles Rexach. As these agents entered the Barзa milieu, new ideas entered with them. For Dracs, the Bosman-verdict can be interpreted as a parameter resulting in an increased focus on economic means. Such considerations seem to represent a notion of change. Dracs' manner of narrating an experience of change relates to how social values have altered with time. The conditions that were valid during Cruyff, in the present day have less significance. The members state that Barзa's collective representation has started to evaporate. From such a context emerges the idea of players' emotional and economic sentiments in playing for Barзa, and this distinction seems to have increased its significance, as the market penetration appears more evident. The economic sentiment seems to be favoured by the 74
footballers, meaning that the members sense the footballers are withdrawn from the public sphere, creating a feeling of distance. 3.3 Segment of penyes The second segment of local fandom is connected to the penyes. Dracs is officially organised under this type of fandom. Before I analyse Dracs further, certain characteristics can be made on penyes. The penyes are small fan clubs that count from 10 to 500 members. The penyes operate as autonomic units independent from the club, but the ties between the penyes and club officials are intimate. Penyes often work as an extension of the club and are habitually employed to promote Catalan sentiments. Barзa officials are involved in promoting Catalan folklore and culture and help funding penyes' activities, enabling the fan clubs to display Catalan folklore (Duke & Crolley 1996:43). Compared to the socio segment, to become a member of a penya does not provide a fan with similar rights and privileges as the socio. As a socio is provided with a permanent seat at Camp Nou, it seems that such an arrangement does not equally apply for the penyes, according to informants. The penyes are in charge of carrying out their own activities, and the penyes' activities are performed differently. For instance, it could include attending football matches every second Sunday at Camp Nou or to drop in at other sports where the club is represented, but the majority of the penyes tend to favour football. Each penya consists of an elected headship. The elected leader together with a group of assistants, make up the headship of the penya. The headship in concert with regular members, named socios or sympatizantes, make up the penya in total.36 The penyes are based on voluntary work, meaning that a membership in a penya carries a virtue of being a leisure activity. It is not a professional type of occupation where members are paid wages. Relating to the fact that there are a great number of penyes implies that some fan clubs are more active than others. This includes that some of the fan clubs appear as semi-professionalized. For example, specific penyes tend to be rather formalised. This can be reflected through assorted members' defined field of responsibility. But a penya might distinguish itself as a retailing unit. Certain penyes sell self-fabricated merchandise to the organisation's members. The possibility of identifying differentiation amongst the penyes, tells something about devotion and commitment. Within a penya, there are members that tend to manifest higher degree of commitment and loyalty to the penya and to Barзa. This can be identified through the penya's headship. Taking Dracs into consideration, such an idea is exceedingly valid for the group. Some members merely show up at important games, whereas others make a lifestyle project to be Barзa supporter expressed through membership in Dracs. At 36 Relating to the fact that the penyes have socios, this must not to be mistaken for the socios that relates to Barзa. 75
games I attended, the Dracs leader and assistants were always present in Palau. Nevertheless, as there appear to be differences amongst the penyes and within the supporter clubs, a narrative can explain how the members narrate and negotiate supporter identity through demonstrating differentiation from other penyes: "The penya model lived historically outside Camp Nou because there was no possibility to have all the fans inside Camp Nou. All the culйs from one neighbourhood met in a place, in a bar, a restaurant or private place to watch games on TV, and then they founded a penya. Then, it assembled the Barcelonistas that were not socios. And with time, the penyes developed to be very important. Members of the penyes had a limited number of socios and they connected through the various districts in Barcelona and linked up through the cities. It is more important in villages. But a penya of a village unites persons with different social background, and this seems to be a problem. In Dracs, all the members are very similar, but the penyes have members with all kind of different social background. For example, you are from Bergen (the author), then you have to belong to the penya of Bergen and then you say, "I don't like it", but you are from Bergen and that requires that you need to be a part of the penya of Bergen. The penyes located in Barcelona have all kind of different people making it difficult to work together. The age differences are big, there are old members and young members, members that are very relaxed, radical members and they have only one goal, and that is to belong to a penya from one neighbourhood. Socially speaking it is very difficult to unite the members. For example, at a meeting in the Penya Barcelonista Argentona, it is very difficult to get people to work together. But in Dracs, more or less all the members are equal. It is easy to speak together, do we do this, yes, let us do it. But in Argentona, it is a criterion of choosing and it has all kinds of people. Rich, poor, people with culture, people without degrees from school, rational, crazy people, and then the great question is, how do you get all these different types of people to work together? Or, what do we do today? Nothing, the only thing they can do is sit and watch the matches on television, and, Barзa is the only thing that unites them and nothing more. And of course, the dinner we do every year, which we did this summer. But the dinner that we do every year, they do not like either." (Interview July 2002.)37 The narrative deserves some commenting. It is interesting to view the narrative in light of Nadia Lovell's (1998) contention on locality and belonging. Lovell argues that the construction of landscape is the primary source in the establishment of human belonging. Belonging to a place is thus instrumental in the construction of collective identity. The method of integrating collective identity trough a penya, this being the collective identity of a town, city or region, is narrated explicitly through the name of the penya. In relation to geographic location, applying the name of a place and integrating it into the penya's name solves the manner of indicating collective identity. For example, "La Penya Nouva York" entails that the geographic location of the penya is situated in New York, in the U.S.A.; while "La Penya Barcelonista Argentona", suggests the group is 37 The narrative is my translation and Dracs' leader explains. According to Jimmy Burns (1998:14-15), the name "culй" originated from the early days of Barзa. A term applied to describe Barзa fans that could not afford a good seat and had to sit on the wall that surrounded Barзa's old football stadium. Bypassers observed the asses fronting the street next to the old Barзa stadium, Les Corts, and nicknamed the faithful Barзa fans for culйs, meaning "asses" in Catalan. Barcelonistas refers to Barзa fans in general. 76
situated in Argentona.38 This means that the collective identity of belonging to Argentona is communicated through the penya as well. Penyes interconnected to Barзa are then geographically distributed throughout Catalonia, Spain and the rest of the world. The penyes located in Catalonia and Spain, have a tendency to integrate the collective identity of a town or village into a penya's social significance. Considering that social and cultural opposition between the regions exists, inside the regions such structural opposition is equally legitimate. The classic antagonism between the urban and the rural can be identified in Catalonia, where such structural opposition is played out through the penya segment. For example, as there is latent rivalry between rural communities, the towns' collective identities have the potential to trigger disputes among the penyes. During fieldwork I was explained how certain penyes had brawled among each other. The disputes were less related to issues regarding Barзa, but were merely reflection on how individuals from the various parts of Catalonia played out antagonism against each other. As Barзa has several penyes distributed throughout Spain, the diverse national identities within the Spanish state are also likely to be included into a penya's collective representation. The narrative above indicates two social characteristics. Firstly, the penyes include a heterogeneous nature. Secondly, the narrative allows the members of Dracs to narrate supporter identity in contrast to constructed ideas of a penya's heterogeneous nature. The heterogeneous nature of the penya involves that such types of fan clubs attract all kinds of people. It seems that the members see the penyes' heterogeneous nature as an obstacle in getting the penyes to work jointly. The penyes seem to contravene with Dracs' fundamental social belief, which is to carry out the embodied practice of supporting. The penyes' ideological and social background convincingly prevents them from carrying out their alleged directive. Since this seems to be produced as common knowledge, a group of penyes, which displays itself as more "committed", has evolved. These penyes are frequently appearing at the sporting grounds where Barзa is celebrated. The penyes communicate parallels to the Italian ultras: "A phenomenon since the mid-1980s in the relationship between football and nationalism in Spain involves the rise of groups of supporters, akin to Italian-style ultra groups. Increasingly popular youth movements in Spain are frequently linked to football clubs." (Duke & Crolley 1996:47). Such groups of supporters refer to themselves as "penyes/grupos de animaciуn".39 Like Italian ultras, grupos de animaciуn monopolize parts of Camp Nou, and they have located themselves behind the goals, which work as their stakeouts. The practice of animar is a significant practice entering into the groups' activities, which then are 38 Argentona is a town located next to Barcelona. 39 Can be translated as "a group of supporters". 77
performed from their hangouts. Animar, meaning to "animate" or "to put things to life", involves that the grupos de animaciуn make an effort in creating an atmosphere at Camp Nou. However, the grupos de animaciуn possess other social credentials. They have the ability to convey excessive social beliefs, and they come forward as vehicles of expressing excessive nationalism, racism and xenophobia. These committed supporter organisations have a tendency to foster Catalan nationalism as part of their fan identity. Considering the question of Catalan independence, for example, grupos de animaciуn express their opinions very unequivocally: the Catalan Independence flag enters into grupos de animaciуn's supporting of Barзa. The grupos de animaciуn's manner of appearing as vehicles of Catalan sentiments is regularly performed through an integral of a group's name, the colours Barзa, la Senyera and the cross of St. Jordi. But they have also been related to episodes of spectator violence, and therefore these groups are feared to be violent. The fact that certain grupos de animaciуn have been inclined to be violent, has also involved a dilemma for many Barзa fans, meaning that Dracs has suffered the implication of spectator violence. However, the penya segment possesses a symbolic significance for Barзa. With the aim of demonstrating Barзa's foothold, the penya segment enters into a popular discourse narrating the club's magnitude. This involves the showing of the great numbers of penyes interrelated to Barзa. The large number of penyes registered work as a legitimatising feature on Barзa's popularity. I emphasize this aspect, as there are to be found a great deal of discrepancies in the material I encountered during the fieldwork. Based on the material I encountered, it is problematic to determine the accurate development of the penya segment. For example, data provided to me by club officials suggests that in 1978, 96 penyes were registered, while for the season of 2000/01, entails that 1450 penyes were enlisted. In contrast, Dracs' leader suggested that 1200 penyes were enrolled while other official figures advocates for 1451 registered penyes. The difference in numbers serves as a statistical particular pointing out that Barзa is significant. 3.4 Attributes of the socio Until now in the discussion, the modes of organising the Barзa fans evoke ideas of the Other. An approach where Dracs' members apply generalized knowledge to describe the Other can be located in the members' discourse on the socios. The members way of comparing themselves in relation to the socios, works as a measure to narrate supporter identity. This provides knowledge on Dracs' interaction at the sporting ground and the members' identification with Barзa. There are a great deal of beliefs attached to the role of the socio, which certainly differ from the penyes and the grupos de animaciуn. The role of the socio is of a passive and shallow nature. The role of the socio shares certain similarities to Matti Goksшyr and Hans Hognestad's (1999:208) description of 78
Norwegian football spectatorship. The authors argue that Norwegian football spectatorship is characterised by a passive nature implying that participation with the game has been curtailed to polite and positive applause (ibid.). Such an image enters into Dracs' social beliefs on the socio. By rule, the socio's relation to Barзa concerns the action of watching a football game. The socio's interest for Barзa relates to the significance of winning and the aesthetic evaluation of a footballer's performance on the pitch. The fact that the socios make up the majority of Camp Nou's spectators the socios are often accused of bringing silence to Camp Nou. Furthermore, the socios do not participate in creating an atmosphere. The socios' relation to Barзa seems to be of an individual interaction: "The socio, as you have seen him, is a very relaxed socio. He pays to watch a spectacle. We are a part of the spectacle. A socio simply attends a game, where he just sits and watches it. We are not; we are inside the game, playing it together with the players. We are not sitting in the chair and watching. We consider ourselves a part of the team. The socio doesn't. The socio pays to watch a spectacle. This is a fundamental difference between one thing and the other. (Author): Why is there a difference? We are all different. Everybody chooses his path, you in you're life, and other's do things their way. The only thing that a person has to do is intend to choose what they want to do, the socio wants to go to a game without supporting the team. Perfect, but we support the team. (Author): Is there a symbiotic relationship? We intend to give them our respect and they can give it back to us. There is no symbiotic relationship between the socios and us. If there is any symbiotic relationship, it is between the team and us. The relationship between the team and the socios is an economic relationship. It is not a symbiotic relationship." (Interview, July 2002.)40 Such a narrative indicates Dracs' degree of interaction on the sporting ground and the identification with Barзa. The members delineate symbolic borders between the group and the socio, entailing that Dracs envisages a concept of being Barзa's nearest adherents. The differentiation of being "inside the game" and being "outside the game" alleviates the members' task to construct attributes of the socio. The members make it an objective to know the player by face, a trait allowing Dracs to display the metaphor of being a part of the team. In contrast to this, this seems not to be an expected conduct of the socio. The individual nature of the socio seems to fit into a view where the socios are part of an anonymous metaphoric community, which takes appearance as the socios interact at Camp Nou or at other sporting grounds where Barзa is celebrated. The meaning of the anonymous metaphoric community, suggests it to be a fellowship of humans based on non-familiarity. This relates to the large number of socios that make up a large community where the social relations within the community are anonymous, implying that the majority of the socios do not know each other. Moreover, the community that constitutes the socios and celebrates Barзa seldom knows the players. In contrast to this, Dracs tries to break the 40 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 79
anonymous relations within the community by knowing the players, implying that the members can communicate differentiation from other Barзa fans. On the other hand, the socios interact with Barзa's footballers using another approach. The socios can be interpreted as the representatives of a critical discourse, emerging from the anonymous metaphoric community. The critical discourse can be connected to certain dynamics. For instance, the socios provide the footballer with applause as he plays well, and disembark on a critical mission if the footballer performs badly. The socios seem to engage with football's aesthetic nature, which consists of evaluating football according to a constructed football vernacular. The technical skills and the individual nature of the footballer are the centre of attention. During fieldwork, I frequently observed how the socios were demonstrating their aesthetic evaluation of Barзa's footballers. The fact that Barзa was not winning all the games I often observed how the socios were demonstrating their dissatisfaction by waving a white handkerchief. The waving of the handkerchief possessed several meanings. It could be interpreted as a symbolic uttering of spectator's admiration of a footballer's performance, or to the total opposite, general dissatisfaction. Considering Barзa is in an alleged crisis, it implied that the socios regularly waved the white handkerchief. The waving of the handkerchief was also a sign that Barзa was not playing well. The socio's shadowlike relation to Barзa's footballers gives the impression that this fan segment is less interested in constructing an intimate relation to Barзa's footballers. For a socio, it appears that devoted fandom represents a kind of intense fan identity. As Barзa fans with relation to grupos de animaciуn enter into such a fan category, for a socio, having a personal relation to the players could represent an intense type of fan identity. In contrast to this, one might point out that socios are not interested in possessing devoted relation to Barзa's footballers. But one should not exclude such an argument. The fact that Barзa has experienced cases of spectator violence, occurring several times since the 1980s, sustains such a cultural conjecture. A reflection of this is how it is unusual to come across Barзa fans that are members of a penya and holds a socio-ticket, meaning that the penya and the socio segment appear to operate as two distinct social worlds. The shallow nature of the socio brings about other social attributes associated with this local mode of fandom. For Dracs, explaining the shallow nature of the socio aspects of the Catalan charter is applied. The Catalan national character is employed as an explanatory factor for a socio's conduct. As mentioned in chapter 2, the Catalan character is considered to have a set of social norms and values believed to be distinctively Catalan. The Catalan character is associated with being modern, dynamic, hard working, serious, intelligent etc, (Lien 2001:114). Relating such social norms and values to the role of the socio portray a stereotypical idea of a spectator with a high degree of self-discipline, and is then associated with activities interrelated to high culture: 80
"Here in Catalonia, one always says that a socio is not socio if he doesn't go to the theatre." (Interview July 2002.)41 The socio seems to be projected as courteous, and displays a non-emotional relation to Barзa. Portraying the socio as relaxed and including aspects of the Catalan national character into the cultural concept of the socio, seems to be seen as a hindrance to carrying out the practice of supporting. Dracs' social categorization of the Other works as a constructed type of fandom the members find difficult to identify with. It operates as the constructed Other where the members can narrate supporter identity in relation to another type of Barзa fandom. 3.5 Approaching Dracs Before I start to discuss Dracs more thoroughly the discussion needs to be summarised. So far in the chapter I have sought to contextualise modes of local fandom. Through the socio and penya segment, I have attempted to illustrate the members of Dracs' social beliefs and opinions regarding this segment. Analysing the narratives has permitted to identify how the members narrate supporter identity in opposition to the Other. Moreover, the mode of organising local fandom also reflects a set of power relations. Here I have indicated how the president and the Barзa board play an important role of bringing the market penetration into the local context. The discussion also shows how the board and the president are closely interrelated to influential institutions in the Catalan society. Archetti show how Argentinean football (1992, 1999) is a field where masculine moralities are displayed. The football ground emerges as a place where sightless allegiance to club colours is celebrated. At the sporting ground, supporters distinguish themselves as the only true purists left in a time typified by socio-cultural change. The Argentinean football connoisseurs, scrutinized by Archetti (1992:229pp), are exposed to a defeat of misapprehensions. In a social drama where trainers and players frequently swap side, it is a supporter's social vocation to stay loyal. This seems to be Dracs' enterprise, where the members rejoice blind loyalty to Barзa. The group does not turn up randomly, but always remain in Curba Sud: 41 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 81
"The Barзa fans that are members of the penyes include all types of people, which have different types of social and economic status. I think that this creates problems. Getting the criteria of unification to function among them is hard, and the penyes are not a reflection of Barзa. For example, la penya Barcelonista de Poble Sec 42 is a penya with its problems and has a Catalan ideology, and penya Barcelonista of Jerez de la Frontera 43 has a Spanish ideology, how do you get these two penyes to work together? You cannot. It is difficult. There is only one thing that unites them, and that's Barзa. But for the moment, in football of course, if Barзa is not doing well, what's left? (Author) They are at home? Precisely, and nothing more! But us, if Barзa doesn't go well, we have a lot of things in common. When Barзa doesn't go well, the penyes disappear. It is only the results that count! If we are the champions, "we're your friend", and so on. It is only the titles that are important for the penyes." (Interview July 2002)44 The narrative reflects a moral discourse. Dracs evaluates other Barзa fans' commitment to the club and considers this in relation to the group's principles of perseverance, meaning that Barзa fans are required to amalgamate in times of crisis. Relating this to the market penetration it becomes important to unite upon los colors. As Barзa is gradually depending on proceeds from commerce, the question on sport accomplishments converts to be a dominating topic. Barзa's success in national and international club competitions fairly moulds Barзa's "market value". Despite Barзa's alleged imagery of being "more than a club", such a slogan requires maintenance. If the Catalan pride fails in winning titles, Barзa's "market value" suggests being shaped according to such circumstances. The contemporary condition that Barзa is facing bears the virtue of Barзa's failure in the project of getting the titles. Therefore, in times of misfortune, the fans vanish from Camp Nou. In contrast, in times of triumph, the Barзa fans return. The covert idea regarding Barзa fans is how the Other emerges as a pragmatic fan category, a type of fan category that appears and takes off according to Barзa's sporting merits. For Dracs, it is important not to be pragmatic. By not falling into the pragmatic category of the Other, Dracs communicates partisan supporter identity by always supporting Barзa. Until now in the analysis, I have focused on how the members compare themselves in relation to the Other. There are other aspects of Dracs, which are advisable to look into. Analysing characteristics of Dracs, in relation to the anthropological framework applied on ethnicity, deduces my case. A characteristic with the members' supporter identity, sharing similarities to the studies on ethnicity, is the meaning of being a Barзa supporter, which emerges as a naturalised experience, similar to that of primordial ties: 42 El Poble Sec is a town located north in Catalonia, about two hours drive from Barcelona. 43 Jerez de la Frontera is located south in Spain not far from Seville. 44 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 82
"By a primordial attachment is meant one that stems from the `givens' ­ or, more precisely, as culture is inevitably invoked in such matters, the assumed `givens' ­ of social existence: immediate contiguity and kin connection mainly, but beyond them the givenness that stems from being born into a particular religious community, speaking of a particular language, or even a dialect of a language, and following particular social practices. These congruities of blood, speech, custom, and so on, are seen to have an ineffable, and at times overpowering, coerciveness in and of themselves." (Geertz 1994:31) Geertz notes that primordial ties are characterised by how individuals seek together and are bound together through one's kinsman, neighbour or one's fellow believer. Not as a result of personal affection, but common interest or incurred obligation (ibid.). Geertz argues that primordial ties are " least in great part by virtue of some unaccountable absolute important attributed to the very tie itself." (ibid.). Primordial ties appear to be ties that come forward as naturalised. This implies that primordial ties seems not be questioned by the individual. The members' primordial ties for Barзa seem to reflect the same. The relation between the supporter and Barзa comes forward as rather given and the sentiment for Barзa emerges as inexplicable: "You have asked me the worst question. I don't know. (Author): You don't know? Toni: No. Genetically? No, it is not genetically. Why I am a Barзa supporter, I don't know...Why? Why do you like... I don't know, its like if I ask you, why do I like the sky, etc. It is a thing that you feel here, in the heart, not in the brain. It does not have any explanation, it is a feeling." (Interview July 2002)45 The term "ethnicity" was first employed in social anthropology to understand how a group of people belonged together by sharing an identical culture and language (Barfield 1997). This conception was soon to be challenged, represented through the work of Fredrik Barth (1969). Barth began with a dismissal of the idea that ethnic groups are definable by some total inventory of cultural traits that their members share. Barth argued "...when one traces the history of an ethnic group through time, one is not simultaneously, in the same sense, tracing the history of "a culture": the elements of the present culture of that ethnic group have not sprung from the particular set that constituted the group's culture at a previous time, whereas the group has continual organizational existence with boundaries (criteria of membership) that have marked off a continuing unit." (ibid.:38). Barth proposed that the boundaries of an ethnic group are constituted through "selfascription", where individuals select to employ a few cultural attributes such as dress, language, house-form, or general style of life, as the "overt signals or signs" of their distinctiveness. According to such an approach, the question arises as to why people seek to draw up boundaries, which can be indicated by a small number of "overt signals or signs". Barth's own reply to this might be identified through an ethnic group's capability of providing "important goods and 45 My translation. Dracs' leader accounts. 83
services for each other, i.e., occupy reciprocal and therefore different niches but in close interdependence." (ibid.:19). In our case, with the intention of locating how Dracs is a leading advocate for expressing Catalan sentiments, I argue that "overt sign", can for example be found through the name of the supporter organisation. The name of the group provides insight on how the group makes an explicit link to locality and demonstrates distinctiveness from other Barзa fans. The name "Dracs" points toward how the supporter organisation employs measures from Catalan popular culture in order to narrate supporter identity: "Because Dracs represents, it is the name of a mythological animal, the dragon, it represents a bit an image that the group would like to give and what the group would like to have. It is an image that always has been attached to Catalan mythology, to the legend of St. Jordi and the dragon. The dragon has always been part of these stories, and Catalan popular novels have included the topic of the dragon. It is an animal that always has called my attention and I think it represents a part of the group. A little bit of its strength, the dream, since it is not a real thing. I think it represents very well what the group is. Moreover, as a mascot, it has a good marketing potential as well. The dragon has an aggressive point. It has a sympathetic aspect, allowing you to play with it through different drawings." (Interview July 2002)46 Employing a motive from Catalan popular culture provides Dracs with a social attribute suggesting a belonging to Catalonia. The use of the appellation "Dracs" provides the group with an unbiased social value. Such a name does not provide the group with the hazard of being associated with excessive political or nationalistic beliefs. As Dracs states a link to locality, Dracs also embraces the idea of creating solidarity between Dracs, Barзa and Catalonia, stating a symbolic liaison. The members of Dracs attempt to transmit the symbolic liaison to the players at matches. Staging a show and carrying out the practice of supporting, the liaison is transmitted to the Barзa players. Through creating the atmosphere, the group chants in Catalan, flitters the Catalan flag and puts up assorted placards in Palau, which is painted in blue, red and yellow, (the colours of Barзa and Catalonia), and by so doing, Dracs converts to be an extension of Catalan sentiments. The members of Dracs' manner of staging a show shares similarities to how the Italian ultras create atmosphere at football matches. A significant practice performed by the Italian ultras is the staging of a spettacolo.47 This involves creating an atmosphere through a vivacious and vociferous form of support with an impressive hi-tech choreography performed from the curva (De Biasi 1996:116). Dracs and other grupos de animaciуn find inspiration in the ultras' manner of creating an atmosphere. Therefore, they are liable of emulating aspects of the ultras' sophisticated choreography. Dracs' manner of staging an espectбculo is located through the group's tifos, the 46 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 47 In Spanish "dar un espectбculo", meaning to stage a show. 84
usage of banners and chanting. Through the staging of the espectбculo, Dracs turns out to be a vehicle of expressing Catalan sentiments. As this event takes place from Curba Sud, staging an espectбculo shares similarities to what Hognestad (1995, cf. Geertz 1973) refers to as "a privileged space for deep play". The espectбculo allows Dracs to express deep emotions for Barзa and permits the sentiment of participating in the game. Although the espectбculo is carried out in relation to a game, it implies that the members perceive a nearness to the player, where the espectбculo essentialises the relation between the members and the players. Stressing this relation, Dracs provides life to a social idea that the supporter organisation is a part of the team and therefore claims to be a part of Barзa. Projecting the notion of being a part of the club is accomplished by displaying the self-ascribed metaphor of being the extra player, a metaphor gaining increased social significance through the espectбculo. 3.6 The meaning of animation ­ to create an ambience The staging of an espectбculo is a calculated social practice communicating assorted social meaning. Firstly, the supportive act seems to have a psychological idea. For Dracs, the espectбculo works to the players' advantage. It is to the players' benefit in the sense that the espectбculo might influence a game's development. Secondly, the espectбculo communicates the relation between the group and the players representing the club. The supporting of the players involves transmitting feelings to the players, implying that the flags, the noise and the chants are the members' sentiments to the players. Thirdly, transmitting sentiments to the players, through the vibrations of los colours, entails mediating a message that Dracs is a loyal group of supporters. In sum, staging a show turns out to be the foremost instrument the members employ to narrate supporter identity. And by knowing the players by face includes to have elaborate ideas of what it means to stage a show: "Look, with the songs, the rhythms from the drums, the clapping, the banners and los colors, you transmit feelings to the players. You can make them believe in winning, but you have to transmit it to the players. Then, you transmit it through the sound and through the sight of it. All that we do is make the players hear and see us. This is good, because it changes their character. We have songs to support our player's and songs for attacking and destabilising the opposite team. If you ask every player, they are sure to like it. But in the case of the visiting team, you have to look for which songs and things that irritate them. And then you sing it, so they become nervous. It is a little bit of using the player's senses of improving or to make their efficiency worse. It is to play with the colours, where the music can change the emotional phase of the players. (Author): Is it all psychological? Toni: Yes. It is all psychological. It is the only force where there is no contact. You can't touch the ball. We can't touch the ball. The only thing we can do is to influence the emotional state of the players or the referee, then, to adapt us to it. (Author): Does it work? Toni: Yes, it works. If you watch a player from the opposite team, then you can choose to insult him or to support him. There are players that you insult and they become nervous and make mistakes. We support and say: "Bravo, good!", and they become nervous and make mistakes. You have to 85
play with your knowledge of knowing the players and of knowing the referees. You play and you have a percentage to work, but it is a minor percentage. Evidently, you don't touch the ball. The players protect themselves with concentration and then it's our work to destroy their concentration. If you achieve it, you win and if they don't spoil their concentration, then they win. Our function is to damage the concentration of the opposite team and to improve the concentration of our team. And all of that, by using the music and los colors." (Interview, July 2002)48 The narrative points toward Dracs' beliefs on the market penetration and relation to players. The players of the less professionalized sports give the impression of being agents of other collective values than to those of the footballers. The Barзa players performing in Palau seem to be agents of the emotional sentiment, implying that Dracs see the players as more approachable. The emotional sentiment implies that Palau's players are more open for the meaning of the espectбculo. Therefore, Palau's players are ascribed a social meaning which makes possible to attain a true identification with them. The Barзa players in the less professionalized sports materialize as agents of ideas related to sportsmanship, identify closer with the colours of Barзa, understand the significance of Catalonia, and they do not appear as corrupt. At Camp Nou, supporters are rarely permitted admission to the stadium's "sacred" places, such as the players' dressing room. In contrast, the conditions in Palau reflect the opposite. In Palau, the members are allowed to access areas where players normally are protected. After a game was over, I observed frequently that the members went to the changing rooms to converse with the players. Such circumstances reflect closeness and facilitate the job to transmit sentiments to the player. The conditions in Palau as well communicate players' relation to locality. It was claimed that the players of the less professionalized sports were more disposed of adapting to Catalan norms and values. Players that are willing to adapt, become popular and the problem of identification is less absent. The majority of the players learn Spanish instead of Catalan (if they do not speak Spanish) and few Spanish speaking footballers learn Catalan. But there are players with Spanish as their native tongue that learn Catalan. The basketball player Roberto Dueсas was put forward as a player that had adapted to the Catalan norms and values. Dueсas, who is from Madrid, appears as a figure that learned Catalan, and he conversed with the members in Catalan, making him to an agent of collective values the members identify with. Supporting Barзa in the less professionalized sports permits Dracs to stress an intimate relationship to the players and have an equal relation. The members project a social idea of the supporter organisation as a part of the team and as a part of Barзa. Since the members are allowed to know the players, and they possess the option to converse with them, the relation between the members and the player is portrayed as a symbiotic relationship, where each part subsists on the 48 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 86
other. For these reason, Palau appears as a sport facility where the members sense an emotion of solidarity and therefore play out supporter identity. 3.7 Exploring internal attributes Dracs has the ability to appear as an assembled and disbanded group according to a ritual calendar, implying that Barзa's scheduled season affects the group's social life. Following the ritual calendar can be hard. For example, club officials practice a strict policy where two games cannot be played simultaneously, meaning that a football game at Camp Nou cannot be played concurrently with a basketball game in Palau. Because Barзa practices numerous different sports, this implies that a great deal of planning has to be carried out. Club official's planning of the games influences Dracs' social life, where the headship of the group only knew Barзa's scheduled season a week in advance. The support of Barзa in four different sports, involved many postponements of games. To be updated on which game to come to and if postponements occurred, was either done by calling Toni or the club officials. Such a ritual agenda reflected which members were the most committed. Even if Dracs has about 250 registered members, not all members showed up at the games. Only a minority of Dracs' faithful members appeared at every game and this group of members is connected to Dracs' headship. In contrast to English fandom, which also is articulated in places outside the sporting ground, the members of Dracs make it to a point to communicate fandom within the sports field (Armstrong 1998). I was addressed with the argument that the members express supporter identity in Palau. The group did not assemble in pubs or in private homes to watch games on television. The fandom expressed through Dracs seems to differ from the English fandom through its formalised nature. Dracs' formalised nature discloses a degree of professionalism. The supporter organisation's degree of professionalism can be located through assorted traits: Dracs' headship, the degree of dividing responsibility among the members, the vending of merchandise, development of a web site, the annual general meeting, etc. Dracs shares particular similarities to Italian ultras, which are claimed to be formalised in organisation (De Biasi &, Lanfranchi 1997). A trait that has resemblance to the Italian ultras is the members' age difference. De Biasi (1996) points out that fandom expressed through the ultras consist of young people. The majority of the members are individuals in their late teens to the mid-twenties, while leaders are fans in their thirties. The same could be remarked about Dracs. The majority of the members are young people. It has to be stressed that Dracs does not follow any rigid norms for exclusion and inclusion, whereby the group introduces itself as a heterogeneous supporter organisation including all ages. Comparing the members' supporter identity in relation to the Other entails a reducing of Dracs. Utilization of the dichotomy, us versus them, involves presenting Dracs as a homogenised group. 87
So far, I have displayed Dracs as a homogenous supporter organisation. I have to underline that Dracs is a heterogeneous group of supporters including all kinds of individuals. The fact that Dracs includes different type of supporters implies the possibility of having "supporter anomalies". This involves that there are members that do not define themselves as Dracs' committed members. This is an attempt to apply Eriksen's (1993) arguments on "ethnic anomalies". Eriksen argues that individuals of an ethnic group, which do not define themselves as members of one distinct group, or regard themselves as members of several ethnic groups, might be comprehended as ethnic anomalies. The interesting parallel to such an argument, suggesting that there are "supporter anomalies" in Dracs, can be located in use of language. My principal informants suggested that Catalan was the only spoken language amongst the members. In contrast to this, I frequently overheard conversations in Spanish. Dracs' semi-professionalized virtue permits us to explore Dracs' level of integration and this can be compared in relation to the work of Don Handelman (1977). Handelman argues that there are levels of ethnic incorporation. Handelman's approach might be regarded as principles of classification permitting analysis of ethnical-political development or degree of integration (Eriksen 1993). The latter might be of significance for my purpose. Firstly, Handelman suggests that a level of ethnic incorporation deals with ethnic category. This is a self-ascribed and ascribed membership of an ethnic group, where membership implies that members are socialised into a common cultural universe of knowledge. To be a member involves that the affiliate is initiated into Dracs' universe of supporting and young people seem to prefer this: "The group is for everyone and it's not only for youngsters. It is for youth and older people. What happens is that 90 % of the members of the group are youths, because the majority of the people are not shy of going to the Barзa stadium. They also like to scream and to support. But there are older people in the group as you (the author) have seen, so there are people of all ages. In principle, the group is more formatted for youth because of the rebel nature and desire to change Barзa, a quality that young people have." (Interview July 2002)49 Young people are not anxious to enter into a supporter organisation and carry out the act of supporting. Related to the idea that supporting is associated with extreme beliefs and the problem of violence, provide the practice of supporting with a social stigma. Despite violence occurring, supporters also engage in projects where they oppose to the problem of spectator violence. As a consequence of Dracs experiencing a violent outburst, the group has made an issue to be in opposition to this kind of conduct amongst spectators. 49 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 88
The second level of ethnic incorporation can be connected to ethnic network. Through an ethnic network, individuals choose to interact with persons of the similar ethnical background. Staying together and promoting a common case works as integration for an ethnic group. In part, Handelman's (1977) contention allows us to explore another characteristic of Dracs. Dracs is a network of sections that acts accordingly to Barзa's scheduled season. Dracs' official name, "Penya Barcelonista Dracs 1991 Supporters Palau Blaugrana", indicates that Dracs is a penya located in Barcelona, which is the principal section of Dracs. But the group consists of other sections: "Dracs Argentona", "Dracs Cambrils" and "Dracs Castellуn". Argentona, Cambrils and Castellуn are towns located in Catalonia. Each section has its own members and an elected leader. At match days, the sections' members travel to Barcelona and convene with Dracs' principal section. Such a network of sections permits a different conceptualising of Dracs. For example, it reflects a formalised nature, as the sections are democratic units and possesses dissimilar working responsibilities. Thirdly, a different level of ethnic incorporation is linked to ethnic association. This level of integration involves that individuals with different ethnic origin experience a common interest in a cause and their cause is strengthened if the individuals are united. Social space is ascribed ethnic meaning and projected identities mark a clearer line between them and us. Applying the argument on fandom becomes interesting as supporter organisations unite and oppose a club's leadership. In the Manchester United case, United fans amalgamated and opposed to Murdoch's proposed takeover. In 1998, as mentioned, various penyes came together with the socios and formed the joint platform named L'Elefant Blau. L'Elefant Blau opposed to former president Nъсez's way of running Barзa. The president appears as an identity marker that shapes clearer symbolic borders between La Directiva and the Barзa fans, meaning that the mutual coalition of the Barзa fans demonstrates another level of integration. 3.8 To be committed or unenthusiastic ­ narrating loyalty To be a loyal Barзa supporter needs to be demonstrated. The members of Dracs' way of expressing commitment and allegiance to the supporter organisation and Barзa are expressed differently. For example, the members' practice of chanting in front of 500 to 1000 spectators, and to perform this practice several times a week, works as a symbolic action demonstrating to be true aficionados of Barзa. A female member suggested that the supporting of Barзa in the less professionalized sports is an indication of being a truthful Barзa supporter. Because of this idea, Dracs' inner circle invests a great deal of energy in bringing this belief to life. The members' presence in Curba Sud several times a week, suggests to be one way of showing what it means to be a devoted Barзa supporter. In doing so, the group's members participate in a competitive ritual, 89
where the intention is to display loyalty and vigour. The competition reflects similarities to the ritual of potlatch, as described by Marcel Mauss (1954, 1922). Potlatch is a ritual carried out by certain groups of American Indians, where the groups of Indians attempted to establish a social hierarchy based on consumption of material. Attempting to out-compete the rivalry group by consuming material goods, resolved the question of which group was holding the principal position in the hierarchy. I have to underline that Dracs is not into the same ritual. The interesting parallel is connected to the members' effort to narrate loyalty through authentic narratives. Through the narratives, members show devotion through symbolic actions, rendering drudgery, sacrifice, etc, and working as social verification that a member is loyal to Dracs and Barзa. From time to time, the idea of not being loyal enough might trigger internal disputes, where loyalty for Dracs and Barзa can conflict with other social interests in life. The season of 2002 ended and no more games were played in Palau. Summer meant vacations from supporting Barзa in Palau, but represented additional work. The members started to prepare for the next season, where the summer was used for making new banners, discussion on new manners of supporting Barзa, etc. The hangout for the summer was Toni's place, where Dracs' activities for the summer were carried out. For the social anthropologist, the summer allowed an opportunity to converse with Dracs' committed members. The leader of Dracs Cambrils, Carlos, explained that in his section, counting about 20 to 25 members, he was one of few that travelled from Cambrils to Barcelona every week to support Barзa. Carlos worked full time and carried out the majority of the sections' administrative work, and the travelling to Barcelona several times a week (one hour ride each direction), reflects an idea attesting fidelity to Dracs and Barзa. The ritual competition can be narrated from an alternative level. Drawing up a distinction between Dracs and other penyes' attendance rate in Palau and Camp Nou allows the members of Dracs to narrate loyalty. The season had ended and supporting of Barзa in Palau was postponed to September. Penya Barcelonista Argentona, in concert with Dracs, arranged a feast. The members from both groups attended the banquet; roughly, 100 supporters were present enjoying a nice meal in the Mediterranean heat. The feast took place at the main square of Argentona. With the intention of getting to Argentona, Dracs had a regular meeting point in Barcelona. At this place, the members hooked up and drove in column toward Argentona. As we arrived in Argentona, the main square of Argentona was decorated with banners: The Catalan flag, the club emblem of Barзa, and a range of the placards that Dracs employed at matches. Tables and chairs were staged and the dinner was prepared. Certain bands played Catalan songs and different entertainment acts were performed. The Barзa fans assembled at Argentona's main square represented two types of fans: 90
"Toni: How many members of Penya Barcelonista Argentona did you see at the dinner in Argentona? (Author): About 50 to 100. Toni: Ok, about 100. Only a small number go to see games at Camp Nou. In contrast, how many members of Dracs did you see at the feast? (Author): About 20. Toni: All of us go to Palau, and we go there to support. They do the dinner, but only a small part of the penya goes to see Barзa play". (Interview July 2002)50 The narrative accents that Dracs often appears in Palau, suggesting that the group's action communicates allegiance. Despite Dracs' attempts to demonstrate devotion, the narrative addresses an obstacle with voluntary work. Dracs' headship had problems recruiting individuals interested in doing voluntary work, and therefore to be a committed Barзa supporter conflicted with other pastime activities. To be a devoted member of Dracs implied participation in Dracs' internal social life. The fact that the group supports Barзa in four different sports implies that the rate of attending matches in Palau is high. Attending a basketball game, for example, is a marathon, involving that members spend a whole evening in Palau. Dracs' leader and his assistants regularly met up four hours before kick-off. It is common to attend between three to seven matches a week, considering the extreme occurrences. To be an authentic supporter and partake in Dracs' social life involves that a person surrenders having a "standard" social life. Dracs' social life, which also includes administrative support work, "consumes" a person's pastime. In the end, the genuine member does often not "have time" to cultivate other leisure activities. The fact that Dracs' social life is based on voluntary work meant that Dracs' headship had difficulties to find members willing to do voluntary work. Once I observed an internal dispute where the headship was fed up with the members' indolence. The headship accused the group's members for not contributing enough to maintain a preferable division of labour. The leader and his assistants were doing all the voluntary work, consisting of showing up several hours before kick-off, putting up banners, etc., and this was considered unfair. As the other members showed up minutes before a game and hardly ever participated in the preparations, the headship claimed that in order to sustain the maintenance of Dracs, the other members needed to enhance their commitment. This involved that the members had to start showing up at games, because the majority of the members declined to do so. But the members needed to do more voluntary work, and the situation the group was facing Dracs was in jeopardy of losing economic advantages, advantages Dracs benefited from the club. If this inclination did not alter, Dracs would simply disperse as a supporter organisation. As a result, Dracs' leader put forward an ultimatum. If a member wanted to be a Dracs supporter, he or she was obliged to contribute with something. In conversations with other members of Dracs after the discussion, a member told me that some 50 My translation. 91
prefer to have a life outside Dracs, and supporting of Barзa was not the only thing that mattered in life. The episode renders the dilemma between choice and obligation for the members (Turner 1974b). For the members, to uphold the notion of being a devoted supporter might conflict with other loyalties. Part II: Departing for Palau Until now, I have intended to show how modes of local fandom are organised. To gain knowledge on Dracs' decision to support Barзa in the less professionalized sports, it is necessary to look into the violent episode that Dracs encountered at Camp Nou. To the members who experienced the episode at Camp Nou, the football stadium is seen as a social space with different type of social meaning. Experiencing violence on the body implies that the members have been exposed by a set of power relations. Therefore, one should expect that the members, who experienced the event, are not to hold positive views of the club and football. The fact that Dracs was attempted restrained by parts of the club's management, suggests that sharing solidarity with the club's established power structures turned out to be laborious. It converts to be even more problematical identifying with the footballers that have started to dominate Barзa. Returning to Camp Nou, Dracs' disgruntlement with Barзa is expressed through a sense of symbolic remonstration. In the wake of the market penetration Camp Nou takes another form. Camp Nou emerges as a space bringing an economic potential. Visits from tourist are one of the most important activities occurring at the Barзa campus every day. The global tourist's interaction at Camp Nou makes the campus a global space in the local context, and I think it is worthwhile commenting on this phenomenon. The global tourist's interaction at the Barзa campus is done either on an individual initiative or through a group. As the global tourist has entered the campus, one of the first assignments awaiting the visitor is the purchasing of a ticket to the Barзa museum. Here the global tourist is confronted with two options; procure a ticket including a single-handed walkabout in the museum, or, the global tourist might buy a ticket containing a guided tour. The guided tour involves a trip into the more "sacred" places of Camp Nou: The tourist is directed into the place where Barзa's footballers change before every game, the tourist is allowed to stand next to Camp Nou's pitch. More magnetising is Barзa's history told by a trained tour guide. Then the guided tour ends with a compulsory walkabout in the museum, where Barзa's sporting merits are exhibited behind show windows. After the walkabout, the global tourist is guided toward Barзa's merchandise store, La Botiga, where it is possible to acquire Barзa merchandise. 92
The global tourist's visit to Camp Nou emerges as an authentic experience. The Barзa museum was opened in the 1980s, and nowadays, it is an important tourist attraction in Barcelona. For club officials, the global tourist's visit to Camp Nou provides an extra income. I argue that the incursion of foreign footballers has relatively strengthened Camp Nou's meaning as a tourist attraction. And in this context, the practice of merchandising has expanded its significance, where the individual worshipping of Barзa's foreign footballers is valid. The footballers, for example, are reproduced in all kinds of Barзa merchandise. Among visiting fans, objects with the name of a famous footballer are most likely to be purchased. I often observed football fans dressed up in a Barзa shirt with the name of their favourite footballer printed on the backside. But the guided tours, exhibition of Barзa's history, the possibility to grasp Camp Nou's magic silence, the exhibitions of the presidentes, the autobiography of Barзa's great footballers, all the trophies etc., the museum might work as a legitimising element contributing to mythmaking of the club, fabricating club history and invent tradition. Having the museum, interpreted as a social institution, one might state that the club becomes "a vehicle of living history". But in this context, the museum is selective in what it decides to narrate to its visitors. The fans' relation to the club, for instance, is displayed on a switchboard and their intimate relation to the club is seldom told. In sum, as the global football tourist enters Camp Nou, the campus' space is presented with a consecrated meaning. Interpreting the global football tourist as a traveller, disembarking on a pilgrim journey, the campus turns out to be similar to a pilgrim centre (Turner 1974:167b). It is provided with additional social significance, as the campus possesses a social institution narrating Barзa memories. Camp Nou becomes such a powerful place for the visitor. Furthermore, by the help of a social institution of narration, which connects the past with the present, provides the football stadium with a powerful meaning. As the global football tourist makes a long distance journey and enters Camp Nou, the campus mediates other social values as we place Dracs into context. For the members, the events and experiences associated with Camp Nou produce indifferent ideas. The section to come demonstrates Dracs' biographical account, but certain things can be said about the group's relation to Camp Nou. Regarding the market penetration, the members feel that footballers were gradually fading away from the group. The social ideas Dracs treasured at the football stadium, that of being close to the footballers, are now no longer legitimate. The conditions encircling Camp Nou, before and after the episode, also reflect a set of power relations within the club structure and internal differences amongst the grupos de animaciуn. 93
3.9 Disputes and social beliefs The grupos de animaciуn assembling at Camp Nou hold excessive beliefs, similar to the Italian ultras, which are notorious for encompassing an "extreme political culture" (De Biasi & Lanfranchi 1997). The excessive beliefs might be connected to the grupos de animaciуn's way of appearing as vehicles for expressing national sentiments. Encompassing excessive beliefs involves that the grupos de animaciуn might be capable of altering social beliefs, or struggle to protect them, as they encounter new situations. As grupos de animaciуn are susceptible of operating as independent clusters, intervention from the police, La Directiva or other influential institutions, might trigger disputes. Throughout the discussion I have argued that the grupos de animaciуn consider themselves to be well integrated into the club. Despite the grupos de animaciуn being autonomic entities, by some measures, the relation between the club and the grupos de animaciуn is intimate. This is especially valid through the grupos de animaciуn's role at Camp Nou, where these organisations claim that their objective is to create an atmosphere. My motive for stressing this point, relates to Dracs' chronicle seeming to be characterised by this pattern. Throughout the 1990s, the penya segment has changed. It can for example be displayed through the increased numbers of penyes. Simply reviewing statistical data provided by club officials does not reveal a grupos de animaciуn's interior life. For Dracs, the social life of the supporter organisation during the 1990s can be characterised as turbulent: Experiencing a violent attack, receiving intimidations from La Directiva, observing the sacking of Cruyff, altering the group's name, changing resort, enlisting new members, advancing the organisation, etc. A significant experience, which is important for our purpose, is grasping the market penetration's incursion into the Barзa milieu, something that Dracs relates to the increased gap between supporter and footballer. Ahead of the violent incident, Dracs had commenced supporting Barзa in the less professionalized sports and was frequently appearing in Palau. The altering subject of football was an incentive for devoting more attention to the players performing in Palau: "The group was founded in 1991, but I was member of different supporter organisations from 1982. In 1991, the group was founded, which is the actual group of today, but with the old name. Primarily, we were a group that attended matches in football. Secondly, we divided the group into different sections, and as time passed by, the group had converted into a group of sections, consisting of basketball, handball, fъtbol sala and hockey, and afterwards we forgot or left football. (Author): Why did you forget football? We left football because of the content in football changed, due to the significance that football started to possess. It has simply converted to a sport of mercenaries, where the players don't feel anything for the colours of the club. (Author): What does the colours of the club mean? Look! Azulgrana represents the colours of Barзa. When you are saying, the love for our colours, you are speaking about the love for your club, for Barзa. Every club has its flag and its colours. Every country has its flag and has its colours. When you are talking about the love for the colours, you're talking about the love for your club. Subsequently, the club developed and people changed with it. The club was divided into various groups of persons 94
and we changed with it, but we wanted to give attention to the most important thing, which was to be closer to the players and share the sentiments with them, as well as act with them. At the games, we wanted to create a life with them, but we felt a growing distance between the footballers and us. Then the ideas of the group started to change and we became closer to the players in Palau. The players in Palau are more accessible and it is easier to be with them, whereas in the current football team we didn't know anybody. We used to know the players in football and we knew four of five players. We knew Stoichkov, Bakero, Goikoetxea, Txiki Begiristain, but they were all under the Cruyff era, "The Dream Team". In the current team we don't know anybody." (Interview July 2002)51 Dracs' former name was Sang Culй Cor Catalа,52 a supporter organisation that Dracs' leader was a co-founder of. In 2001, Dracs' leader was confronted with a situation concerning a dispute with other Sang Culй members on the subject of using the name "Sang Culй". The dispute might tell us something about the grupos de animaciуn's excessive beliefs. A dispute in a supporter organisation might be an indication how members struggle to protect their ideas as they encounter new situations. Disputes indicate the differences within the grupos de animaciуn and upholding a level of integration turns out to be difficult. Toni puts it in plain words that Sang Culй was not functioning. It generally dealt with the internal differences emerging within Sang Culй. The disagreement was linked to Sang Culй's leaders who were alienating themselves from the rest of the group's members. Sang Culй's headship initiated other social activities that did not correlate with the actual meaning of being a supporter organisation. Leading members of Sang Culй were concerned with taking part in activities occurring outside Palau. For that reason, Dracs' leader together with other members, appear to have broken out of the group and together they founded Dracs. The dissidents encountered a new situation involving the permission to employ the name "Sang Culй". Since Dracs' leader was a co-founder of Sang Culй, he felt of having the legitimate right to use the name "Sang Culй". But this would not be the case. The penyes officially interrelated to Barзa are also judicially protected by the club, involving that the name of a penya also is confined and cannot be employed by other penyes. Still, Sang Culй is an active supporter organisation appearing in Palau, where the group is located in the contrasting Curba Nor (Dracs appears from Curba Sud). Confronted with such a situation meant that Dracs had to register under a new name, and the dispute implied that Sang Culй's out-breakers had to use the summer of 2001 to create new banners, flags, placards boards etc, and gave birth to Dracs. 51 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 52 From now on referred to as Sang Culй. 95
A further examination of Dracs facilitates the case of comprehending the group's decision to support Barзa in the less professionalized sports.53 Sang Culй began as a supporter organisation at Camp Nou in 1991. As football was the primary subject of supporting, Sang Culй annexed Camp Nou's second gallery located behind Gol Sur. The first four years at Camp Nou are characterised by how the group experienced a rapid increase in number of members, where the group reached a peak with 1.000 members. Along with the supporting of Barзa at Camp Nou, Sang Culй expanded the group's supporter activities. This meant a dividing of Sang Culй into sections. It included that Sang Culй started to support the club in the less professionalized sports. But previous to Sang Culй's entry into Palau, the sports in Palau had not been subject to supporting. At this time, Sang Culй consisted of five sections, involving that the supporter organisation was appearing at Camp Nou and in Palau. Along with this progress, representatives from La Directiva and Barзa`s leading grupos de animaciуn went into a joint project that attempted to assemble all the supporter organisations in one curve. Locating all the grupos de animaciуn in one curve was an attempt to create better conditions for supporting and enhancing the atmosphere at Camp Nou. But the project was to become a failure, because the supporter organisations' different beliefs were problematical to unite. 3.10 Unifying the disunited ­ La Grada Jove Until the beginning of the 1980s, supporting did not encompass much rooted tradition among Barзa fans. Toni claims that the World Cup held in Spain in 1982 was the first occasion where Barзa fans were introduced to the practice of supporting. The World Cup provided Spanish supporters with an opportunity of acquiring knowledge on how to stage an espectбculo. Along with the World Cup came supporters from abroad that were notorious for their supporting. In order to learn from other supporters, Spanish supporters had to attend matches. At matches, supporters had to learn by observing how the supporting was performed and afterwards test it out by themselves. For Toni, the supporting carried out by the Argentinean supporters, represented the ideal. A reason for claiming this relates to the conditions for supporting in Argentina is a wellintegrated element of the Argentinean society. From such an argument emerges an idea that the Barзa supporter organisations look to other countries for inspiration in their work of developing their own practices for supporting. The supporter project, La Grada Jove, comes into view as such an example. Through this project, Barзa supporters looked to Italy for inspiration. The Italian ultras' manner of supporting was a preliminary factor of bringing the project La Grada Jove to Camp Nou (El Mundo Deportivo, 26th 53 I have noted that Dracs swapped name from Sang Culй to Dracs in 2001. The two sections to come will account for the period before 2001. Therefore, I will refer to Dracs as Sang Culй in the two proceeding sections. 96
of April 1994). But the grupos de animaciуn's manner of integrating excessive beliefs into their fan identity was a factor leading to the dissolution of the project. In 1994, came the initiative to join forces in the multiparty project. The various supporter organisations present at Camp Nou, such as Boixos Nois, Almogаvers, Kaos Culй, Unibarзataris and Sang Culй, located at several places at Camp Nou, left their hangouts and reunited in Gol Nor: "They, several thousand youth, of age and spirit, have taken the responsibility of organising tonight's atmosphere and conduct the orchestra that will pressure Oporto and encourage all and each of Barзa's attacking actions" (ibid.)54 The project La Grada Jove was an attempt to locate all the committed supporter organisations in one curve. Due to the size of the football stadium, it was difficult to put on an agreeable atmosphere. Each supporter organisation had its own designated hangout distributed throughout the stadium, involving that the sound from each supporter organisation was merely consumed by Camp Nou's size. Locating all the grupos de animaciуn in one curve, the groups intended to improve the atmosphere at Camp Nou. La Grada Jove was to be catastrophic, because of the supporter organisations' internal differences: "You were asking about the motive and the history of the group. We started out at Camp Nou and stayed there for four seasons, at the top gallery in Gol Sur. We were supporting and the group started to expand. I think that in total we were about 1000 people. It was a potential group and I think that this always is a problem for other supporter organisations because they get envious. To begin with, the groups, Almogаvers, Boixos Nois and us, originally Sang Culй, were located at different places at Camp Nou. After three years, the group expanded and the other supporter organisations started to envy us, and I think this always creates problems. Afterwards, we joined the other supporter organisations, in the project La Grade Jove, a project where all the various supporter organisations assembled in Gol Nor. There we stayed half a season in each season. But it didn't work. Every group was completely different. There were differences in personality and behaviour. In the end, we decided to obliterate La Grada Jove and we went. The other groups did not like this at all, La Directiva, as well. We went back to Gol Sur and then we started to expand. It was many problems with La Directiva, because they intended to dominate our group, but they couldn't. They intended to tell us: "Come here, to this" and we said: "No, no". We went our way. We received threats and ultimatums but we stayed until the 20th of December 1997, where we suffered an aggression from parts of Boixos Nois. Then the group was dissolved for eighth months. After these eight months, we decided exclusively to dedicate ourselves to the other sections, and this was based on two reasons. Firstly, the bad feeling which we had suffered, which was related to the problem of spectator violence in Spanish football, which has occurred several times, and secondly, the issue of mercantilism and economy that started to gain significance in Spanish football." (Interview July 2002)55 54 My translation. 55 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 97
It was the football match between Barзa and Atlйtico de Madrid, the 20th of December 1997, which marked Sang Culй's final departure from Camp Nou. One of Boixos Nois' members died in a traffic accident. As an expression of respect, Boixos Nois demanded that a ceremony should be carried out to remember the deceased member. La Directiva granted Boixos Nois the permission to perform the ceremony. During the ceremony, a cluster of individuals located next to Sang Culй's resort, started using abusive language. Boixos Nois interpreted this as a sign of contempt and invaded the pitch. Assorted members of Boixos Nois headed for Sang Culй's hangout and with the aim of attacking Sang Culй. Dracs' leader, who attended the match, claims that the individuals who carried out the abusive actions were not related to Sang Culй (El Paнs 22nd December 1997). In the wake of the pitch invasion, Dracs' leader explained to me that he was taken to a secret location outside Barcelona for one weekend and had police protection for one month. Nevertheless, Sang Culй decided within 48 hours to leave Camp Nou: "After seven years of existence ­ they were going to complete their seventh year the 6th of January, the supporter group Sang Culй, announced yesterday their disbandment, in a brief press notification. (El Paнs, 22nd of December 1997)56 In the wake of the outburst, Sang Culй dissolved as a supporter organisation. But the group returned to Camp Nou in between the eight months while the group was dissolved. During the eight months as a dissolved supporter organisation, the group started to support Barзa in other sports before the group appeared at Camp Nou again: "The penya Sang Culй Cor Catalа returned yesterday to Camp Nou, where they have not been since the 21 December, after the incidents related to the game against Atlйtico de Madrid, where they decided to dissolve as a grupo de animaciуn. Nevertheless, since that day the pressure put on them did hold them back from returning. The previous week they appeared for the first time at a basketball game against Gran Canaria, and yesterday, before the football game, they also appeared at a hockey game between Barзa and Anoia. They finished their round with a basketball game between Barзa B and Valls. In their return to the Camp Nou, it was only displayed certain placards by the group, but they supported the team throughout the ninety minutes in Goal Sud and they gave back the atmosphere that has been lost since their disbandment." (El Mundo Deportivo, 16th of February 1998)57 56 My translation. 57 My translation. 98
3.11 The aftermath I will not deal with the total epilogue concerning the violent incident, but I will shortly look into two important attributes. Firstly, Barзa fans started to question if it was secure to enter the football ground. The fans jumped to the crucial question: how could it occur? A necessity to provide blame is a subject that arose. The security staff were criticised for their approach to the incident, whereas the fans asked critical questions regarding their ability to deal with violent supporter organisations, because a supporter organisation managed to attack another. The practical organising of security and the club's safety agreements with the local and national police were also subject to discussion (El Mundo, 24th of December 1997). Secondly, the violent incident brings about memories from the past. The fact that the Francoregime had close ties to fascism and the regime intermixed itself with Barзa, having a supporter organisation interrelated to Barзa with ideological similarities to fascism, the club was facing a turbulent situation. Boixos Nois was accused of having a right-wing nationalistic agenda and was characterised as violent. The grupo de animaciуn seems to be ascribed attributes of hooliganism, as certain members of the group had used narcotics and allegedly engaged in far-right nationalistic activities. As such a supporter organisation was being closely linked to the club, Barзa was dragged into a minefield of emotions and memories. Voices suggested that the immense concentration of supporter organisations in one curve, and allowing one minute of silence to a group with neo-Nazi sympathies, the incident was inevitable (El Mundo Deportivo, 20th of January 1998). The involved supporter organisation declined giving comments to the media days after the incident (El Mundo Deportivo, 23rd of December 1997). Nъсez was being accused of protecting the Boixos Nois making the process of dealing with the violent event even more difficult. The fan movement L'Elefant Blau (El Mundo 1997), made accusations that it: "...was a big mistake permitting one minute of silence..."58 (ibid.). Permitting the group to carry out the ceremony appears to have been difficult for many Barзa fans to grasp. The polemic debate reflects a play with sensitive ideologies. The fact that several socios experienced the Franco-regime and having a right-wing supporter organisation related to the club, these elements triggered disputes amongst the Barзa fans. However, La Directiva made attempts to bring Sang Culй's back to Camp Nou. The dissolution of Sang Culй created a series of reactions amongst fans, where amongst Sang Culй was accused of being Barзa's dividing factor. In order to create harmony among the fans, Barзa officials wanted to create "peace" in La Grande Jove (El Mundo Deportivo 23rd of December, 1997). Sang Culй's decision was attempted altered by former president Nъсez. Nъсez tried to intervene and converse with Sang Culй and wanted to "end the conflict between the youth supporter organisations which 58 My translation. 99
provoked the dissolution of Sang Culй" 59 (El Mundo Deportivo, 20th of January, 1998). Subsequent to Sang Culй's return to Camp Nou, the group decided to close the football section. After the group had settled down in Palau, another internal dispute was to emerge concerning the right to use the name "Sang Culй". 3.12 Concluding remarks The intention with this chapter has been to account for Dracs' motives for supporting Barзa in the less professionalized sports. The chapter has also attempted to provide answers for the structuring of local modes of fandom, where this has been located to the socio and penya segment. I have also discussed how Dracs relates to this subdivision. The main approach of this thesis is to comprehend how the members of Dracs negotiate and adapt supporter identity in relation to a global process. Considering that Dracs has "forgotten" football, one might say that the advance in football has influenced the members' supporter identity a great deal. As Dracs is not staging an espectбculo at Camp Nou, implying that the act of supporting is not carried out, provides additional meaning to Dracs' project of abandoning football. It is especially statements such as " has simply converted to a sport of mercenaries, where the players don't feel anything for the colours of the club" (Interview July 2002), and the members' feeling of being distant to the footballers, which indicates that the market penetration has gained significance. On the other hand, such remarks indicate that a social transformation has taken place in the local context. Through Dracs' narration, the separation between the members and the footballers reflects the degree of essentialism the members ascribe the relation between the group and the players. Palau emerges as a reclaimed world where the member can experience nearness to the players, nearness that the members have "forlorn" at Camp Nou. Claiming this, we are dealing with wellconsidered ideas on supporting and a high degree of reflexivity. The members are reflected upon why they decide to carry out their actions. The meaning of spectating takes form, implying that the staging of an espectбculo reflects Dracs' solidarity with the players. The staging of an espectбculo, interpreted as Dracs' deep play, pinpoints to the moral idea of playing for los colors. Because the members state to favour a fervent identification with the players, the staging of an espectбculo includes being close to the ring and experience the game with intensity. In addition to this, the staging of an espectбculo, suggests which beliefs the members have on players' motive for appearing in the Barзa club shirt. To appear in the blaugrana means that a player should regard it as an honourable task and have an emotional incentive for wearing it. As these conditions seem to 59 My translation. 100
be mediated through Palau, the members carry out the supporting from there. In doing so, we go back to the difference between professionalism and amateurship in a sport. The closer a sport is to be based on amateurship, the more it reflects the meaning of blaugrana. Moreover, the significance of players' towering wages does not hold a dominating position. For the members of Dracs, the higher the degree of amateurship in a sport, the closer it is to a player's emotional incentive in playing for Barзa. For that reason, it is easier to share solidarity with the nonprofitable players and live in a symbolic relationship with them. This brings up the subject for the next chapter. The next chapter attempts to explore Camp Nou's alternative world, a world where the members play out supporter identity. In doing so, we move on to the thesis third analytical. The third analytical level deals with the social milieu where the members of Dracs interact. 101
CHAPTER 4 - DRACS' ENTERING OF THE DEEP 4.1 Introduction In this chapter, I intend to demonstrate how the members of Dracs put on an espectбculo. Through the espectбculo, the members perform the practice of supporting. So far in the discussion, narratives have played an important role, analytical focus will now turn toward ritual practice. To stage a show means that the members enter into deep play. Analysing the stages to put a show on allows following in line of three features: firstly, the members' presence in Palau communicates a fervent relation to the Barзa players, a relation nurtured and stressed through various means. Secondly, the group is capable of working as an extension of Catalan sentiments. The chapter deals with a basketball game between Barзa and Real Madrid. Through the game two communities are projected and dramatised, whereby the game provides the members with a chance to play out antagonism against the Other. Thirdly, the members have a special relation to Curba Sud, which seems to be of an obsessive character. The analysis of the basketball game tries to explore parts of Dracs' social life. Despite the practice of supporting being performed in opposition to the dominating world of Camp Nou, investigating Dracs' social life familiarises us with the degree of reflexivity in the members' supporter identity. The practice of supporting will be analysed in terms of ritual practice. This involves coming to terms with Victor Turner's study on rite de passage and ritual symbolism, and therefore Turner's framework will be employed as analytical tools in the analysis of the basketball game (Turner 1967, 1969). Using Turner's analytical framework permits a conceptualising of the rivalry's difference in social meaning. This becomes clearer as we focus on fans' social interaction during the ritual event. The members of Dracs, for example, meet seven hours before the basketball game starts, while other Barзa fans arrive minutes before the game begins. In contrast to this, certain socios see the game as an opportunity to make money, while we have cases of antagonistic conduct, showing that the rivalry evokes deep emotions. 4.2 Knowing the players For the members, the conditions in Palau represent an active relation to the players. The most committed members know the players, meaning that the members' relationship to the players goes beyond the idea of knowing them by face, they actually converse with them. The members' relation to the players seems to be of an exclusive nature, and this familiarises us with the players' agency. It connects to how the players are seen as entrepreneurs of true moral ideas, something that distinguishes them from Barзa's footballers. The symbolic significance of football's 103
exorbitant transfer fees and wages are less valid amongst Palau's players, suggesting that the members see the players as agents of not being corruptive. The players are in a way regarded as custodians of noble values, where the degree to which they appear as commodified agents, such as footballers, is less evident. The closer a player is connected to an amateur sport, the more the player suggests being an agent of true moral values. One might say that the members see Palau's players as having an emotional incentive for appearing in the Barзa shirt. The members do not identify zealously with the players, meaning that the members merely groom and cuddle with them. The players' agency applies to how the members see the players as accessible. The players of the less professionalized sports are accessible for a number of reasons. Firstly, the sports practiced in Palau are not subject to a high degree of public attention. Secondly, the players are not living in a secluded community cut of from the public sphere. Thirdly, the players appear to interact with the fans. In doing so, the players are perceived as informal in their appearance. This permits the members to underline intimacy with the players. According to informants, the players were satisfied with the members' supporting. Receiving such feedback provides the members with a motive for continuing their work. The fact that the players in Palau are perceived as accessible denotes that the relationship between the members and the players is nurtured and stressed in various ways. The group has personal chants about the players, the members put on special tifos for the players, etc. A great deal of exertion is put into stressing the relation to the players outside the pitch as well. I often observed how players approached the members and paid the group gratitude for the group's supporting. Normally it is the other way around, where fans scamp after footballers and fancies their autograph. Being a part of the team is the members' way of expressing solidarity with the players. This is expressed through the metaphor of being the extra player. Supporter organisations in football present themselves as being a team's 12th player. The grupos de animaciуn appearing at Camp Nou portray themselves as el jugador numero doce.60 For Dracs, the situation is slightly different as we are dealing with basketball. Here Dracs comes forward as el sexto jugador.61 The metaphor of being the extra player plays a crucial role in the members' deep play. Being the additional player insinuates certain meanings. The metaphor, for example, mediates that Dracs works as an extension of the team, providing the players with psychological support through the espectбculo. Through the chanting and creating of noise, the members put effort into influencing a game's development. The way of influencing a game is facilitated if the members know the players, but it depends on the players' motivation to engage in a dialog with the members. Informants claimed that it relied on the members' and the players' possibility to converse in advance, and informants 60 Spanish for "the 12th player". My translation. 61 Spanish for "the 6th player". My translation. 104
illustrated this with an example: If the players had an important game and they were uncertain how it would proceed, the players could approach Dracs. The players could tell the group to gather all its members and put on a supportive act. And making this work, the players and the members need to know each other. The relation between the Barзa players and Dracs has been the subject of moral reflections as the market penetration has gained significance. Through a narrative below, the players in the less professionalized sports are seen as agents of noble values. In contrast to this, Barзa's footballers are seen as corrupt. The narrative shows how the basketball player, Roberto Dueсas, is seen as an agent of a constructed masculine stereotype, reflecting how the player is the holder of true moral values, while the Brazilian footballer, Rivaldo, is seen as the crooked: "The majority of the footballers play for the money. Very few play for the sentiments. In football, all of them play for the money. In other sports, there are some players, look! I think that all of them play for the money, but there are some players that sacrifice themselves more as they earn less. There is a lot of money in football, but in other sports, where they earn less they sacrifice themselves more. For example, in fъtbol sala, they do not earn a lot of money, but they give more of themselves. After many hours of training, they go to work. But there are players in basketball, such as Roberto Dueсas, who earns money, but he differs since he sacrifices himself for the pain. He has pain in the back, pain in the body, he is given physical treatment, etc. No footballer is like Roberto. Roberto inserts painkillers into his body in order to avoid pain so that he can play. You only do this because you love basketball, in football, never. In football, if a player gets a scratch, he cannot play, it's different. What about Rivaldo (author)? Toni: The Brazilians sacrifice themselves for their national team, but in clubs where they play, never. When Rivaldo is playing for Barзa he is always in one position, but for Brazil, there he plays. Every player has his own flavour, but for the clubs, no, always money. In handball, there are much more sentiments than in football. There are some players that earn enough to live, but they sacrifice themselves a lot. It is different sports, in the smaller sports, where the sentiments are more important than the money. No basketball player, no handball player or hockey player earns enough money to live like the footballers. But for the footballers, it's only the money and nothing more." (Interview July 2002)62 The narrative shares parallels to discourses on masculine symbols. This can be exemplified through a soldier's relation to the nation. Bruce Kapferer's comparative analysis on Sri Lankan and Australian nationalism emphasizes how nationalism tries to evoke ideas of passion and deep sentiments (Kapferer 1988). A soldier's relation to the nation puts emphasis on the worth of dying for the nation. Soldiers that have sacrificed themselves in wars are often displayed as martyrs and are powerful symbolic representations of masculinity. Their actions are often displayed as morally true, and questioning a martyr's accomplishments can evoke social disputes. In the same way as a soldier sacrifices his body for the nation, the same is portrayed through Dueсas and his painkillers. In fact for Dueсas attempts to defy the pain in his body to represent blaugrana, he complies with the idea of being a player that loves his sport. The player rejects the symbolic significance of 62 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 105
wages as an important motivation in representing los colors. The pain in his body has a symbolic meaning denoting that to defy the pain is to demonstrate true sentiments for Barзa. This is in contrast to Rivaldo, who is understood as a footballer living in a secluded world where supporters have limited access. Rivaldo's performance on the pitch is judged by his economic incentives for appearing in the blaugrana.63 4.3 The sacred curve Clifford Geertz's analysis of the Balinese cockfight describes how men closest to the ring have a closer identification with the cocks, while males located further away are less involved (Geertz 1973). The interesting parallel to Geertz's study is the place where the betting takes place. It is therefore important to account for the place where the members' deep play is performed. Dracs, like the Italian ultras, monopolises a part of the stadium. In Palau, the members have claimed the ownership over Curba Sud, and the members' obsession for Curba Sud is similar to Bale's (1991) use of the term topophilia, which he employs to describe individuals' love for a place. The most committed members spend a great deal of time in Curba Sud and the curve is visited several times a week. The curve is also visited when Barзa is not playing matches. In fact, the members' frequent appearances in Curba Sud means that Dracs has an autonomic status within the club structure. Club officials do not habitually interfere with the members' habits for entering and leaving Palau. The Barзa officials tend to regulate other Barзa fans access to the sport facility, but Dracs' privileged position is practically never discussed by club officials. Before every game, parts of the curve are barricaded with flags and banners. The barricading consists of making the curve ready for Dracs' deep play, entailing a "catalanising" of Curba Sud. Curba Sud provides the outside world with awareness of Dracs' existence. One interesting trait is the group's use of a gallery for basketball games, while the group re-locates to a lower part of the curve in other sports. In the lower part of the curve, the members support the club in handball, hockey and fъtbol sala. Dracs' headship frequently shows up four hours before kick-off in basketball games. But the group employed less time in barricading the lower part of the curve. Here the members show up "only" one or two hours before a game starts. In the barricading of Curba Sud, the group employs pancartas.64 I have entered Palau on many occasions, where Curba Sud appears not to be the hangout of a dedicated supporter organisation. Curba Sud emerges as rather "naked"; the only way of identifying that Curba Sud is the "property" of someone, is visible through "Dracs" scribbled on seats and banisters. 63 Rivaldo left Barзa after the 2001/02-season. 64 Placards used to barricade Curba Sud. 106
There are features indicating that Palau has a domestic significance. In one of my first encounters with Toni, he explained to me that Palau had been his second home for almost 14 years. Toni referred to Palau as "mi secunda casa." 65 Dracs' leader spent most of his spare time in Palau and he moved between three locations: work, home and Palau. The matching trait could be said about other members as well. If a member was a socio, the member also attended matches at Camp Nou. Palau's particular significance becomes clearer if we look at the members' manner of spending time in Palau, where weekends emerged as the extreme example. One Saturday I attended three different games in Curba Sud. In total I spent 12 hours in Palau. In between the games, Palau was emptied for spectators, but the members were not forced to leave Palau. Other Barзa fans had the habit of showing up at games only minutes before they started and left before the games finished, and this provided the members an occasion to communicate loyalty. The reasons given for fans' leaving a game before it was over, was related to the fans' fear of being caught up in traffic-jams. Dracs' leader expressed discontent with this type of behaviour, making it clear that the fans had to remain in Palau until the game was over. Such a statement reflects discourses on morality and solidarity with social space, and it describes how the members' supporter identity is narrated. Appearing in Palau on a regular basis, Dracs mediates strong solidarity with the sport facility. The members' observations of other fans' disappearance from Palau allows the members to distinguish these other Barзa fans as disloyal. In contrast to this, the members lay emphasis on remaining until the game is over, serving as a normative action for how a supporter should conduct him or herself. The difference between leaving a game before it is over, and to remain until the game is finished, permits the members to display themselves as loyal supporters because the group favours the action of staying in Palau to the end of a game. If a supporter loves his club, the supporter should remain until the game is over, meaning that the members' approach to stating differentiation indicates that Palau is charged with emotions. The fact that the group is not supporting the club in football, the members have detailed ideas on what type of spectators that attend games at Camp Nou and in Palau: "The people that go to Palau are more specialists in sports. At Camp Nou, you have the general public. Palau is attended by a much more specialised public; people who like the sport that is being played, because they have practiced the sport and know the rules. They are much more specialist, because they have lived more with the sports. In contrast, Camp Nou is more general, it's more Barзa in general. The spectators in Palau are more a part with the players than at Camp Nou. They are more permissive than at Camp Nou, where the public is more demanding. The spectators in Palau know the players well and allow more failures, when the game goes against the players. At Camp Nou on the other hand, not at all. At Camp Nou, it is only the result that counts. If they win - good, if they lose - bad. For the spectators in Palau, it's more than the result, it's the play that counts. If you can accept that 65 Spanish for "my second home". My translation. 107
they loose, they can still have played well, if it has been a good game. It is a different audience, a sport orientated public, much more into sports. In relation to our supporting, nowadays, supporting in Camp Nou does not exist. There are not any supporter organisations that take the supporting to the stadium. It is only two reduced supporter organisations that intend to support, but do not achieve anything. Besides from the size of the stadium, Palau is much smaller and closed. This is something that helps us to make the supporting easier. While we were supporting at Camp Nou, we had to be 1000 persons in order to make it work. Palau is much nicer, it helps you more in the act of supporting. Camp Nou is so big, and you need a lot of people to do the same type of work." (Interview July 2002)66 The narrative above distinguishes between two dissimilarities: Firstly, the individual relation to the practiced sports, and secondly, the significance of success. The narrative emphasizes how the understanding of Camp Nou and Palau is formed according to which individuals interact at the sport facilities. Palau's audience is accommodating and forbearing. The spectators differ from Camp Nou's public through their prior social knowledge of the sports. This brings forward an important understanding of the members' initiation to fandom: several members of Dracs had practiced the sports performed in Palau earlier in their life. Dracs' leader, Toni, had been an active basketball player for several years. Sergi, a young member had also played basketball. Alex, who had a socio ticket for Camp Nou, played football in his childhood. A Barзa supporter's awareness and emotions towards to the club can be formed by prior social knowledge of having played the sports that the club represents, whereby this prior social knowledge seems to influence the understanding of Palau's spectators. The second aspect of the narrative points to the meaning of success. The significance of success is important for Barзa and for its fans. Lien argues that Barзa needs to demonstrate a winning culture in order to have legitimacy amongst its adherents (Lien 2002:132). If Barзa is not winning titles, for example, the Barзa fans start to question the clubs' cultural representation. The importance of winning appears to be the subject separating Camp Nou from Palau's spectators. Camp Nou's audience does not favour losses in football. What matters for Camp Nou's audience is not simply that footballers have to win, but it is also a theme how triumph is attained. Barзa's footballers have to win games according to aesthetical values, according to a socio I interviewed. He explained to me that footballers are required to win in style, where the footballers' performances are then closely related to the meaning of winning, as this is reflected in the sports media. The sports newspapers El Mundo Deportivo and Sports have developed a football vocabulary, a language consisting of debating tactics, team-formation, player endurance, etc, rendered in graphical layout. Barзa fans' manner of leaning and interacting at Camp Nou according to the constructed football language, might suggest a new approach of relating to 66 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 108
football. A case illustrating the significance of success and the use of football's tactical language can be identified through Louis van Gaal's return as coach. Van Gaal returned to Barзa for the 2002/03-season, a job that he left in 2000. In order to convince the Barзa fans that success would return, Van Gaal was regularly appearing in the Catalan media explaining the tactical formations that would bring Barзa success. Van Gaal thoroughly accounted for several tactical formations, and he described where Barзa's footballers would run, how the footballers should pass the ball, the team's defensive role, which player should score the goals, etc. He failed in bringing the wanted results and had to leave the job as Barзa coach later in the season. 4.4 Opposing the Other in football Analysing a club rivalry provides an opportunity to comprehend the dramatization of two opposed social identities. The rivalry between Barзa and Real Madrid is more complex than just being a game where two conflicting national identities are projected through a football game. Within the rivalry itself there are social actors who relate to the rivalry from different approaches. Where the game is played in football, the rivalry is also played in basketball. I was not aware that Real Madrid had a basketball team. In one of my first encounters with Dracs, I was explained that an important game would take place. Barзa was to play against Real Madrid. In comparison to other basketball games, the social circumstances surrounding the game reflected that the rivalry had great social significance, involving a higher degree of integration of the group. This can be displayed through actions carried out by the members. For example, the members showed up earlier, the staging of the espectбculo had to be incredible, the full presence of all the members, etc. In sum, being completely prepared was a driving force behind the rivalry. Analysing club rivalries in football is the project of the volume "Fear and Loathing in World Football". The contributions attempt to explore the social and historical construction of football identities (Armstrong & Giulianotti 2001:2a). The contributions are illuminating, but the contributions deal with club rivalries from a sociological and historical framework, and examining club rivalries from such an approach offer a predetermined analytical framework. It is not certain that social actors interact within the given identity categories of a club rivalry. Gary Armstrong and Richard Giulianotti offer seven structured relations as means to comprehending the underlying social nature of football rivalries (Armstrong and Giulianotti 2001:267-279b). The writers are aware that football rivalries cannot simply be understood within the framework of structured relations: "...There is also no insistence here that these structured relations are universal in their manifestation or intrinsic to the human mind. Such a broad claim would underplay the cultural complexity and diversity of human societies that are dramatized, in part, through football." (ibid.:269-270b). I claim that within a club rivalry there is a great deal of cultural complexity, and 109
I regard a club rivalry as a temporal social event. Therefore I believe it is important to grasp parts of this cultural complexity through social actors' interaction within the social space where the club rivalry is celebrated. In contrast to Armstrong and Giulianotti's approach, my purpose is to deal with the minor social events transpiring within the social and cultural complexity of the club rivalry. Interpreting Armstrong & Giulianotti's approach, the rivalry between Barзa and Real Madrid enters into a scheme of "the construction of conflicting identities" (ibid.:270b). Some contextualisation and material from the field helps us to comprehend how the rivalry reflects the social tension between the Catalan and the Spanish national identity, and therefore we can start with the football field. The media plays a crucial role in dishing up the ambience before the rivalry takes place, and the media has a social importance in that it narrates how the Catalan society synchronizes and prepares for the game (Lien 2001:127). There is frequent reporting on Barзa's preparations, injuries and earlier encounters. Sports journalists are making comparisons between the teams, speculating on how the game will evolve. The general debates harden, evoking abhorrence, contributing to trigger antagonism. The sport media is full of stories describing the rivalry's real essence, but emphasizes the importance of winning against Real Madrid. The rivalry exposes a tenuous idea of one single Spanish national identity. Catalonia's autonomic status and the flourishing of Catalan sentiments' are communicated through the rivalry. The discussion in chapter 2 of the thesis, indicated the conflicting regional interests between Catalonia and Castile. The rivalry is partially capable of reproducing the two conflicting social identities. Despite Barзa being used as a vehicle for expressing Catalan sentiments, Camp Nou's social space converts to being a contemporary field for political manifestations. The fans, for example, often use flags with a political meaning, display placards expressing political opinions. Observable amongst the Barзa fans is the widespread use of the Catalan separatist flag, "la bandera de Catalan de independencia", and using the flag is to express a political message to the central government through the football context. The game's international attention is used to tell football fans outside Spain that Catalonia is a nation. At a Champions League game between Barзa and Real Madrid (spring 2002), for example, a minor social event deserves commenting. It is an example reflecting how Camp Nou is a social space employed for minor political manifestations. At the game, assorted Catalan nationalists were carrying out information activities. The game was an occasion where the world outside the Spanish borders was notified that Catalonia is a confined nation within the borders of the Spanish state. In contrast to other football games, the field close to the pitch was always packed with advertising signs. But the advertising signs had been covered, making Camp Nou to a "commercial free zone". Instead, the advertising signs were plastered with a white tarpaulin, communicating that a game in 110
Champions League was taking place. After the game had commenced, the white tarpaulin was covered with a placard, clearly within the range of the TV-cameras stating: "Catalonia is not Spain". The rivalry's social meaning has often been explained to deal with memories from the dictatorship. Putting this kind of political manifestation into the rivalry's social context, the underlying social nature of the club rivalry argues for the including of new elements. In chapter 2, I noted that the Catalans present themselves as being more "European", working as a measure to project a national identity. The social image of Catalonia as a nation is less familiar to the world outside the Catalan borders. For the Catalan nationalists, this constitutes a dilemma and therefore the idea requires to be fostered. For instance, young Catalans experience that going abroad involves reflections and negotiating of the Catalan national identity. Young Catalans are often confronted with being Spanish while they regard themselves as Catalans. Being confronted with such a condition indicates how national identity becomes subject to reflection. Young Catalans reflect upon national identity and adjust to how they choose to present themselves in contact with the Other. The same is shown on the football ground, where the game is used as an occasion to stress that Catalonia is not a part of Spain, indicating that Barзa is employed as a vehicle to express political opinions. 4.5 A case of structured antagonism An underlying social characteristic with the rivalry is its mobilising force. The rivalry's mobilising strength is shown through social actors' antagonistic conduct, meaning that the rivalry evokes deep sentiments and are displayed through the rivalry's theatrical virtue: "An exceptional interweaving of identifications, a unique occasion for the theatricalisation of social relations, the football match offers ­ by its dramatic texture, its antagonist characteristics and its instrumental strategy ­ a privileged field for the affirmation of a certain number of values; values which the supporters express through its rigorously ritualised forms (the result of an apprenticeship and not a spontaneous manifestation)." (Bromberger 1993:133) The interesting parallel to Bromberger's argument is how the rivalry places an extra vigour on social relations. The rivalry's dramatic texture seems to be manifested through social actors' antagonistic performance within the space where the rivalry is celebrated. Antagonistic behaviour is not only expressed inside the football stadium, but is also expressed outside Camp Nou. 111
A narrative used to describe the hostility between Barзa and Real Madrid, is how Camp Nou was a "free zone" for the Catalans during the dictatorship. Despite the fact that the Catalan language, culture and flag being outlawed by the Spanish state, Camp Nou was a place where the Catalans could freely express themselves. The outlawing of la Senya meant that the Catalans started to identify with the Barзa flag, and the colours of blaugrana served as a uniting symbol creating Catalan unity. In contrast to the conditions during the regime, there are symbols and social actors who interact within the expected context of the rivalry. However, as the rivalry takes form in 2002, it creates eccentric coalitions and powerful symbolic representations, which seem to work instrumentally: "I was standing outside the campus and taking photos. To avoid confrontation between the Barзa and the Real fans, the Spanish national police escorted Real Madrid's supporter organisation, "Ultra Sur", into Camp Nou. At the same time as "Ultra Sur" was chanting songs in Spanish, the group displayed the Spanish flag. Outside the fence, certain Barзa fans assembled and shouted "hijo puta de bandera",67 most likely members of Boixos Nois. Along the Boixos Nois, an elderly man was showing the finger to the Real supporters. In the same moment, a Barзa fan passed me, running. He was chased by a police officer, but the police officer stopped chasing the supporter as he passed me. It seemed that the intention behind the chase was to make a statement, namely who was in power."68 The observation needs some commenting. What we see is the display of evocative and controversial symbols in a public sphere, and social actors' use of these symbols, which seem to trigger antagonism. The Spanish national police's escort of Ultra Sur is a symbolic action triggering antagonism. The Spanish national flag and the Spanish National Police are symbolic of the central state representing an extension of social values associated with subjugation and totalitarianism. As symbols of totalitarianism are allowed to interact freely in a place associated with Catalan freedom, the conflicting social identities are instrumentally forced through the actors' action. The social actions are provocative, implying that Ultra Sur and the police are aware of which reactions the symbols can create. For Ultra Sur, the act is seen as a possibility to demonstrate Real Madrid's symbolic arrogance. The police seem to be aware of the potential danger that such an act can bring about, and are therefore required to safeguard Ultra Sur. The case of structured antagonism also demonstrates how social space is politicised and emerges as dangerous, which is reflected through the agency of the social actors in question; The Spanish National Police and the conduct of supporters. Through the actions of the committed Barзa supporters, Catalan nationalism's distinct anti-Madrid feeling is communicated, and the political climate between Catalonia and the Spanish central state is projected through social actor's 67 Spanish for "son of bitch of a flag". My translation. 68 Personal field notes. 112
antagonistic behaviour. Because the antagonistic behaviour is attempted controlled by the state, one can identify relations between football, nationality and state. 4.6 The deep play in basketball The two minor social events demonstrate that the rivalry communicates differences in social meaning, where the cases show how social actors choose to interact within the given identity categories of the rivalry. During my fieldwork, I attended three games between Barзa and Real Madrid, two football games and one basketball game. The cases from the games are based on personal observations, and they are my own interpretations of the rivalry's social meaning through an anthropological framework. Analysing the rivalry's ritual meaning means to explore the stages the members undergo to put on the espectбculo. For Dracs, the basketball game is an event where the members partake in two contemporary communities; Firstly, the community which constitutes Dracs, and secondly, the community which constitutes all the spectators in Palau. Through the basketball game, two communities are symbolically battling, the Catalan nation fighting the oppressor from Madrid. For the members, the club rivalry represents an emotional occasion where the members mobilise and stress differentiation. Dracs' role in the rivalry can be connected to how the group enters into a social scheme of becoming an agent of a projected national identity. This involves that the members are part of a culture that "...foster a nationalist identity that may envisage a separate nation-state." (Armstrong & Giulianotti 2001:271b). Dracs' role in the rivalry is related to how the members turn out to be an extension of the Catalan national identity, and by so the group fosters a nationalist identity envisaging the idea of a separate Catalan nation-state sentiment. This is communicated through the espectбculo, where the members' chant in Catalan, and the use of the Catalan colours function as measures of projecting the group as an extension of Catalan nationalism. The espectбculo communicates social values such as locality and loyalty. But the espectбculo serves another purpose as well. It underlines the members' relation to the players, where the members attempt to help the players towards victory. This can be applied to the members' antagonism directed at the Real Madrid players. The Barзa fans' way of identifying with the basketball game differs as well. For instance, parts of Dracs plan to experience the whole event, while other members show up a couple of hours before the game starts. In contrast to this, the socios who relate to the rivalry by being passive displays a different type of identification with the ritual. The rivalry will be analysed as a ritual, where the members go through three phases to put on the espectбculo. Describing the basketball game as a ritual involves mentioning important studies on ritual life conducted by social anthropologists. An important contributor to the study of rituals 113
is Turner's elaborated analysis on rite de passage (Turner 1967b, 1969). Turner's contribution emphasizes that a ritual evolves through different phases, making a ritual to a process. The first phase of a ritual is characterised by separation: "The first phase (of separation) comprises symbolic behaviour signifying the detachment of the individual or group either from an earlier fixed point in the social structure, from a set of cultural conditions (a state), or from both." (Turner 1969:94-95). Dracs placed in this phase, involves that the members are performing a set of practices in order to put on the espectбculo. For example, the members appear in Palau four to seven hours before the rivalry begins, involving that the separation phase could be characterised as time-consuming. But the separation phase has also traits indicating an establishing of the fellowship that constitute Dracs. In the second part of the ritual, Turner argues that the ritual individual or group enters the phase of liminality: "...the characteristics of the ritual subject (the "passenger") are ambiguous; he passes through a realm that has few or none of the attributes of the past or coming state" (ibid.). I argue that the members' deep play follows the progression of the game. It is in this phase where the relationship between the members and the players appears as fervent. Moreover, in the second part of the ritual, the metaphor of being el sexto jugador increases its meaning. Turner argues that the phase of liminality establishes an undifferentiated community, or that of communitas: "What is interesting about liminal phenomena for our present purposes is the blend they offer of lowliness and sacredness, of homogeneity and comradeship. We are presented, in such rites, with a "moment in and out of time", and in and out of secular social structure, which reveals, however fleetingly, some recognition (in symbol if not always in language) of a generalized social bond that has ceased to be and has simultaneously yet to be fragmented into a multiplicity of structural ties. These are the ties organized in terms either of caste, class, or rank hierarchies of segmentary oppositions in the stateless societies beloved of political anthropologists. It is as thought there are here two major "models" for human interrelatedness, juxtaposed and alternating. The first is of society as a structured, differentiated, and often hierarchical system of politico-legal-economic positions with many types of evaluation, separating men in terms of "more" or "less". The second, which emerges recognizably in the liminal period, is of society as an unstructured or rudimentarily structured and relatively undifferentiated communitas, community, or even communion of equal individuals how submit together to the general authority of the ritual elders." (ibid.:96) I claim that during the game an undifferentiated community appears where the members enter into a role of being Barзa's extension. In the liminality phase, the members provide the players with psychological support through the espectбculo. Displayed through the undifferentiated community, the members and the players work jointly for the same cause. Before the undifferentiated community takes form, the members go through a makeover process. Ahead of entering Palau, several members are dressed up in "normal" clothes, implying that the members do not explicitly display their membership in Dracs. The members are not wearing clothes saying "Dracs 114
supporters" nor do they have any replica of a Barзa shirt. Making their way to Curba Sud, the members put on their supporter gear, making themselves observable as Barзa supporters. When the game is over, the ritual enters into its third phase, which is marked through the reaggregation phase. This means that the ritual's subjects have consummated the passage (ibid.:94-95). For the members, this phase consists of dismantling the fellowship and removing of the pancartas. In addition to establishing an analytical procedure for analysing the basketball game as a ritual process, the rivalry has a multitude of ritual symbols. I will not get involved in a discussion that deals with the rivalry's complex ritual symbolism. But as Turner argues, symbols are the smallest unit of a ritual (Turner 1967:19a). Excluding the meaning of ritual symbols from the analysis would be an improper analytical move to do. Including this aspect, permits us to analyse the rivalry's difference in social meaning. This implies that fans relate to the rivalry very differently and the concept of ritual symbolism allows us to grasp this difference. Turner makes a point that illustrates the argument "...when the third mode of interpretation, contextual analysis, is applied, the interpretations of informants are contradicted by the way people actually behave with reference to the milk tree. It becomes clear that the milk tree represents aspects of social differentiation and even opposition between the components of a society with ideally it is supposed to symbolize as a harmonious whole." (ibid.:22). Indeed, it is the rivalry's diversity in social meaning that is interesting to look into. For the purpose of this study, it includes locating how social actors interact during the rivalry. In contrast to Dracs, the socio's relation to the rivalry is also interesting to investigate. Certain socios appear to have discovered that the game's social milieu offers an economic possibility. This can be identified through a highly organised black market, which comes into view at specific spaces located outside the Barзa campus. But I will return to this feature later in the chapter. This indicates that the market penetration becomes visible in other social fields. The market penetration operates on another social level than only being linked to commercial projects within the club structure. Turner argues that ritual symbols have three properties: (1) Condensation, (2) unification of disparate significata, (3) and polarization of meaning (ibid.:27-28). The property of condensation refers to: "Many things and actions are represented in a single formation. Secondly, a dominant symbol is a unification of disparate significata. The disparate significata are interconnected by virtue of their common possession of analogous qualities or by association in fact or thought. Such qualities or links of association may in themselves be quite trivial or random or widely distributed over a range of phenomena." (ibid.). In the context of the club rivalry, the dominant symbol is located in the Catalan nation's encounter with its suppressor from Madrid. Interpreting Turner, the fans' manner of interpreting and relating to the ritual in different ways, makes it possible to unite on the rivalry's ritual meaning. This brings us to the third property of ritual symbols, 115
implying that the dominant symbol is polarization of meaning: "Not only the milk tree but all other dominant Ndembu symbols possess two clearly distinguishable poles of meaning." (ibid.). The dominant symbol is poles of meaning that relates to: "...the sensory pole are concentrated those significata that may be expected to arouse desires and feelings: at the ideological pole one finds an arrangement of norms and values that guide and control persons as members of social groups and categories." (ibid.). I would like to make certain remarks on the symbol's third property, concerning polarization of meaning. For the member, the game evokes sentiments of being Catalan. The members' antagonism levelled at the Real Madrid players complies with the "sensory pole" of the ritual symbol. Dracs' antagonism reflects how the members are expressing emotions by making insults. The insults deal with ascribing the Real Madrid players, the Real Madrid coach and the referee female attributes. The phrase "puta", meaning, "whore", was often employed throughout the basketball game. The remembrance of the Franco-regime is reflected through the antagonism directed at the Real Madrid players. The "ideological pole" is located in how the members endeavour in experiencing the whole rivalry as a single event. It involves entering Palau before other fans and it includes leaving Palau as the ritual's final participants. One might say that the "ideological pole" of the rivalry directs how the members choose to interact throughout the game. The dominant symbol of the rivalry appears to put the members in a higher degree of "alertness", including that it is important for the members to be united. For example, all the members have to show up, the espectбculo has to be astonishing, etc. In contrast to Dracs, the socios appear to unite on the rivalry's dominant symbol from another angle. The socios seem to display a servile conduct, where chanting and experiencing the intimacy to the players seems not to be the socios involvement with the ritual. The socios' relation to the dominant symbol has a shallow nature, where the socios turn up minutes before the game begins. Part I: The Separation - The Barricading of Curba Sud The separation phase of the ritual is characterised by certain ritual practices. For Dracs, the separation phase deals with the preparing of the espectбculo. Firstly, the members barricade the curve. Secondly, the members try to outsing the Real Madrid players. Thirdly, a ritual practice can be located in the group's sale of own-designed merchandise. In sum, I suggest that the ritual's separation phase deals with the hours before kick-off. But the separation phase includes other ritual practices as well, which are performed at other places on the Barзa campus. Based on field material, I have chosen to include other ritual practices into the analysis. These are ritual practices 116
that are not performed by the members of Dracs. I include these aspects into the analysis to demonstrate the cultural complexity of the rivalry and the ritual's difference in social meaning. I had made an appointment to meet Toni and the others outside Palau at noon. None of the members were waiting. This implied that they were already barricading Curba Sud. I looked through the window and spotted certain individuals who were up to something. I phoned Toni up, notifying him of my presence. Toni instructed me to hook up with them inside. Inside Palau, various types of activities were being carried out. For example, other penyes were carrying out their preparations, the Spanish commercial television station, Canal Digital, was setting up the technical equipment. The members of Dracs had already brought with them their pancartas, which the members employed to barricade Curba Sud. The group had other type of gear stored in Palau, such as flags, drums, etc. My first task was to take part in the barricading of the curve. The members' way of barricading Curba Sud followed a ritualised routine. Each pancarta had its specific location in Curba Sud. The large pancartas with the group's name on were always located next to the pitch. An interesting feature concerning the pancartas' location shows how the members located them to specific places in the curve. The specific location of a pancarta was based on the idea of telling the outside world of Dracs' existence. This was especially evident for the pancartas located in range of TV-cameras. As the TV-cameras would move to take in the perspective of Curba Sud, the pancartas would be picked up by the TV-cameras. The pancartas worked the same way as advertising signs, where the members employ the same strategy of large companies using football matches to communicate commercial messages to potential consumers. The pancartas were located within range of the TV-cameras to spread the knowledge of Dracs' existence to the Spanish TV-audience. Knowing the potential of a TV-transmitted match was something that the members exercised to their own benefit. Certain remarks need to be stated regarding the use of pancartas. A pancarta is a homemade placard, similar to advertising boards, which it is possible to observe at football matches. The pancartas have all kind shapes and sizes. The common dominator for the pancarta is the way of mediating an integral of Dracs, Barзa and Catalonia. How these social values are designed into the pancartas, diverge. The use of colours turns out to be an important attribute. The colours of Barзa, blue and red, Catalonia, yellow and red, and the cross of St Jordi, red and white were displayed differently. In order to make a better understanding of a pancarta; let me provide the reader with an example. The pancarta "Dracs Supporters 1991", rendered in yellow, blue and red, was placed on the banister next to the pitch. The size of the pancarta and the contrast of the colours provided a possibility to see the pancarta at a distance. Designing the pancarta in such a way allow communicating various social values. The pancarta explains the name of the group and when it 117
was founded. Centring the name "Dracs" in contrast to the colours of Barзa and Catalonia, renders the idea of Dracs' locality to Catalonia. Other types of placards were also employed. A regular trait is to use the Barзa emblem and combining it with various aspects of the supporter organisation's mascot. Dracs' leader stated that the dragon could take various forms, such as being aggressive, happy, relaxed, gangster like, etc. For the members, it was important to provide such behaviouristic attributes to the group's mascot. The members often displayed a placard of a "forceful" dragon and often painted in red, blue and yellow. The pancartas serve two purposes: (1) Symbolic frontiers and (2) ritual meaning in the performance of tifos. Tifos play a central part in staging the espectбculo. Pancartas served the intent to indicate that Dracs is the "occupant" of Curba Sud and help the members to draw symbolic borders between the group and other Barзa fans. But the members moved in and out of the coved part of the curve. At basketball games, for example, where Dracs used 1/3 of the southern gallery, several members sat next to the covered part, while other members were standing and chanting within the barricaded part. In addition to this, not all the members were participating in the chanting. Some members were standing behind the chanting members watching the game. This type of observation indicates that the members identify differently with Barзa and are liable to expressing this through social behaviour. Hence, as pancartas serve the objective of being symbolic borders, they also help the group to be observed by the Other, telling visitors that Barзa has loyal supporters. The second (2) intention with the barricading is to show how it enters into the context of putting on tifos. A tifo gives the impression of being a supporter practice carried out by supporter clubs in the Mediterranean and South-America. A tifo is similar to the Italian ultras' manner of putting on a "sophisticated choreography" at football matches (De Biasi & Lanfranchi 1997:98). I will deal methodically with a tifo's social attribute later in the chapter, but particular comments can be made. A tifo deals with the transmitting of a message to the players and the audience. The transmitted message depends on the game in question. Simultaneously as the Barзa-hymn is played, while the members are flittering banners and flags, a placard is displayed with a message. The performance of the tifo is carried out from the demarcated area of Curba Sud, and the position of the pancartas in the curve emphasizes where the tifo is performed. In sum, the barricading process of Curba Sud involves transforming a part of Palau from a "naked" place to a recognizable outfit where the members express supporter identity. The transformation of the curve denotes that the members' hangout is ascribed a social significance where it is possible to meet the players at equal terms. The barricading enters into becoming a part of the ritual, contributing to establish the temporary community symbolising the Catalan nation. This appears to be an underlying nature of the club rivalry. To create an impression that all the 118
Barзa fans are united, this is attempted reconstructed through a choreographed supporter act. This implies that within the community, there are differences, but it needs to take an outward form communicating that the fans are united. A way of making this possible is accomplished through the performance of a principal tifo. The principal tifo is performed from specific parts of Camp Nou or Palau. How the principal tifo is performed and what it communicates differs, but the colours of the club and Catalonia are regularly rendered in the principal tifo. The fans' preparation of the principal tifo is the subject of the next section. 4.7 Preparing of an extended community When Barзa plays important matches against clubs such as Real Madrid, Roma, Inter or Milan, it is imperative to display unity. To demonstrate Catalan unity, a ceremony is performed, displaying Barзa as Catalonia's collective representation. This is identified through the performance of the principal tifo.69 The principal tifo is a short ceremony occurring at important matches, both football and other sports. The execution of the practice follows a distinct routine. Simultaneously with the players entering the pitch, the Barзa-hymn is played. The long sides of Camp Nou portray the club's name, which are rendered in gigantic letters contrasted in red, yellow, blue and white. Considering the rivalry between Barзa and Real Madrid, to perform such a ceremony might serve the need for articulating differences from the Spaniards. In the spectators' participation in the principal tifo, the principal tifo fairly renders an extended community constituted of spectators. The principal tifo is in this case, an embodiment of a "submerged nationhood" (Giulianotti & Armstrong 2001:273b). For the purpose of this chapter, it is interesting to look into the prearrangements of the tifo. To make a tifo come to life, a piece of coloured paper is located on a seat in the part of the stadium where the tifo takes place. As the Barзa-hymn is played, every spectator unfolds the piece of coloured paper and holds it into the air. At a distant sight, the tifo is a spectacular sight. In the context of the basketball game, a principal tifo was performed. This involved that members of the other penyes were carrying out the prearrangements of the principal tifo. The preparing of the principal tifo is time-consuming. In relation to the separation phase, the preparing of the principal tifo serves as an example of how committed Barзa fans endeavour to include the socios into the community. The prearrangements were carried out five to six hours before kick-off, meaning that no regular spectator had showed up in Palau. Such an observation reflects that the ritual's most devoted believers attempt to communicate the rivalry's importance to the less committed adherents. The ritual's closest adherents attempt to integrate the ritual's shallow aficionados to 69 See appendix, example 1, for illustration of a principal tifo. 119
become deeper involved by preparing the principal tifo. Such diversity reflects the polarization of meaning of the rivalry's dominant symbol, which is expressed through socios, penyes and grupo de animaciуn's disparate interest in the ritual. 4.8 Antagonistic retailing socios The members completed the barricading of Curba Sud and continued with other preparations. It was several hours before the game commenced. Therefore I headed outside Palau where I could check the regulations for entering and leaving of Palau. I had not understood the significance of endurance, insinuating that I did not bring with me provisions. To facilitate the need to refuel my body, a fast-food location had to be visited. In advance to the rivalry, I had completed numerous walkabouts on the Barзa campus. Certain socios tried to persuade me to buy a ticket to the rivalry. Frequent walkabouts and detailed observation allowed me to map out the black market for tickets, a rather peculiar phenomenon I think, which deserves a comment. Fredrik Barth's (1981) classic essay on economic spheres in Darfur helps us to grasp another part of the rivalry. It reflects that the event is used by social actors to exercise entrepreneurial activities. In order not to deal with Barth's study on the Furs too extensively, Barth's commentary on entrepreneurship is relevant: "On purely logical grounds I have argued elsewhere that entrepreneurs will direct their activity pre-eminently towards those points in an economic system where the discrepancies of evaluation are greatest, and will attempt to construct bridging transactions which can exploit these discrepancies." (Barth 1981:1976). Barth's example of the Arab merchant, which enters into Mountain Fur economy, is interesting for my purpose. The Arab employs aspects of the economic system, where he within the social norms and values attached to it, maximises his assets working to his own benefit. The interesting case about entrepreneurs is how their social actions are economic advantageous and demonstrates human creativity. Through an already existing economic system, the entrepreneur locates discrepancies and profit can be achieved. The entrepreneur violates explicit or implicit social regulations for how things ought to be done, which partially could be said about the retailing socios. The retailing socio has discovered discrepancies within the club's official ticket system, which the retailing socio uses to his own economic advantage. The Barзa ticket-system, which is characterised as being a season-card system, has opened for "holes" that certain socios know how to use to their own financial advantage. This can be identified through a highly organised and complex black market. Understanding the logic behind the black market's division of organisation helps us being au fait with the degree of a socio's entrepreneurship. Some contextualisation is required. Acquiring a season-card, involves that an individual becomes a member of Barзa. The membership provides a person with a regular seat at 120
Camp Nou. A season ticket is not expensive, compared to other top European clubs. Informants suggest that a socio-ticket gives a person access to all the football games in the Spanish League, all the Champions League matches, and other fringe benefits. On an average, I was told, attending a match would cost a person about 10 to 15 when using a socio-ticket. In comparison, buying the cheapest regular ticket to a football game was priced at 24 to 30. In order not to deal with the various alternatives a socio-ticket offers, the general idea appears to be based on getting hold of tickets at a low price and sell at a higher price, and from this a socio can make profit. The social mechanism of defining football matches and basketball games as important events, work as economic indicators for how much a socio might profit. But individual selling skills are also imperative for how much a socio might earn. The socio, who decides to engage in this form of activity, also needs to know which person to profit from. Generally, the "local" Barзa fans were not the most profitable clients. This meant that the retailing socios would target global football tourists as potential customers. But how can a socio tell the difference between a "local" and a global football tourist? Language, skin colour and by approaching any person who seems to be looking for something specific, appears to be part of a socio's cultural knowledge in the vending of tickets. The social interaction between the global football tourist and the retailing socio appears to be characterised by how both divisions know how to find each other. In fact for a football tourist's desire to see a Barзa match, the obvious place to seek out is Barзa's official ticket office. One would believe that this selling of black market tickets in front of Barзa's ticket office was in violation of club rules. Despite the socio-ticket being a personal belonging, it seems to be used for economic profit. As the socios are in principle co-owners of the club, they are entitled to exercise such activity without club official's interference. At Barзa's ticket office, it is possible to buy a ticket. But it also represents the place where a football tourist is most likely to get "ripped of". If a buyer cannot get in contact with a socio at the place mentioned, socios were strolling around on the campus, shouting "tickets, tickets". The tickets, which are sold to football tourist, are normally overpriced. This appears to be an imperative trait with the black market and provides it with life. The vending of tickets takes place at various places at the Barзa campus. Certain places emerge as expensive while others are seen as cheaper. The further away from the official ticket office a trade takes place, the more likely a trade is to go in favour of a low price. The price of a ticket is also influenced by a buyer's cultural competence to negotiate. Therefore a trade can be illustrated through an example: A buyer can encounter a socio at various places outside the campus. Afterwards negotiation over the price begins. The price is influenced by a fan's ability to haggle with the socio. Many socios ask how much a person is willing to pay. The most skilled socios in vending tickets are generally those who approach a buyer first and offer an overpriced ticket. In cases when it is possible to buy an official 121
ticket, the socios try to convince the buyer that the buying a ticket from the club's ticket office is really illogical as they have better seats to offer. After a deal is made, the buyer enters Camp Nou together with a socio. If a football fan has bought an official ticket, he does not enter together with the socio. When I am speaking about entering Camp Nou together with a socio, this involves that the buyer "borrows" another socio's seat, which is not present at the game. A socio membership involves that each socio is provided with a carnet (card) a plastic card similar to a credit card. The socio brings with him/her the carnet to games and grants the socio admittance to Barзa's sporting grounds. When a buyer is entering Camp Nou, the buyer accompanies the socio using another socio's carnet, which is not present at the game. I employed this method myself. I haggled over the price, then, I entered Camp Nou together with a socio, using the carnet to pass the security staff, and returned the carnet back to the socio and settled the payment when we had found the seats. In most cases, I had to sit next to a socio at games. One would think that such an entering to Camp Nou could involve problems, but I employed this manner of entering Camp Nou and was never refused access. The black market prices fluctuated according to a game's social significance. This was evident at rivalry matches. At important games, club officials are not selling tickets to the general public. Only the socios and the members of the penyes are guaranteed access. This allows the retailing socios to set the prices as they please. Sometimes they tend to press the prices to the limit. In fact of the great public interest to see important games, implies that the ticket prices of the black market are high-priced. At the first rivalry I attended between Barзa and Real Madrid, in March 2002, I was offered tickets to 350 for one single entrance. The normal price would be to 150 to 200 for a ticket. The price of a ticket was also defined according to a ticket's location. For example, the seats located next to the pitch were the most expensive ones, while the seats located further away from the pitch were the cheapest. The black market appears to be complex and seems to consist of professional ticket-dealers who made a living through the selling of tickets. Returning to the basketball game, one should expect that the game would not attract retailing socios. The sale of tickets to the basketball game had commenced. Due to my pale and white skin, I was considered as a buyer. Several socios approached me asking if I was there to see the game. In sum, the rivalry's social mechanisms for admittance, and its potential of mobilising a community, establish an economic system with discrepancies admitting entrepreneurial activities. The retailing socio and the practices of the black market is part of the rivalry's cultural complexity. It demonstrates that social actors interact differently within the expected identity categories of the rivalry. While the members of Dracs consider it as important to experience the rivalry as one single event, for certain socios the rivalry is an occasion that opens for entrepreneurship and economic advantage. 122
4.9 Antagonistic player influx The rivalry's ritual symbolism, concerning the sensory and the ideological pole, shows how the dominant symbol of the rivalry is being dramatised through metaphors of warfare. Through fans' antagonism directed against the Other, in this case at footballers, metaphors of war are expressed directly. When an ex-Barзa footballer returns to perform at Camp Nou representing the archrival Real Madrid, for example, it triggers and charges a Barзa-Real Madrid game with intense emotions. The social value of treachery is something former Barзa footballer, Luis Figo, was ascribed by Barзa fans as he retuned to play against Barзa wearing the Real Madrid shirt. Figo's action for signing on with Real Madrid makes as an illusive illustration, which demonstrates the masculine ideas of deceit, loyalty and morality in fans' discourses on footballers. Socially speaking, Figo is an agent of corruptive ideas, as he signed on for Real Madrid at a critical moment. What is more, his motive for signing on with Real Madrid was ascribed with economic incentives. The transfer enters into a larger football political drama, which makes the topic a bit more emotional. During the Real Madrid presidential elections held in 2000, current Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, promised Real Madrid's socios that he would bring Figo to the club if he became club president (Aftenposten 25th July 2000). Whether it was this promise to the Real Madrid fans, which had him elected is not certain. But Figo's transfer to Real Madrid made Figo the most expensive footballer ever.70 In Figo's return to Camp Nou in 2001, Figo was met with intense antagonism by the Barзa fans. Being Barзa`s captain suggests that Figo was a popular player. According to informants, the fact that Figo made pro-Catalan statements and played several years for Barзa provided Figo with positive social values. For many Barзa fans, it was difficult to comprehend why Figo wanted to play for Real Madrid since he was regarded to have a deep attachment to the club, implying that he would never play for the archrival Real Madrid. But he went for the money, as Lien (2001:140) remarks, breaking the unwritten rule of loyalty and trustworthiness. Figo's moral condemnation by the Barзa fans took an explicit form, as he retuned to Camp Nou. The scene awaiting him was a rainfall of bank notes. Loads of copies of false bank notes had been made with Figo on the main figure. They were distributed throughout the air as Figo entered Camp Nou, making his "homecoming" a spectacular episode. In the case of Figo's experience of fans' antagonism, one has to comment that Real Madrid players are subject to antagonism regardless of the circumstances. This addresses an interesting part on Dracs in separation phase: The members' practice of antagonistic chanting. Returning to Palau, I observed that other Barзa fans were standing in line outside Palau. Assorted members of Dracs started to show up, and they were waiting for someone: The Real Madrid players. The Real Madrid players arrived in a white bus. Sergi, a member of Dracs, approached me and said: 70 The transfer was done in 2000. After the Figo transfer, other footballers have been transferred with a higher transfer fee. 123
"Halvdan, mira, los jugadores." 71 Following the Real Madrid players' entrance, it was about two hours before the rivalry commenced. The members started to antagonise the Real Madrid players. The members lined up in the curve and they were preparing themselves to chant. Palau was not yet open for the general public and a rather strange situation occurred. Palau's stands were empty, implying that the only individuals present in Palau were the ritual's closest participants. The pitch had not been subject to much activity, but as a single Real Madrid player entered the pitch to warm up, the members started to chant: "Real Madrid, Real Madrid, Real Madrid, Real Madrid, Real Madrid, Real Madrid, Real Madrid, Real Madrid, hijo de puta, Real Madrid" 72 The chanting continued until the game started. When the Real Madrid players were on the pitch, Dracs chanted, and when Real Madrid was not, the members were not chanting. The interesting feature in Dracs' demonising of Real Madrid is the degree of theatricalisation of social relations. The theatricalisation takes form through the members' ritualised manner of stressing that Real's players are agents of female attributes. Chanting that Real's players are the holders of negative masculine values, serves to outsing the Real Madrid players. But the members are carrying out one of their principal tasks in the ritual, where the outsinging can make Barзa's victory easier. In sum, the members' chanting is an illustration of the ritual's cultural complexity. It demonstrates that within the identity categories of the rivalry, Dracs might be seen as a social actor, which identifies strongly with the social meaning of the ritual. Regarding the sensory and the ideological pole of the rivalry, Barзa fans tend to become emotionally involved. This is reflected in the social space's temporal transformation. The rivalry's dominant symbol seems to be regarded as dangerous and therefore the underlying social nature of the rivalry is attempted controlled. This is observable through the presence of the police at the Barзa campus. The police's assignment seems to be found in that of controlling the Barзa fans' emotions and to prevent, or to control, antagonism directed against representatives of the Other. This can for example be the Real Madrid players, supporters or other social agents of the Other. The police's dominating role in the ritual can be located in their visible appearance and the police's legitimate right to the use of violence. Any Barзa fan's antagonistic conduct is quickly interpreted as a potential menace to the ritual order and is swiftly dealt with. While the Ultra Sur's case illustrates the bizarre use of police force in the ritual, the ritual also takes place in Madrid. 71 Spanish for: "Halvdan, look, the players". My translation. 72 Spanish for: "son of a bitch, Real Madrid". My translation. 124
Here the two conflicting identities are also expressed through the same ritual, but the conditions are reversed. In Barcelona, the Barзa fans find themselves in the majority in expressing their emotions and experience the police as somewhat regulating their sentiments. And to their discontent, the police are protecting the Other. But if a group of committed Barзa supporters goes to Madrid, they will find themselves in a minority situation. Here the Real fans will most likely play out their antagonism against the Barзa fans, and the police will be set to guard the Barзa supporters. However, the police's attempt to control fans' emotions can be demonstrated through an example I experienced during fieldwork. A distinct ritual procedure for entering the campus is performed in front of each game played at Camp Nou. Barзa's footballers and the visiting team's players normally stay in Barcelona before match day. A couple of hours before the game starts, the players arrive at Camp Nou by bus. The inner part of the campus is bared, involving that only club officials are allowed to enter. As the buses with the footballers are approaching Camp Nou, the buses enter the campus from two different gates. There is one gate for the Barзa players and another gate for the visiting team. Outside the gates, large crowds of fans assemble to catch a gleam of the footballers. At the gate where the Barзa buss arrived, the large crowd of Barзa fans meet the players with applause. In contrast to the Barзa gate, at the other gate crowds of Barзa fans would assemble from time to time. As a rule, one can remark that it was not common to come across Barзa fans assembling at the visiting team's gate. This involved that the buses containing players from the visiting team would often pass the fans in silence. When both buses had entered the campus and the footballers were secured into the dressing rooms, Camp Nou was made accessible for the public. The 20th of March 2002, being present at the gateway where the bus containing the Real Madrid players entered, appeared to be very dangerous. Outside the gate, a large crowd of Barзa fans had assembled. The actual passing of the bus did not last for more than five minutes. As the buss passed, the crowd bombarded the Real Madrid bus with all kind of objects. It seemed that the police had not anticipated such an episode. The police swiftly intervened and separated the crowd. Certain fans were arrested for their unjustifiable actions. But the event was to occur again. Now the police realized what they had to do in order to avert antagonistic supporter conduct. Barзa and Real Madrid met to contest later in the 2001/02 season. Presumably, the police made an unforeseen error in permitting the crowd to stay at the gateway during the first rivalry encounter. I tried to experience the event again, but the police made their precautions. No individuals were allowed to assemble in front of the gateway. Each person standing waiting was told to leave the place. In contrast to the first rivalry, the police allowed the fans to watch the passing of the bus. 125
The event reflects how the bus was loaded with emotional significance. It means that throwing objects on the bus was seen as a justifiable action to carry out. The passing of the white bus is dominated by social actors representing the underlying social nature of the two conflicting identities: The Real Madrid players represent the central government, while the Barзa supporters appear as en extension of the Catalan nation. In between are the police struggling to control fans' emotions, whereby the police's attempt to control the Barзa fans' emotions, tells us something about the idea of danger associated with rituals. 4.10 Selling the Dragon The establishing of the community marks that the ritual is approaching the liminal phase. The barricading of the curve was completed, antagonism was frequently carried out, and Palau was opened to the public. Here it becomes imperative to describe a ritual practice that has great significance for the members' supporter identity. The ritual practice bears the virtue of being identified as an economic distribution system of clothes and other commodities providing Dracs with a uniform nature. What type of economic distribution system we are dealing with is problematic to determine. While more and more spectators are entering into Palau, the members locate themselves at specific entrances to the curve and sell different types of self-designed merchandise. The merchandise that is for sale communicates the supporter organisation's relation to Barзa and Catalonia, involving that the merchandise has a social significance beyond the meaning of exchange value. The merchandise can be interpreted as visible "communicators" of the members' supporter identity. Therefore it shares parallels to Mary Douglas and Barron Isherwood's notion of consumer goods' concept of being "communicators", meaning that the merchandise renders visible and stable categories of culture (Douglas & Isherwood 1979). In modern capitalist societies, the role of consumption appears to be important. Individuals make use of body, clothes, speech, leisure pastimes, eating and drinking preferences, working as indicators for their lifestyle activities, reflecting an aspect of modern social identity. The role of merchandising appears to enter into the role of consumption. This can for example be displayed through the act of purchasing Barзa clothes that is a part of the role as a football fan. Especially as we look to the global football tourist which, "...combines a cosmopolitan stroll through European grounds and fixtures with a hint of the bohemian, in toying momentarily with the authenticity of local club cultures." (Armstrong & Giulianotti 2001:2a). But as several large football clubs appear to have discovered the significance of merchandising, the idea of merchandising seems to be adapted by committed supporter organisations as well. Large supporter organisations sell selfdesigned merchandise. As has Dracs. This addresses an interesting practice of how the Catalan identity is communicated. 126
The difference between club official's approach of vending Barзa merchandise, and other retailing units' manner of fulfilling the similar idea, is made very explicit when it comes to the sale of Catalan symbols. Throughout my fieldwork, I browsed through La Botiga in the hunt for the Catalan Independence flag, but I never found it. I came across the flag at the various street traders' booths located outside the Barзa campus. Although Barзa being a symbol of Catalonia, the manner of articulating sentiments for Catalonia appears to be displayed differently. To sell a flag, which passes on an explicit message that Catalonia should be provided with independence from the Spanish state, appears not to be part of the clubs official stock. The circulation of such a commodity, the flag, appears to draw cultural borders between the La Botiga stores and the street traders' booths. Despite the merchandise sold at La Botiga and at the street traders' booths being virtually identical, to sell the Catalan Independence flag seems not to be an official club policy. The Barзa campus reflects two dissimilar spaces, which communicate disparate social meaning. The fence surrounding the campus appears to be a symbolic border, which marks the difference. Parts of the Barзa campus are guarded 24 hours a day. The club has a security staff watching the entrances to the campus. Although the security staff guarding the campus every day, as a rule, fans are admitted entrance during the campus' opening hours and at match days. Inside the fence, we find the important institutions that embody Barзa: Camp Nou, Palau, the Barзamuseum, the club's official administration, assorted training fields, La Botiga, etc. Within the fence, space is dominated by social actors who make the campus a neutral zone. These seem to be institutions that do not favour circulation of commodities and practices associated with extreme social ideas. The vending of Dracs' self-designed merchandise only comes to life at basketball games. The members bring with them shirts, caps, pictures, scarves, etc., and these are sold to individuals entering the curve. The merchandise comes to view as communicators of the members' supporter identity. Through the merchandise, the group makes explicit remarks on Dracs' relation to Barзa, Curba Sud, Palau and Catalonia. The merchandise has imprinted messages, rendering ideas on the group's loyalty to Barзa, locality, and morality. Therefore, we can look at some examples. A shirt often used by the members was a yellow background with letters in black, with the message; "Dracs supporters 91", while the back stated: "Pel Barзa i per Catalunya!!!".73 Other shirts were also used: A black shirt had the Catalan flag printed on the front stating, "Dracs 1991" and "F.C. Barcelona", while having the loyal sentiment on the backside in yellow: "Estem sempre aquн!".74 A shirt illustrating that Palau is the home to a dragon, having the capability to put on an 73 Catalan for "for Barзa and for Catalonia". My translation. 74 Catalan for "We are always here". My translation. 127
espectбculo, could be illustrated through a jumper with the message: "L'alи del drac escalfa el Palau"75. Other things were also sold, such as photos, stickers etc, portraying that Dracs is a wellorganised supporter organisation. The supporter gear provides the members with a uniformed appearance. The uniformed nature permits us to make certain observations regarding the members' supporter identity and the group's role in the ritual. Commenting on the latter, the goods allow the members to state differentiation from the Other. Dressing up in all kinds of gear and locating themselves in the covered part of the curve, denotes that the members try to communicate an idea of being "inside the game". In addition to this, it displays an idea of being the ritual's nearest participants. Chanting, creating noise, waving the Catalan Independence flag and dressed up replica of Barзa merchandise, advocate for how Dracs can be seen as an extension of Catalan sentiments. In sum, the vending of the merchandise, demonstrates parts of the rivalry's cultural complexity. Regarding the members' supporter identity, performing such a practice reflects a creative arrangement of loyalty, morality and emotions. Part II: The Deep play Before I deal with the second part of the ritual, the discussion needs to be summarised. Regarding Dracs, the discussion has dealt with the probing of three ritual practices: That of barricading Curba Sud, antagonistic chanting and the vending of Dracs' merchandise. Through the discussion, it has been necessary to include other empirical examples from the football field. My inducement for stating this rests on the argument of avoiding a one-dimensional description of the ritual. The other examples demonstrate the difference in how social actors interact within the identity categories of the rivalry. This implies that the rivalry does not only cope with the reproduction of conflicting identities and memories from the Franco-regime. The proceeding section deals with the second part of the ritual process, implying that the members approach the liminality phase of the ritual: "The attributes of liminality or of liminal personae ("the threshold people") are necessarily ambiguous, since this condition and these persons elude or slip through the network of classifications that normally locate states and positions in cultural space. Liminal entities are neither here nor there; they are betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention and ceremonial. As such, their ambiguous and indeterterminate attributes are expressed by a rich variety of symbols in the many societies that ritualize social and cultural transitions." (Turner 1969:95) 75 Catalan for "The Breath of the Dragon warms Palau". My translation. 128
Through the liminality phase, the ritual's participants experience solidarity expressed through a comradeship. Therefore this section deals with the undifferentiated community, which constitutes Dracs. Through the undifferentiated community, the members stage the espectбculo and the group enters into the role of being an extension of Barзa's basketball team. The practices performed by the members that of putting on a tifo, and that of the choreographed practice of chanting, articulate certain social values. The social values stress solidarity and equality with the players. The performance of the ritual practices follows the progress of the rivalry. The practice of chanting is norm-governed by how the rivalry evolves, and the members frequently communicate amongst each other in how they decide to support the players. In Dracs' deep play, the community is filled with its own ideas of morality, commitment and loyalty. Hognestad argues that rather than viewing football fandom as constitutive of sub-cultural formations, the football space should be seen as more a constitutive of a different reality (Hognestad 1997:196). The members' supporting of Barзa suggests that we are dealing with a differentiated reality where ties to Catalonia are stressed and sentiments against the Other are played out. Moderately speaking, Dracs' deep play attempts to categorise between friend and foe, whereby being friends with the Barзa players and to be Real Madrid's foes (Schmitt 1927, in De Biasi & Lanfranchi 1997:99). 4.11 The first playback Club officials had a special charity arrangement that took place at every basketball game. The arrangement was also performed at the rivalry. A group of youngsters were provided with the privilege to sit next to the sacral pitch throughout the game. The youngsters were also photographed together with Barзa's basketball players. But the photo session followed a ritualised procedure. Half an hour prior to kick-off, the Barзa hymn was played through the loudspeaker system. The invited group was located at the centre of the pitch. Afterwards, the Barзa players came running out from the dressing room. They saluted the audience, and located themselves together with the youngster. When the Barзa hymn was played over the loudspeaker system, the members started to chant the hymn. The members had been engaged in outsinging the foes from Madrid, focus was now redirected towards being friendly. From the curve, the members chanted and fluttered various banners and flags, whereby chanting of the Barзa-hymn meant emphasising the members' fervent relation to the basketball players. But it was carried out moderately. It was not carried out with a passion, the way it would be performed 20 minutes later. The first playback of the hymn marked that the game would commence in about 20 to 30 minutes. 129
The ritual meaning of chanting the Barзa hymn has certain similarities to how nationalism is celebrated at football matches between nation-states. The footballers enter the pitch together with the referee. Afterwards, they line up in a row and the national anthems are played. While the national anthems are played, the crowd stands up and chant together with the footballers. This marks how footballers and adherents are paying respect to their nation and express this in unity. Performing such a ritual indicates that footballers and adherents are part of an "imagined community" (Anderson 1983). The footballers being the centre of attention shows how footballers are agents of a collective identity, that of a national identity. Some footballers are also fond of demonstrating national unity by performing symbolic actions. During the World Cup in 2002, Brazil's footballers entered the pitch hand in hand. While the Brazilian national anthem was played, all the players were standing in line facing the Brazilian flag, with the arms on each others shoulders expressing Brazilian unity. The described ritualised procedure seems to differ in how the Barзa players and the adherents perform the Barзa hymn. The hymn stresses that the Barзa fans should unite on the Barзa flag, they should know the strength of the club, the significance of winning and the hymn tells how well known the club is to the world, etc. The first playback of the hymn (the hymn is also played a second time, about six minutes before the game starts), reflects certain differences to the described ritualised procedure. While the hymn was played, the players started to warm up, and Palau's spectators where mostly seated and did not chant the hymn. One has to remark that such type of social demeanour reflects polarization of meaning to the dominant symbol of the rivalry. 4.12 The practice of tifo Earlier in the chapter, I describe the practice of performing a principal tifo. The principal tifo aims to include all the spectators in Palau. The members perform their own tifo, which differs from the principal tifo. But all together, the performance of all the tifos makes them to one collective tifo. The principal tifo and Dracs' tifo articulate differences in social meaning. The principal tifo stresses Barзa's relation to Catalonia, communicating locality, while Dracs' tifo utters an explicit message to the players. The members articulate their relation to the basketball players by holding up several placards with the name of each basketball player. Dracs' tifo and the principal tifo would work jointly together as the hymn was played the second time. A difference between Dracs' tifo and the principal tifo is reflected through manners of preparing them. The members barricaded Curba Sud and carried out the tifo from the curve. In contrast to Dracs, the other penyes and the socios did not perform such a ritual practice. In order not to deal too extensively with social actors' ritual practices, it is vital to look at which social significance Dracs' tifo renders and what it deals with. Such a task can analytically be grasped by describing general traits of tifos. 130
A tifo is a choreographed supporter act, and aims for transmitting a message to the Barзa players and the audience. To transmit the message, the members assemble in the curve. All the members are required to participate in the performance of the tifo. To plan and conduct a tifo calls for extensive planning. Dracs' headship and other members are obliged to know which game is being played, what social context it enters into, etc. These features influence the message to be transmitted. Tifos are performed at handball, fъtbol sala and hockey games. Based on fieldwork experience, the tifos performed at basketball games require the most planning. As basketball encompasses a particular and rather exclusive significance among the members, certain remarks could be stated on the members' way of staging tifos at basketball games. Appearing in Palau before a game involved that the members checked how the tifo would work out. The members exchanged opinions on how the tifo could be enhanced. For example, could the group add an extra dimension to the tifo, etc. The game in question also reflects which tifo was employed. It seemed that the members had a repertoire of using various tifos. Moreover, the tifos were employed at different occasions. For example, at the rivalry between Barзa and Real Madrid, a specific tifo was employed. The tifo had references to the rivalry's social context. Because the rivalry was an important occasion, it was imperative to stage a tifo reminding the players and the audience what the rivalry was about. In sum, to stage a tifo enters into the over-all practice of staging an espectбculo and shares similarities to the "carnivalesque", or have "carnivalistic" traits, as described by Richard Giulianotti (1991, 1993, 1995). Carnivalesque football fandom enters into the construction of Scottish football fandom and stands in contrast to fandom associated with hooliganism (Finn & Giulianotti 1998). Carnivalesque football fandom is in opposition to the negative English football fandom. Carnivalesque football fandom displays a non-violence attitude. Such fandom is an attempt to interrelate supporter conduct within the milieu of the carnivalesque, where carnivals are characterised by the abandonment of the hedonistic and the psychosocial jouissance of eating, drinking, singing, joking, swearing, wearing of costumes, engaging in elaborate social interplay and enjoying sexual activity (Hall 1993:6, on Bakthin). The similarity to the carnivalesque regards how the practice has behavioural traits, which can be found in performance of the tifo. A tifo's stylish aspect, with using flags and different type of colours, are traits one might find in the carnival context. The tifo is performed when the Barзa hymn is played, meaning that a tifo lasts for about three of four minutes. As the Barзa hymn is played, the members wave the banners and flags, while other members are displaying the placard with the message. The tifo's message needs to be portrayed in the tifo itself. If the members display a message communicating that Dracs is Barзa's extra player, it needs to be communicated. The solution to the message is to display a gigantic shirt during the performance of the tifo. Often observed in the actual performance of the tifo was the 131
members' way of covering an area beyond the barricade part of the curve, meaning that the members located themselves amongst seated spectators in the curve. 4.13 Various tifos Now it is important to look into some tifos. The message transmitted to the players and the audience states: "L'ACB tornarб a ser culй".76 "ACB" refers to the Spanish basketball league, while "culй" refers to the Barзa supporters in general. The colours of the club are blue and red. In between the stripes, the members are holding up the balloons in yellow, expressing Barзa's relation to Catalonia. Providing the reader with a small interpretation of the tifo, one can observe how Dracs is displaying a message to the players. Dracs is setting the agenda for the evening, underlining the importance of winning. The message implies that Barзa's basketball players will be assisted by Dracs in their job of bringing the league trophy to Barзa. For that reason, one can identify how the essentialised relationship between the members and the players is being communicated and nurtured through the tifo. What is more, it is being projected and displayed through the tifo. To win, the basketball team will be provided with support from Dracs, where the members will outsing Barзa's opponent and destroy the adversary's concentration. Another tifo can illustrate how the members intend to express a fervent relationship between the group and the Barзa players. A placard is used to transmit the following message: "Blaugrana al vent".77 The phrase is taken from the Barзa hymn. In this case, the message transmitted to players and audience needs to be reflected in the tifo itself. Emphasising that Barзa is in the wind highlights the meaning of winning. The members are provided with a flag, in blue and red, where the members symbolically display themselves to be the wind. Transmitting such a message to the players involves displaying a way of playing with the metaphor of being the extra player. 4.14 Tifo employed between Barзa versus Real Madrid Less then 10 minutes remained before the rivalry between Barзa and Real Madrid started. The members were preparing themselves to perform the tifo, a tifo aiming to transmit the purpose of the evening, to win. Each member had been provided with a special assignment. In co-operation with another member, the anthropologist had been given the task of displaying a placard with the name of the Latvian basketball player Jasikevicius. I was told to display the placard six minutes before kick-off.78 Afterwards, when six minutes had passed, parts of the tifo were put into life. The 76 Catalan for "League ACB will return to be Culй". My translation. For illustration of tifo, see appendix, example 2. 77 Catalan for: "Blue red in the wind". My translation. For illustration of tifo, see appendix, example 3. 78 A basketball game in Spain is played 10 * 4 quarters, whereby one quarter is 10 minutes efficient play. Two quarters make up on half, and between the 1st and 2nd half there is a break for 15 minutes. Before the game commences, there is an actual countdown for 20 minutes. 132
Real Madrid players were already on the pitch and the Barзa hymn was played for the second time. Dracs began transmitting the winning message to the Barзa players. Dracs' tifo was initiated together with the principal tifo, and in unison, the two tifos marked the symbolic act of establishing a community where the Catalan nation was to play the suppressor from Madrid. The members chanted the hymn and the players entered the pitch to applause from the spectators. Although Dracs' tifo converging with the principal tifo, there are attributes that mark the difference between the tifos. Through Dracs' tifo, the group stresses the relation between the group and the basketball players. An additional attribute also marks the difference from the principal tifo: The Barзa shirt is attempted shown through the tifo.79 Furthermore, a placard is displayed where the social theme of the rivalry is transmitted. Despite Barзa promoting itself as a large club, the rivalry permits an occasion to articulate this idea to the opponent. Hence it is important to stress the social idea of winning over Real Madrid and this idea is directly transmitted through a placard displayed to the players and the audience: "La vostra victoria es i sera sempre el nostre orgull" 80. It reflects the rivalry's social circumstance, where the spectators, other supporter organisations, the players and club officials are reminded of the rivalry's social, cultural and historical context. Dracs projects itself as playing an important role in the ritual. For the members, it is imperative to display themselves as the team's extension and help "their boys" to win the game. The ritualised nature surrounding the performance of the tifo provides interesting notes. The tifo promotes social values such as morality, loyalty and locality. For my purpose, I think it is interesting to look into the mediating of morality. It seems that the members are endeavouring a calling on the masculine cultural category of pride. The players are reminded that they are individual agents of a collective identity, and that their play does not only have an effect on the players' own self-esteem. The play is decisive for the self-esteem of a larger population, which identifies fervently with the identity category the players are representing. Through the tifo, the members indicate the start of the ritual. One can locate how male pride should be favoured instead of the economic significance of playing for Barзa. The task of the evening is to win against a team representing an ex-dictatorship, which suppressed the Catalan nation for almost four decades. After the performance of the tifo, the ritualised practice of chanting takes over as the ritual's principal practice, where the chanting follows a distinct pattern and routine. 79 For illustration of tifo see appendix, example 4b. The attempt of rendering the Barзa shirt is displayed to the left. 80 Catalan for: "Your victory is and will always be our proud". My translation. For illustration of tifo, see appendix, see example 4b. 133
4.15 The practice of chanting Chanting is a central part of the espectбculo. The practice of chanting deals with a vital aspect of Dracs' deep play. The members' chanting stresses the fervent relation between the members and the players. According to field experience, chanting follows the progress of a game and the manner of performing the chanting seems to differ. Chanting takes a more formalised form at basketball games, because the majority of the members are present. But the chanting is less intensive when the group is supporting the club in handball, hockey and fъtbol sala. Through the chanting social values are communicated, such as chants about the group, about their relationship to the players, the group's love for Catalonia, the loyalty to Curba Sud, etc. Despite the members chanting about locality, morality and so forth, chanting categorises strongly between being friend and foe. This is especially evident as we look into when the chanting is performed. The members' chanting in context of the rivalry reflects this notion fairly well. When Barзa's basketball players are attacking, the members are chanting, projecting an idea of being friends with the Barзa players. While the Real Madrid players are attacking, the members are not chanting. In doing so, Dracs creates noise where the group is trying to damage the Real Madrid players' concentration. Being Real Madrid's foes complies with the idea to play out the members' antagonism against the Other. The chanting provides the curve with a particular spatial meaning where symbolic affection for Barзa is expressed. The group employs about 40 to 45 chants, but not all chants contain lyrics. In these cases, the words are swapped with humming of the chant's melody. Clapping and the use of drums accompany the practice of chanting. In assessing the members' way of stressing ties to Catalonia, one should assume the group only chanted in Catalan. However the members chant in three different languages, Catalan, Spanish and English, but the members most frequently employ the chants in Catalan. The practice of chanting gives an understanding of Dracs as a supporting choir, a choir that employs chants according to the progress of the ritual event. The choir appears to interact according to the ritual's intensity, and in such a context, a member's way to get emotionally involved and to share the same feeling as the other members, depends on how well the members know the chants. It is therefore imperative that the members know the chants by heart. To know all the chants a member is required to learn through social interaction. According to informants, a new member needs one season to learn all the chants perfectly. How well a member masters the chants depends on how committed the member is as well. If a new member attends all the games throughout the season, the new member would become skilled in knowing the chants. The fastest manner of learning the chants is to listen to them and learn by practicing. The role of chanting among English football supporters is a practice that allegedly has been associated with belligerent masculine behaviour. It has been involved in the construction of the stereotypical football supporter projected through the hooligan. Hooligans supposedly carry out 134
chanting at places associated with football. But the hooligan's practice of chanting appears to constitute a type of social conduct, which police authorities disapprove of. As hooligans have been identified as the potential source causing spectator violence, the hooligan has been regarded as a potential hazard to the public order. For legislators, addressing the problem of spectator violence seems to be rooted in a necessity of criminalizing fans' social behaviour. In such a context, the practice of chanting seems to work as a potential indicator that football fans constitute a menace to other football fans and the public order. In Armstrong's (1998) empirical work on Sheffield United supporters, Armstrong describes this very well: "Aware of how this inertia was possible, the hooligans apparently deliberately organised chanting and mass clapping because: `the hooligan want to be part of a large group, he is a would-be leader, a sort of "warlord"; when he hears chants in unison behind him it gives feelings of greater power." (Armstrong 1998:126) The idea of chanting attracting potential "warlords" seems to echo the police authority's need to impose a moral order on the public. My incentive for addressing this, relates to the members' fascination for English supporterism. In the context of Spanish supporters, the problem of spectator violence has also been reported in Spain. But it seems that Spanish supporters have not experienced a similar type of regulation and security measures as English football fans. Nevertheless, as the constructed idea of the hooligan has been projected as a dominating social idea shaping the understanding of supporters, it involves questioning if the stereotypical idea of the hooligan was valid among Dracs. Despite the members' way of performing a practice associated with belligerent masculine behaviour, the idea of hooliganism seemed to be absent. Based on field experiences, the members were more concerned with making a stand against spectator violence. Certain games could get a bit tense, but the members demonstrated a strong self-discipline where the members opposed any sign of belligerent masculine behaviour. An interesting feature regarding the chants is how they tend to follow certain etiquettes of international standardisation. The Italian ultras' use of chants, for example, might be similar to the chants that the members use. The difference can be found in how words are altered and adapted to the social and cultural context in question. Even if the context alters, the melody of the chant often remains the same. For example, the melody of the song "You'll never walk alone", a chant ascribed social origin to FC Liverpool fans, is a chant that the members have used by swapping the words and making their own version of it. The members' version has been adjusted to include the relation between the group and Barзa and it is chanted in Catalan. Another example is to be found in the song, "Go West", written by the English popular band Pet Shop Boys. "Go West" was a number one hit and dominated the music charts in the 1990s and the melody has been annexed by 135
supporter organisations on a worldwide scale. The melody is often hummed but chanted with other words. The members have made their own version of "Go West". A subject reflected in Dracs' chants, is the group's chanting about the Other, but the meaning of the Other seems to change with context. The Other can be connected to Dracs' relation to the club, the player, Catalonia, other clubs, Curba Sud, etc. 4.16 The choreographic nature of chanting The members' chanting follows the progression of a game and is guided by a distinct choreographed pattern. This can be identified through two practices, that of (1) drums and clapping, and (2) that of chant-leadership. Use of drums serves as an accompaniment to the chanting, and the members use five drums at basketball games and one or two drums in the supporting of the club in other sports. The most experienced members often carried out the drumming. The drummers located themselves in front of the group, by being nearest to the pitch. Throughout the rivalry, the members employed additional drums in order to create extra noise. The motive for employing extra drums was related to the group's ambition of getting Palau's spectators more involved in the ritual. The chant-leadership consists of Dracs' leader and other experienced members. There did not seem to be any strict norms for who was being given access to be part of the chant-leadership. The chant-leadership's objective is to monitor the game's progression and to select appropriate chants. The chant-leaders were always moving around amongst the members, encouraging the members to chant louder. According to informants, the chanting could have an influence on the players. For example, if the members chanted well, this could lead to a better performance by the Barзa players. A feature reflecting the choreographic nature of chanting, can be connected in how chanting is carried out in correlation to the players' attack and defence play. At the rivalry, while Barзa's players were attacking, Dracs chanted. When Real Madrid was attacking, Dracs tried to outsing the Real Madrid players by performing the exclusive Real Madrid chant. In addition to this, the members were constantly applauding the faults committed by the Real Madrid players. Chanting is also subject to aesthetic evaluation. For example, if a chant were not performed well, the chant-leadership would to stop the chanting. In contrast to this, if Barзa was playing attacking formation, and a Real Madrid player snatched the ball from a Barзa player and the Real payers was on his way to score, the members immediately stopped the chanting. This would involve supporting the Real Madrid player; moreover, it reflected a symbolic defeat for Dracs. But certain chants were regularly employed at distinct moments throughout the game. At time-out and the short beaks, between the 1st and 2nd quarter and the 3rd and 4th quarter, Dracs performed the chant "Indis-1899". A member played a drumbeat that lasted for about 30 seconds. Afterward the 136
members yelled: "In eighteen ninety-nine, the club that I have in my heart was born, blaugrana is the colours, Futbol Club Barcelona" and then the group chanted "Futbol Club Barcelona". In sum, what do the analysis tells us about Dracs' participation in the ritual? The practice of chanting and the staging of the tifo illustrate how the members are permitted to play out antagonism against the Other. Through the ritual, a continual altercation between the two conflicting identities is played out and Dracs plays a central part in the dramatisation of the conflicting identities. This can be related to the members' attempt at transmitting sentiments to the players. The members are reminding Barзa's basketball players of their role in the ritual: The players are representing Barзa and Catalonia. But the staging of the espectбculo reflects the members' identification with rivalry. To perform the espectбculo according to the social context and the progress of the game suggests how the notion of deep play is a flexible analytical category. Dracs' monitoring of even a game's smallest detail reflects the dialectical relationship between the members and the players' movement on the pitch, meaning that the members' deep play is related to the players' bodily movement on the pitch. Despite Dracs not touching the ball, the group puts effort into influencing the opponent, the game and the referee by staging the espectбculo. Nevertheless, one should question if the deep play is an act of celebrating the group itself. De Biasi & Lanfranchi (1997:98), for example, argue that in Italian football fandom, expressed through ultras, the ultras are often engaged in celebrating themselves and lack involvement with what is occurring on the pitch: "According to Roversi, their chants and choruses (which he terms their `autonomous modulation') intimate a lack of attention to the match itself: ultras prefer to celebrate themselves instead of the match" (Roversi 1992, quoted in De Biasi & Lanfranchi 1997:98) Based on the material I have presented so far, the analysis suggests that such a claim is not valid amongst the members. This might be valid in Italy, but I believe the members' incentive for appearing in Palau is less connected to the idea of a celebration of the group. I claim that such an argument fail to distinguish a supporter organisation's main objective. Supporters assembling in organisations suggest being rather preoccupied with what is taking place on the pitch then celebrating themselves. This implies a deep involvement with the game itself and I find it difficult to see that Dracs' involvement in a game is related to a lack of interests for the match itself. As Palau has domestic significance for certain members, the celebration and the staging of the espectбculo reflect a dynamic, flexible and emotional relation to the players, Curba Sud, Palau and Barзa. 137
Part III: The aggregation phase - Game over The third stage of the ritual process relates to the aggregation phase. In the aggregation phase of the ritual, the subject is in a relatively stable state and has right and obligations vis-а-vis others of a clearly defined and "structural type" (Turner 1969:95). For our purpose, it remains to locate the beginning of the aggregation phase and the end of the liminal phase. There does not seem to be any rigid principles for when the liminal phase ends and when the aggregation phase begins. One might even remark that they are overlapping. But the aggregation phase is marked by the ending of the game, where it is performed as a set of ritual practices. It became clear that Barзa was heading for victory. For Dracs, the group started to chant "L'hora dels adйus ­ 1899- guanyarem".81 Such a context argues that the ritual's closing is near and the ritual's adherents return to their normal ties. The undifferentiated community constituting Dracs is dissolved and the same applies for the extended community that constitutes Palau's spectators. Several spectators were leaving Palau. Despite the game being over, the Barзa hymn was played for the last time and Dracs performed the closing tifo. As the hymn was played throughout the loudspeakers system, Barзa's basketball players thanked Palau's spectators for their support. The basketball player Roberto Dueсas expressed his gratitude by making an exclusive gratitude gesture to the members. The rivalry's aggregation phase points towards different ways of leaving Palau, meaning that the fans had various manner of leaving Palau. Such a pattern reveals that Palau's exodus of Barзa fans reflects the ritual's polarization in social meaning. This difference becomes clearer as we look at the socios' and the members' approach of leaving Palau. To empty Palau is not uncomplicated as many Barзa adherents were in a hurry. The majority of the spectators appeared to leave the sport facility for several reasons; firstly, the fear of being caught up in a traffic-jam. Secondly, as it was evident that Barзa was going to win by 20 points, certain fans might find it difficult to remain to the end. After all, Barзa was winning. In contrast to the basketball game, one might imagine how the circumstances appear at the annual encounter in football as 100.000 spectators want to leave Camp Nou simultaneously. Following the end of the football game, a chaotic situation emerges where every Barзa fan is looking for the closest public transportation. In contrast to this kind of conduct, there are minor groups of Barзa aficionados that always remain, whether it is Camp Nou or Palau. As the socios have left the ritual arena, the members of Dracs remain and experience the ritual to the end. For Dracs, the socios' manner of leaving Palau was not approved of, as mentioned. In contrast to the socios, the members demonstrated their love for Barзa through another belief. It generally 81 Catalan for "It's time to say goodbye ­ 1899 ­ we have won". My translation. 138
deals with entering the ritual arena first and being the last ones to leave. As the socios had vanished, the member remained and carried out a set of ritual practices. Following the chanting of the hymn, the members start to un-barricade Curba Sud. The group also performed a set of practices, which deal with the nurturing of the relationship to the Barзa players. By and large the members' un-barricading of Curba Sud involves cleaning up the curve. The group's gear is placed to its designated place. In contrast to Dracs' entering of Palau, where the members used hours to barricade the curve, the process of disbarricading Curba Sud was completed within the hour. The disbarricading of Curba Sud marks a temporary dissolving of the supporter organisation, as the members' obligations in the Catalan society await them the next day. After the game was over, the members resettled to the pitch. The pitch was often used as a place to reorganise the equipment, which the members had employed. For example, pancartas were folded and counted and put into the bags that Toni brought with him. Flags and banners were rolled together and put back into a booth together with the drums. Information was passed on when the next match was going to be played. 4.17 Practice of enumeration and dressing room incursion Despite the members' entering of the sacred pitch, the hour following the end of the game was often used to converse with the Barзa players. During fieldwork, I had the opportunity to employ this practice. Barзa's handball team played against the Norwegian handball team, HK Drammen. HK Drammen's goalkeeper, Lars Olav Olaussen, is from Vestby, a village located outside Oslo. It is also where I went to school as a child. I explained to Toni that I went to school with Olaussen and that he was an acquaintance of my friends from Vestby. When Drammen came to play against Barзa, prior to the game and after it, I had the opportunity to converse with Olaussen. In doing so, I experienced the phenomena of Norwegian transnationalism, something which led to a sudden and legitimate incentive to converse with Olaussen. After the game I was escorted by Toni into the Drammen's wardrobe where we exchanged a few words about my incentives for staying in Barcelona, how it was to play against Barзa, and so on. The members constantly employ this practice, and the practice emerges as an example illustrating how the members stress and nurture the relation to the Barзa players. One might also state that it explicitly marks the members' incentive to support Barзa in the less professionalized sports. The practice of enumeration demonstrates another manner in how the members stress and nurture the relation to Barзa's basketball players. This practice is only performed after basketball matches. As certain members are occupied with organising the gear, other members were busy voting for Barзa's best basketball player. The practice shares certain parallels to a valuation system developed by sports journalists. The valuation system of footballers is often employed by 139
sports journalist to evaluate footballers' performance on the pitch. Footballers are continuously evaluated by the media through the valuation system where journalists provide footballers with marks on their performance. For example, the point "1", indicates the ranking's lowest mark, while the mark "10" indicates that a footballer has performed excellent. Displayed through a matrix, the subjective valuation system renders a quantification of a footballers' performance, which determines if a footballers is of high-quality class or not. The practice employed by Dracs is based on the same principles. The members are given a piece of paper before the game begins. After the game, the members have an opportunity to rank the three best players of the match. Relocated to the pitch, the members carry out their voting. One of the results of the voting system is the members' selection of their "most valuable player" of the season. 4.18 Concluding remarks This chapter has attempted to explore aspects of Dracs' supporteristic social universe. Focal point has been connected to the members' practice to put on an espectбculo. Analysing the espectбculo has involved accounting for the members s' deep play with Barзa's basketball players. The analysis has allowed us to examine certain characteristics. Firstly, the members' presence in Palau mediates a fervent relation to the players. Secondly, the rivalry between Barзa and Real Madrid demonstrates how Dracs works as an extension of the Catalan national identity. But the analysis also illustrates how the rivalry projects and dramatises two conflicting national identities. In this context, the members have played a crucial role in dramatising the two conflicting identities. The members' antagonism against the Other argues that Dracs fosters the Catalan identity through the practice of supporting. Thirdly, the analysis shows that Dracs' hangout, Curba Sud, has a special spatial meaning. Scrutinizing the rivalry between Barзa and Real Madrid in light of an analytical framework applied to comprehend the meaning of rituals and ritual symbolism, requires certain concluding comments. To begin with, I could have dealt with the rivalry's ritual symbolism more methodically, for example by analysing the rivalry's complex system of ritual symbolism. As such, I could have analysed the rivalry's ritual symbolism through a historical and sociological framework. The ritual symbolism through a historical and sociological analysis could have been employed to analyse how the rivalry's ritual symbolism is somewhat reproduced through the rivalry. In contrast to such an approach, the analysis has attempted to stress another analytical point. I have striven to emphasize that social actors interact differently within the expected identity categories of the rivalry. For example, the committed members of Dracs gather in Palau seven hours before the rivalry starts. In contrast to this, certain socios arrive minutes before the rivalry begins. But as we have seen, a particular social actor, the retailing socio, sees the rivalry as an 140
occasion to exercise entrepreneurship. The human economic entrepreneurship, which takes place in the more informal zones of the Barзa campus, is a reflection of how the market penetration comes to view in an unexpected way. Therefore, this brings up one of Armstrong and Giulianotti's seven themes to analyse the underlying social nature of football rivalries: "Our seventh, final theme centres on how "disorganized capitalism" is rewriting the framework of football oppositions. Since the late 1980s, world professional football has undergone a fundamental economic restructuring and expansion. The main sources of this boom are income from satellite or subscription television stations, and merchandising revenues from kit and other products. The other, notable structural change has been through the Bosman ruling that opened up a free market in European transfers." (Armstrong & Giulianotti 2001:276-277b) Considering such an observation and relating it to the rivalry I have analysed, certain comments can be made. Since the rivalry between Barзa and Real Madrid is associated with the football field, the analysis of the rivalry in basketball implies that one needs to include new elements into the framework in analysis of rivalries. Firstly, alternations in Catalan nationalism, suggest that the rivalry does not only deal with reproduction of memories from the Franco-regime. Social actors' way of using the rivalry to communicate that Catalonia is a nation, advocates for how parts of the rivalry has altered social meaning. This implies that shifts in the Catalan society are somewhat reflected through the football field. Secondly, the members' relation to the rivalry's social milieu means that other elements need to be included in analysis of rivalries as well. Interpreting the members' way of interacting within the expected context of the rivalry, including that the members have relocated themselves from the football context to the basketball context, suggests how the members provide the rivalry with a new social meaning. Partially, the economic restructuring of the football field have influenced how the members negotiate their relationship to the rivalry's social meaning. For the members, it appears that economic restructuring of the club structure creates new conditions on how the members choose to support the club; moreover the economic restructuring determines if it has any meaning for the members to support the club in football. This appears clearer as we look at members' incentives for attending the game in football. For Dracs' leader, the rivalry's social meaning had altered. Despite supporting Barзa at Camp Nou for many years, an incentive for attending the game was not related to the idea of watching the match. Toni's motive was based on an administration of the Other; Toni went to see how Real Madrid's supporter organisation, Ultra Sur, supported Real Madrid's footballers. Even though the members having different motives for attending the football game, Toni's statement and the members' supporting of the less professionalized sports, tells us something about the group's reflexive project of abandoning football. I suggest that Dracs' reflexive project 141
of abandoning football reflects certain parallels to how social identity is negotiated and adapted in relation to humans' relocating to new places. Relocation to new places tends to be displayed through human practices, such as providing life to a new set of cultural expression and activities. As mentioned in the introduction of the thesis, the hybridisation of cultures from South America might be an illusive example. The hybridisation of cultures reflects how humans create new practices in the process of moving to new places. When a set of individuals enters a new social context, they bring with them a collection of cultural expressions, learn about new ones and then construct new social and cultural expressions. This implies that when the social person enters a new social context, the social person reflects upon social identity. Inventing new practices serves as identity markers providing the social person with meaning, making an individual able to narrate social identity. In the process of inventing new practices and new activities, it becomes imperative to have legitimate variables for explanation for why they are carried out. The same can be said about the group's narration about experiencing the market penetration. The group expanded its supporter activities from Camp Nou to Palau. It turns out that the members' social idea of possessing an equal relation to the Barзa players, regardless of the sport, was valid as the group was interacting at Camp Nou and in Palau. Although the incursion into Palau, one might state that the members also brought with them a set of practices and social ideas from the football context. Supporting Barзa in the less professionalized sports gave life to a new set of cultural ideas regarding the equal relation between player and supporter. In the meantime, a set of changes occurred in the football context: increased player wages, new foreign footballers, new presidents, etc. Regardless of the alternations occurring within the club structures, the members appear to have experienced these changes from their curve in Palau. Supporting the club in the less professionalized sports might serve as a legitimate variable in how the members have experienced a process of socio-cultural change occurring in the context where they interact. 142
CHAPTER 5 ­ THE SHALLOW PLAY WITH BARЗA 5.1 Introduction The previous chapter described the members' relation to Barзa in detail. Examining the fervent relationship between the members and the basketball players rendered Dracs' deep play. In contrast to this, this chapter looks into the members' shallow play (Geertz 1973). The intension with the analysis is to show how the members choose to play out supporter identity in spaces where the agents of the market penetration are dominating and absent. This means a closer investigation of the thesis' main approach. Negotiating supporter identity is reflected through the group's rules of interacting in spaces where Barзa is celebrated. I argue that the members' way of appearing in Palau as an assembled supporter organisation, and the rule of attending games at Camp Nou on an individual initiative, is in line with the thesis' contention. The chapter illustrates how Dracs first appears in Palau, a space where the agents of the market penetration are absent. Here the members perform the practice of supporting Barзa. Afterwards, Dracs dissolves as a supporter organisation and enters Camp Nou, a social universe dominated by the agents of the market penetration. This brings up the content of the chapter. Firstly, the chapter accounts for an evening I experienced with Dracs. The members attended a football game in Palau, where the members supported Barзa's footballers in fъtbol sala. Later the same evening, the members went to see a football game at Camp Nou between Barзa and the Greek team Panathinaikos. At this point, the members enter into the role as regular spectators, appearing in the loathed role of the socio. Secondly, in the first part of the chapter, I endeavour to analyse the members' relation to Barзa's footballers in fъtbol sala. The central issue that remains to explore is how the footballers' agency in fъtbol sala communicates social values that the members esteem. Fъtbol sala's relationship to amateurism means that the footballers' agency mediates social values such as commitment, noncommodified and familiarity. The footballers in fъtbol sala are seen as moral agents of true sportsmanship, with the subsequence that the members decide to support them. Thirdly, the second part of the chapter is an analysis of Dracs' practice of appearing as a dissolved supporter organisation at Camp Nou. Furthermore, the second part analyses the social meaning of the members' shallow play. The members' shallow play will be analysed in relation to how Barзa's footballers are violating the members' social values and moral ideas. This means that the members are not supporting and share less solidarity with Barзa's footballers as the footballers violate the members' ideas of locality, commodified and loyalty. Therefore it is important to identify how the market penetration contributes to violate the members' moral and social values. 143
Part I: The social manoeuvring within two opposing football worlds Camp Nou is one of the largest football stadiums in Europe. The history of the background for the construction of Camp Nou is quite interesting. It describes how the popularity of the Hungarian footballer, Ladislau Kabula, was the reason for Camp Nou being built. Barзa's previous home stadium, Les Corts, appeared to be too small and could not house all the Barзa fans wanting to see Kabula play. Therefore, a new site had to be found. Barзa's board decided to buy a piece of land next to Les Corts, and Camp Nou was completed in 1957 (F.C. Barcelona 2003). The narrative explains the belief that a footballer's agency worked as a unifying aspect for the construction of Camp Nou, illustrating that the Barзa fans identify with Kabula's agency. Consequently, Camp Nou's spectator capacity is a reflection of Barзa's relation to its members. The fact that Camp Nou has extended its spectator capacity several times reflects an idea that the Barзa fans have frequently consulted Camp Nou to celebrate ideas such as morality, loyalty and locality. Nowadays, the majority of Camp Nou's spectators are socios, and constitute the mass that allegedly idolizes footballers' performance at Camp Nou. But does Barзa's fans, in unison, identify with the footballers in a time distinguished by the market penetration? A case from my fieldwork attempts to illustrate the line of reasoning. One evening I attended two different football games with Dracs. Partially this allowed me to experience how the members negotiate supporter identity within the context of the market penetration. The first football game was a league match in fъtbol sala played in Palau. At the game, the members carried out the similar supporter activities as described in the previous chapter. The members' supporting of Barзa's footballers in fъtbol sala was carried out from the lower part of Curba Sud, in a part of the curve located next to the pitch. When the game was finished, the members attended a football game at Camp Nou. Barзa's 1st team in football played against the Greek football team, Panathinaikos, in the second leg of the quarter finales in the European Champions League. At the game, the members appeared as regular spectators. Before I deal with the case, certain remarks can be made. Even if Dracs first appears in Palau and then relocates to Camp Nou, this action reflects how the members are interacting within two contrasting football worlds. The first football world, that of fъtbol sala, relates to ideas of amateurism. The sport and the footballers, communicate social and moral values that the members cherish. It entails that the members identify and share solidarity with the footballers, and both segments meet on equal terms. If this is valid, this means that the members see themselves as a part of the club. But the absence of Barзa's well-paid footballers implies that the social world of fъtbol sala increases its social meaning, and the sport's positive feature of being an amateur sport game entails that the sport is idealistic for supporting. For Dracs, the game is disconnected from 144
the economic sphere mediating a purified supporter universe free of towering wages and exorbitant transfer fees. The second football world, that of Camp Nou, relates to professionalism and portrays the opposite. At Camp Nou, the members sense that they are not a part of the club and there is a growing distance between the members and the footballers. The meaning of amateurism means that the footballers' agency in fъtbol sala communicates social values that the members identify with. Having this social attribute, the footballers are the pole apart from the footballers performing at Camp Nou. The agency mediates social values such as locality, solidarity, loyalty, etc. One fundamental value is to be found in the footballer's agency as entrepreneur of true moral values, denoting that the meaning of exorbitant transfer fees and towering wages have a minor importance. For the members, the footballers of fъtbol sala have an emotional incentive for appearing in blaugrana and they are not regarded as dishonest in their appearance. As these social values are dominating in the members' discourse on the footballers, the agency signifies that these footballers are seen as custodians of true sportsmanship and are therefore simpler to identify with. 5.2 Locating an agent of true moral values Fъtbol sala is one of the less professionalized sports that Dracs supports Barзa in. The sport is played indoors and is played on a handball pitch where a team consists of five players, four outplayers and one goalkeeper. Informants referred to fъtbol sala as a deporte minoritario,82 involving that the sport is in opposition to the largest sport in Spain, football, which is organised in La Primera Divisiуn. Fъtbol sala is inexpensive to practice, for players, clubs and spectators. There is a Spanish national league that organises teams in fъtbol sala and the footballers are semiprofessional. Whether or not all of the footballers are semi-professional is difficult to make any concluding remarks on. Informants suggests that the footballers are either working part-time or studying, but they are compensated enough to cover vital expenses. The technical skills of the footballers are of an outstanding nature. Fъtbol sala share the traits of being a fast sport, and due to the sport being practiced and performed on small squares, high technical skills are required of the sports performers. Fъtbol sala works after similar principles as in regular football. A game is played by two half's of 20 minutes, efficient playtime involving that time is running only when the ball is in play. A special system for team faults is also practiced, equal to the fault system employed in basketball. Fъtbol sala is practiced and organised in other countries as well, among other in parts of South-America and in the Mediterranean. But the footballers in fъtbol sala find themselves in the shade of the footballers playing at Camp Nou. So which difference can one trace 82 Spanish for "minority sport". My translation. 145
between fъtbol sala and football performed at Camp Nou regarding the agency of the footballers and the members identification with them? The narratives bellow explains the members' incentives for identifying with the footballers: "We don't value the titles and the technical level. We value the persons, their effort, and the respect they have for the support that we do. This is more important. Despite the team in fъtbol sala did not win many games, when the season was over they came and thanked us for our support. By doing this, they won our gratitude. This is more important than Barзa becoming European Champion in football. We don't value the trophies. Of course, we want them to win, but this is not the thing that we value the most." (Interview July 2002)83 Toni underlines that: "Football (performed at Camp Nou) is a professional sport and fъtbol sala is an amateur sport. Fъtbol sala consists of players that play because they want to. In fъtbol sala, there are no professionals. The sport consists of players that after work practice and play football. But they also defend the Barзa shirt. For us it has more merits. It is simpler to go to Madrid with a group of supporters consisting of 50.000 persons that helps the team to win. But it is more difficult in fъtbol sala without the group of supporters, which insults and chants and so on. But the footballers in fъtbol sala try to fight and they win. But nobody knows them. In contrast, Rivaldo says, "I'm the greatest!", no! The best footballer in the world is not the one that says that he is, without that people saying he is the best. Rivaldo, no, for us no, he is not the best footballer in the world. There are footballers in fъtbol sala, which are much more above than Rivaldo, Kluivert, and all of those. For us, for example, if the telephone rings, and it says, "hey, I'm Rivaldo", and then; "and...!" (Interview July 2002)84 The narratives pay special notice to the members' relationship to the footballers. The significance of winning has a somewhat reduced social meaning, while the narratives emphasis the human qualities of sportsmanship. Therefore, the footballers are seen as entrepreneurs of true moral values. A case from the fieldwork exemplifies the social relation between the footballers and the members and demonstrates an entrepreneur of true moral values. The case surrounds the idea of a footballer having an emotional incentive in playing for Barзa and gives reasons for why the members choose to identify with him. During the fieldwork, I was familiarised with the Barзa footballers Lincon. Lincon is a black footballer from Brazil, possessing a particular position among the Dracs. Lincon is displayed as a masculine representation of a footballer mediating moral values that the members support. Such a moral value can be established through the notion of commitment. Throughout the season, Lincon was often injured and did not play many matches for Barзa, but Lincon was often seen in action. He frequently defied the bodily pain caused by the injuries. In doing so, Lincon enters into the similar moral category as the basketball players Roberto Dueсas. Lincon, like Dueсas, through symbolic means of action, becomes a solider that 83 My translation. Sol explains, a female member of Dracs 84 My translation. 146
sacrifices himself for a cause, to represent blaugrana. Lincon complies with the social value of being a footballer that feels affection for the sport that he practices. Lincon's performance is morally true and he becomes a reconciling dignitary rejecting the symbolic significance of towering wages as a motivation for representing los colors. The bodily pain is of a symbolic nature, meaning that to defy the pain demonstrates true sentiments for Barзa. Lincon's bodily sacrifice for a sport where wages are without significance means that he becomes an entrepreneur of true sportsmanship. Being ascribed the value of having commitment for blaugrana Lincon is an agent of a collective idea that the members identify with. The footballers and the members are running for the same cause where symbolic sacrifice for Barзa is communicated. Because this social enterprise is accomplished without the catalysing stimuli of economic incentives, the transmission of Corinthian idealism exposes another social value: Lincon appears as an agent of noncommodified values, meaning that the agency includes unpolluted ideas and appears as the contrasting agency to the footballers representing blaugrana at Camp Nou. Mediating commodified ideas requires some commenting. When seen from a committed supporter's perspective, it can for example be that a footballer does not have to be paid large amounts of money to play for the club. Within a committed supporter's approach of viewing a footballer, I assume, there exists rigid moral principles for what is regarded as normative actions for a footballer to perform. One normative principle mediated through supporters' discourse on footballers can be connected to that it is morally wrong to provide footballers with towering wages. When a committed supporter experiences that a footballer surrounds himself with social images associated symbols of extravagance, such as driving around in expensive cars, possessing a large house, and then display a lifestyle within Thorstein Veblen's (1925 (2000)) concept of "conspicuous consumption", indeed evokes moral reflections amongst supporters. Such social demeanour can easily be connected as the result of footballers' towering wages. The display of wealth can evolve in that those who cherish them then question the footballer's status as a true symbolic representation of a masculine symbol: "The combination of new wealth and celebrity placed by Beckham and Posh at the heart of a tableau of conspicuous consumption and display. Within a culture absorbed more than ever by question of style, in which television and the press are dominated by styles guides and transformation scenarios, the dress, interior decor and lifestyle of celebrities have become a focal point of media attention." (Whannel 2002:209) 147
The stereotypical idea of the footballer presented by the media, displays a footballer that has expanded beyond the sporting ground. It shows a picture of the footballer's personal fame, moreover, that the footballer is interacting in social spheres associated with exchange value. For instance, the media portrays certain footballers as businessmen, while in other cases, footballers are displayed as commodities that are exchanges between clubs through transfer cases. In consequence, footballers are provided commodified values. In contrast to this, Lincon's agency breaks with the commodified value, where his agency communicates the non-commodified and copes with the idea of delimiting his action within the football setting. Through Lincon's agency, one finds the ethical structure of fair-play with the supporters, something that separates him from the economic sphere. Lincon's body has not yet been attempted redefined by the economic structure and he performs his actions in an arena where he is nurtured by Dracs. The absence of capitalistic institutions means that he becomes a symbolic role model representing the true moral values of a sportsman. Lincon being morally pure of the economic incentive in playing for Barзa means that his agency communicates the moral value of familiarity. The social value of familiarity is a significant belief that the members cherish. Being accessible means that the members can converse with the footballer, and this feature separates Lincon from footballers interacting at Camp Nou. Despite Barзa's footballers in fъtbol sala being average, their bodily sacrifice did not affect their popularity amongst the Dracs. The footballers' popularity is exemplified through the special relationship between Lincon and Sergi, one of Dracs' committed members. The social relationship surrounds Lincon's agency of familiarity, while Sergi can be seen as Dracs' symbolic envoy. The nature of the relationship shows that it is possible to possess an equal relation between supporter and footballer. Regardless of this, the social relationship was nurtured and underlined in different ways. Throughout the fieldwork, I was told that Sergi and Lincon were conversing outside Palau. Sergi explained to me that he once received an SMS-message from Lincon. Lincon thanked Sergi and the members for the support that they had provided Lincon and his team-mates. The relation between Lincon and Sergi can be grasped through other symbolic situations. The season was at its closing stage and it became clear that the team did not make it to the play-offs. At the decisive match, that Barзa lost, Lincon expressed his gratitude to Sergi by handing him the Barзa shirt that Lincon had used throughout the season. In sum, the Lincon case shows how the members negotiate and adapt supporter identity in relation to a non-agent of the market penetration. The degree of amateurism in fъtbol sala reflects the members' means to negotiate supporter identity. The meaning of expressing supporter identity increases its value in the absence of the agents of the market penetration. The non-attendance of well-paid footballers, the practice of merchandising, the representation of La Directiva, implies 148
that Palau and the practiced sports are important elements that enter into the members' practice of experiencing and play out supporter identity in a time distinguished by socio-cultural change. 5.3 Observing Mad Boys The members are conscious of Barзa being damaged by its social significance. When the members appear at Camp Nou, the members' relation to footballers has a shallow nature. If the agents of market penetration dominate Camp Nou's social space, meaning that the footballers transmit moral values that the members do not identify with, why go? Toni explained that his intention for seeing a game was connected to the purpose of studying a visiting supporter organisation's way of supporting. It involved observing how the visiting supporter organisation staged an espectбculo. Observing the Other had educational purposes, whereby the members could learn new approaches for augmenting their own supporting. Toni made it clear that throughout the season 2001/02, he only attended a couple of matches. One of these games was Barзa against Panathinaikos and Barзa against Real Madrid. The football game was irrelevant, since he was barely interested in how other supporter organisations staged a show. Toni made an explicit comparison regarding our motives for attending the football games. We were both fieldworkers studying supporter conduct. I had travelled all the way from Norway to study Dracs, while Toni walked from Palau to Camp Nou to study supporters as well. Returning to Camp Nou, for Toni, denotes as a rather strange undertaking. Being the place where he started out as a Barзa supporter, supporting Barзa`s footballers and then suffering the violent episode, revisiting Camp Nou implies having unexplainable sentiments. The members had different motives for attending the game. Some members expressed similar ideas to Dracs' leader, while others commented that they wanted to enjoy a game of football. Dracs' leader attended the game with the purpose of studying Panathinaikos' supporter organisation Mad Boys. The case from the fieldwork follows the objective of being of an explanatory nature, and the example shares scores of the ritualised practices that I accounted for in the previous chapter. The members' way of attending the game in fъtbol sala follows the three-divided ritualised procedure. Firstly, the members enter Palau and make their way into Curba Sud. Here the group barricades the lower part of the curve. Secondly, the members carry out the practice of supporting, involving a deep play with the footballers. Thirdly, the members un-barricaded Curba Sud and cleared away the equipment that the members had employed. Although, I will not go into an extensive analysis of Dracs' activities performed in Palau this particular evening. The preceding chapter was subject to this matter. However, a number of differences between fъtbol sala and basketball are worthwhile commenting on. One difference is to be found in the lesser number of members that showed up for games in fъtbol sala. An interpretation of such an observation can interrelate to 149
members' obligation in modern life. Work and studies regularly figured as explanatory reasons for the absence of the members. The members appeared to favour modern life's obligations and gave them priority, and this is particularly reflected through fъtbol sala, hockey and handball. The majority of the members did not to show up at these sports, where only a handful of loyal members regularly supported Barзa in these sports. The members' obligations in life were also reflected at the fъtbol sala game, as only ten to 15 members showed up. Other discrepancies between basketball and fъtbol sala can be spotted. The way of barricading Curba Sud at fъtbol sala games, distinguishes itself through small details. The members employ a smaller numbers of pancartas. To barricade the curve takes less time. Other pancartas were utilized, the location of pancartas, the curtailing of the symbolic frontiers, a less developed routine of evaluating the aesthetic nature of hanging up the pancartas. Barricading Curba Sud in other sports than basketball is provided with an added contextual meaning. In hockey, several of the players are from Argentina. Aiming to express the members' solidarity with the Argentinean hockey players, the Argentinean flag was regularly placed amongst the pancartas. In fъtbol sala, in order to express solidarity with the Brazilian footballer Lincon, the members also located the Brazilian flag amongst the pancartas. Supporting Barзa in fъtbol sala, the members carried out less practices. From time to time, the members skipped certain practices that normally were carried out at the basketball games. This included the vending of merchandise, a less intensity in chanting, less use of drums and flags, omitting to chant the Barзa hymn's first playback, etc. Observations argue that the social attractiveness of a sport determines which practices are performed. This also influences how well the practices are carried out. Bringing the practice of tifo into light provides further knowledge to this supporteristic dilemma. While the Barзa hymn was played for the second time and the Barзa footballers came running out from the wardrobe, Dracs began performing the compulsory tifo. The tifo was carried out from the barricaded part of Curba Sud and each member was provided with a banner. From a specific location inside Curba Sud, each member commenced waving the flags as Dracs chanted the Barзa hymn. Comparing the performance of the tifo at the basketball game with the tifo carried out at the game in fъtbol sala, a number of differences can be identified. Firstly, the advanced choreographic nature differed. Secondly, there was not carried out an extensive planning to perform the tifo. Thirdly, the use of the placard to transmit the message to the players was absent. In sum, the practices carried out by Dracs render the equivalent principles as described in the previous chapter. The notion of expressing locality and the underlining of Dracs' extended role of the team were communicated through the performance of the tifo. 150
Prior to the Champions League, I made a number of walkabouts on the campus. At various occasions, retailing socios regularly approached me with the intension of vending tickets. Since the club was not vending tickets to the public, the social actors of the black market were permitted to delineate the value of the tickets. This I had to take into consideration in order to attend the game. I am raising this issue because my intension for the evening was to employ the black market. Eventually I was not required to make use of the black market due to that an unexpected situation occurring. Previous to my attendance in Palau, I arrived by detecting that the members had already barricaded Curba Sud. I phoned up Toni and awaited further instructions. The group was to meet an hour before the game in fъtbol sala, but the members were already present in Palau. Through Palau's windows, I distinguished Dracs' pancartas. Afterwards, Toni met me at the main entrance. The football game at Camp Nou was subject for discussion. I explained to Toni my practice of purchasing tickets from the black market. Toni responded that I had paid too much for the black market tickets and therefore I could use one of his carnets, involving that Toni is a socio, and he has a season ticket for Camp Nou. This entailed that I followed the group for the evening. Originally, and following Dracs' principal idea of attending games at Camp Nou, my plan for the evening was to attend the football game on an individual initiative. But for a short time, I would enter the role of the socio and be admitted entrance to Camp Nou together with the other members of Dracs. The football game in fъtbol sala commenced. The members carried out the practice of chanting. But the members were accompanied by a group of non-Dracs acquaintances. Because the game in fъtbol sala was played a couple of hours before the game at Camp Nou, a large number of Barзa fans were assembled outside Palau. It gave the impression that Palau's gates were open for public admission. This implied that the Barзa fans were leaving and entering Palau. A minor group of Barзa supporters used this occasion to hook up with Dracs. Passing Dracs' symbolic border, they jumped over the pancartas, and shortly after started to chant and support Barзa in alliance with the members of Dracs. The minor group of non-Dracs affiliates were apparently acquaintances of the members. Judged by their behaviour, the assembly of the non-Dracs affiliates were visibly under the influence of alcohol. The group of four chanted along with Dracs, enlarging the group of Barзa supporters. But the group left minutes before the game at Camp Nou began. Barзa's fъtbol sala team lost the game and the members commenced with the un-barricading process of Curba Sud. Pancartas, drums, banners and other types of equipment were quickly placed back to their original spot. The members split into small groups, comprising of pairs or groups of three to four members. The members swapped their self-designed merchandise with other types of outfit making them unrecognisable as members of Dracs. In doing this, the members symbolically transformed 151
themselves to socios. Dracs dissolved as a supporter organisation and the members dispensed themselves to various places at Camp Nou. About ten or 12 members attended the game at Camp Nou. But certain members hooked up again as they relocated inside Camp Nou. The members attending the game in Palau decided to enter the giant football stadium in groups. The group that I accompanied entered Camp Nou last. The fraction had to hang around for Toni's girlfriend, Sol, which came directly from work. Sol did not have a carnet and had to use one of Toni's carnets. The remaining group was waiting outside Palau and Dracs' leader was frequently calling his girlfriend, making enquires on her geographic location. The traffic situation in Barcelona involved that Sol was a bit delayed. With the intention of not missing large parts of the game, the last group decided to relocate to a place next to one of Camp Nou's wickets. Ahead of making the decision, the group was approached by a group of individuals. A group of Barзa's handball players drew nearer and the players conversed with Dracs' leader. Toni started to be a bit concerned about the absence of his girlfriend. While the group, relocated to a gate next to Gol Sud, a thunderous shout rose from Camp Nou. The Mad Boys celebrated Panathinaikos' goal. In contrast, the members of Dracs were standing outside Camp Nou waiting for Sol. Later, Sol arrived and the group moved towards one of Camp Nou's many entrances. The members headed for the equivalent location that had been Sang Culй's former hangout. Now it was approached with the purpose of observing Mad Boys. Part II: Locating incentives for Dracs' shallow play The members' practice of appearing as an assembled supporter organisation in Palau, where the group distinguishes itself as a visible extension of Barзa, the contrasting practice of appearing as anonymous spectators at Camp Nou, deserves further commenting. It emphasizes how the members negotiate supporter identity in relation to express solidarity with players representing Barзa. Expressing solidarity means to carry out the practice of supporting and the staging of an espectбculo, involving a deep play. The shallow play with Barзa's footballers at Camp Nou means that the members are not communicating solidarity. The difference between the deep and the shallow play, suggests that Camp Nou's footballers are violating the members cherished moral values. It means that the members have no rigid loyalty to the footballers. However, is it possible to identify the moral and social values that Camp Nou's footballers violate? Turner's (1969) theory of different types of communitas is of analytical assistance. One imperative incentive for linking Turner's theory into the discussion relates to how communitas is connected to forms of human solidarity. Turner distinguishes between (1) existential or spontaneous communitas, which is the direct, immediate, and total confrontation of human identities that tends to make those experiencing it think of mankind as a homogenous, unstructured 152
and free community. An example of an existential communitas can be a happening or a short event that binds individuals together. The second (2) type of communitas relates to that of the normative. This is a type of communitas where social bounds between individuals need to mobilize and organise resources in order to keep members of a group alive and thriving. Such a communitas requires a degree of social control amongst members. The third mode (3) of communitas is that of the ideological. Ideological communitas is an attempt to describe the external and visible effects ­ the outward form; it might be said ­ of an inward experience of an existential communitas. What suggests that we are dealing with a case that can be distinguished as a communitas? This can be recognised through Dracs' necessity of being manifested through a temporal event. The communitas materialises within the milieu of the game in fъtbol sala and the members' appearance at Camp Nou. But the members communicate distinct forms of solidarity. Based on the empirical material presented, forms of solidarity can be located. Firstly, the members communicate solidarity with Barзa's footballers in fъtbol sala, through the performance of supporting the footballers. Secondly, solidarity is communicated amongst the members. Thirdly, means of solidarity is also communicated through the member' action of supporting Barзa with the other supporters. The members' way of sharing solidarity with Barзa's footballers in fъtbol sala is negotiated by a process of social interplay through specific social circumstances. Such a specific social circumstance is the interplay between the footballers' agency in fъtbol sala and the members' ascribed moral values of the footballers, etc. The moment when the members close down their practice of supporting raises two important questions. Firstly, are we still coping with a communitas? Secondly, is there a social fissure in communicating solidarity through the communitas? Answering the first question, interpreting the whole evening as a temporal event, I claim that we notwithstanding are dealing with a communitas. Commenting on the latter question, the moment when the members leave Palau and enter Camp Nou, the members' way of communicating solidarity alters. From the communitas, one another type of solidarity emerges. This solidarity, pinpoints to admire another supporter organisation's practice of supporting. While the members appear in Palau, the practice of supporting deals with communicating solidarity with the footballers. In contrast to this, the non-supporting of the Barзa footballers performing at Camp Nou, implies that Camp Nou's footballers are violating the members' moral ideas and the members have no fix loyalty to the players. This suggests that one needs to locate the social and moral values that Camp Nou's footballers are violating. It means to discuss which role the market penetration plays for the display of the members' shallow play. 153
5.4 Shallow play ­ the violation of locality The social value of locality is a social attribute that distinguishes the footballers of fъtbol sala from Camp Nou's footballers. This peculiarity influences the members' way of expressing solidarity and determines if the members have a rigid loyalty to the footballer. Despite dealing with two contrasting football worlds, there are certain common denominators between the sports. Both sports deal with Barзa and the issue that a football team should be made up of local players. Locality in such a case, communicates that a Barзa footballer should origin from Catalonia. For the members, the meaning of locality is seen to have more validity amongst the footballers in fъtbol sala. Several footballers in fъtbol sala have social origin from Catalonia, something that simplifies the members' project of expressing solidarity. It was claimed that the Barзa players, who performed in the less professionalized sports, were more conscious of socially and culturally adjusting to Catalan norms and values. Lincon was often projected as an agent that had the determination of adapting to Catalan norms and values and understood Barзa as Catalonia's leading representation. Such a social acknowledgment also renders the idea of demonstrating loyalty to Barзa. In contrast to this, Camp Nou's footballers violate the members' idea of locality. "Before it was many Catalan footballers, but now there is none." (Interview July 2002)85 Then, what part does the market penetration play in bringing cultural fusion to the meaning of locality? While Johan Cruyff was Barзa coach, the club had a number of footballers with social belonging to Catalonia; moreover the club had footballers that purportedly understood the meaning of Barзa as Catalonia's leading symbol. Several of Barзa's footballers had partaken in the club's own education program of young footballers. Pep Guardiola, Albert Ferrer and Sergi were amongst the footballer that had been to La Masia and therefore reinforced the notion of locality. Lien (2001:107) brings about a case in regards to the Bulgarian footballer Hristo Stoichkov. The footballer achieved Seny or Catalanitat, said to be Catalan values that immigrants begin to posses after staying in Catalonia for some time. Stoichkov opened a restaurant, learned Catalan and supported Catalonia's claim for independence, all symbolic actions attempting to reinforce the notion of locality. But as new trainers and footballers started to have a dominating position in the Barзa setting, the notion of locality became endangered. This is connected to how Barзa's football team nowadays allegedly is made up by footballers that do not originate from Catalonia or do not adapt to Catalan norms and values. 85 My translation. Dracs' leader explains. 154
The actions of the Dutch trainer Van Gaal, provides an explicit example of how Barзa's notion of locality is endangered.86 Van Gaal was Barзa trainer twice. One of his first actions was to acquire new footballers. His means of buying new footballers give the impression of being a zerosum game. His first tasks appear to be the job of evaluating the club's stable of footballers. Footballers that did not fit into the coach's scheme were either sold or told to find a new employer. Taking over as coach, the Dutchman made repairs on Barзa's stable of footballers. Mainly it involved selling off footballers with strong local ties and bringing in new footballers. Buying and selling footballers becomes therefore an important source in explaining how the market penetration gained importance. Van Gaal seemed to be provided with an amount of money to buy footballers by club officials. The sell off of footballers implies that the coach could have extra currency to acquire new footballers. Consequently, in transfer cases it is important to question the social origin of the new footballers that a coach brings to a club. Van Gaal was coach in a period when the repercussion of the Bosman-verdict started to take effect. The ramifications can be reflected through the new footballers arriving having a different social origin to Barзa's locality. During Van Gaal's period as coach, Barзa started to be dominated by foreign footballers, where new profiles emerged. Despite Barзa's footballers were idolized during Cruyff, the subject that distinguishes the new type of footballer is nationality and wages. The club being dominated by foreign footballers addresses the subject of Barзa's collective representation. In conversations with members, the lack of Catalan footballers pointed towards it being unfounded to claim that Barзa is a representation of Catalonia. Instead the situation is turned around. The other football club located in Barcelona, Espanyol, finds itself in a rather perplexing position. The majority of the club's footballers are from Catalonia. Espanyol has traditionally been linked to the Spanish national identity and the Spanish state. Moreover, this is a cultural representation often projected by Espanyol's supporters. The idea of Espanyol having such collective representation turns out to be a strange undertaking considering that the club has more Catalan footballers than Barзa. Such an argument merely enters into the numerous social inconsistencies concerning the field of football. Throughout Barзa's modern history, the club has been dominated by international footballers. Although Barзa has always been fronted as a representation of Catalonia, the large profiles that have been assigned the task to represent the club, have seldom had the same origin as the club claims to represent. Among the mentioned footballers we find; Maradona, Ronaldo, Gary Lineker, Michael Laudrup, Ronald Koeman, etc. However, if we try to comprehend a football club's collective representation through the individual role of a footballer, moreover, pinpointing to the footballers social origin, Barзa's 86 See Lien (2001) for further examples and analysis, where Lien's analysis on Gulliermo Amor's departure from Barзa is illustrating. 155
collective representation is negotiated by the members of Dracs. With the arrival of new footballers, following the glory days of Cruyff, the dominating issue of footballers' transfer fees and towering wages emphasizes that Barзa's collective representation is being negotiated. 5.5 Shallow play - the significance of the commodified Does the practice of appearing as unidentified spectators at Camp Nou, narrate an inward experience? Does the members' shallow play at Camp Nou introduce another social value that Barзa's footballers violate? I claim that the members' shallow play can be identified through another social value, that of the commodified. Since the 1980s, multinational companies seem to have struggled in fabricating social imageries of a company's name or logo as a legitimate part of a consumer's everyday life. More interesting is how this social process manifests itself in the field of sports. Naomi Klein's (2001) description of the American multinational company Nike is in particularly interesting. Following the analytical congruence of Klein's examination, Nike appears to employ a strategy projecting an idea that the use of Nike's sportswear is a natural part of the sports setting. The consumer is lead to believe, that it is imperative to dress up in Nike's sportswear when the consumer goes to the gym. Nike's master narrative seems to tell the consumer that the use of Nike products is a way of life and enters into a lifestyle scheme. Nike's master narrative is utterly strengthened by signing on advertising deals with sports performers such as Michael Jordan. Jordan's fantastic basketball skill, such as hanging in the air in distinct manner, earning him the moniker "Air Jordan", moreover, being a symbolic rejuvenation of a masculine sports hero, partially assists Nike and Jordan in narrating that purchasing of sportswear is a legitimate action. Jordan is a globalised sports hero with millions of fans that identified with him. As Jordan performs dunks and strolls through the air, dressed up in a distinct sportswear, the sportswear is not monopolised, but instead, his adherents are provided a chance to be like him. Fans seem to be offered a possibility to be like Jordan merely by procuring Nike sportswear. Therefore, we can locate a new market segment, consisting of fans: "Through his agency Pro-Serv, Jordan capitalized on the `sneaker' as an essential element of black urban street style through his promotion of Nike footwear under the signature of `Air Jordans'. The `sneakers' or `trainer' universally represents youth, hedonism and the individualization of consumption. Indeed, in many respects, the style wars of the 1990s' have been fought on the feet of millions of people, for whim the trainers represents the ultimate in `hip', `cool', and `chic'." (Boyle & Haynes 2000:97) 156
On the agenda to multinational companies, moreover, their collaboration with agents in the field of sports reflects how a new mainstream culture is projected. Transmitting social ideas that sportswear is a natural part of the African-American culture, illustrates a tendency of how mediasports production and marketing interests transform sports performers into a cultural category. The collaboration between marketing interests and agents within the field of sports reflects how the relation between sports performers and the audience transforms into being producer-consumer orientated. The incursion of multinational companies into the sports field, to a sense, is a market penetration. But the defined market segment appears to be active in the act of consuming, implying that the purchasing of merchandise reflects a meaningful human practice. Despite media playing a significant role in projecting stereotypical ideas of a culture, it also involves social transmission of commodified values through the sports performer. In contrast to this, is it possible to locate this in the milieu where the members of Dracs interact, furthermore, what role do the footballers play? The Barзa footballers seem to partake in transmitting commodified values. This can be related to the club's collaboration with the sportswear manufacturer Nike. Here the practice of merchandising plays a significant role. Let me illustrate this with an example I experienced during the fieldwork. Prior to a football game I was strolling around on the Barзa campus, a couple of weeks before the start of the 2002 World Cup. Outside Camp Nou, it was a teeming street life. It looked like that such occasions were regularly employed to distribute flyers for commercial purposes. Frequently I observed how individuals approached me handing me a note containing a message. One time I was handed a flyer containing a strange message, which I could not figure out. Recognisable through the note were drawings of faces, drawings of famous Barзa footballers. This included the faces of Javier Saviola, Carles Puyol and Luis Enrique Martнnez. There was no indication that they had a relation to Barзa. On the note was printed an Internet address, implying that if one consulted the web site, one could obtain a solution to the enigma. I consulted the web site but did not become any wiser. The mystery remained unsolved. Shortly after I received the note, I noticed that a commercial ad was running on Spanish television. It possessed numerous similarities to the acquired note. I shortly discovered that the acquired note was part of an advertising campaign. It was part of Nike's advertising campaign in connection with the company's launch of a new sportswear collection. It was an advertising campaign that took place prior to the World Cup. Several leading footballing celebrities participated in the commercial showed on worldwide television. After the World Cup, the advertised sportswear could be purchased in Barзa's department store La Botiga. However, the interesting parallel to the Jordan/Nike case is how Barзa's footballers run into an identical project. Barзa's footballers, like Jordan, are projected as masculine sports heroes through the advertising campaign mediating a message to the fans. Barзa's fans are proposed the option to be like their football heroes by buying 157
the same sportswear as the footballers are wearing. Such an act can be realised by attending a visit to La Botiga, where the merchandise is sold. The case displays the complex links between marketing interests and the football field. Barзa footballers' appearance in the marketing sphere fairly indicates how footballers transmit commodified values. 5.6 Shallow play with untrustworthy footballers Emerging ties between Barзa and commercial interests propose to be an incentive for the members' way of not expressing solidarity with the footballers performing at Camp Nou. Since the market penetration takes a more rigid form through sponsors, the sporting media, the club's governing bodies, and other economic structures, it gives the impression that these elements monopolise the footballers. In contrast to this, one could continue discussing if the Barзa footballers are the property of multinational companies and club officials. The question can also be raised if the footballers set the agenda through their increased autonomy. Entering into a discussion on who has the ownership of the footballers, Barзa, etc., or who possesses the dominant position within the club structures, is not a subject I will look further into. But it plays a crucial role for the Barзa fans. My experiences from the field, reflects how the social dynamics of the principal agencies within the club structure, such as La Directiva, the trainer, and the media, play a significant role in how the members negotiate and narrate supporter identity. A case showing how the members and other Barзa fans negotiate fan identity in relation to principal agents of the market penetration is exemplified through transfers of footballers. Transfers of footballers, I suggest, become one the most imperative sources in comprehending the social dynamics of how a process of social-cultural change takes form in the field where the members of Dracs interact. Transfers cases follow a rather ritualised pattern, which can be connected to the great deal of regulation surrounding transfers. This involves for example that a footballer can only be collected at given periods throughout the season. How this works in practical terms varies from country to country. Reading sports newspapers one could get the impression that transfers of footballers are taking place throughout the season. But when the football season is completed, the transfer market normally opens up and quickly develops to be distinguished by passion. Such a pattern was traceable at the fieldwork. The passion that surrounded the transfer of the Argentinean footballer, Juan Ramуn Riquelme, is worth looking further into. Leading Barзa officials attempted signing a contract with Riquelme in 2001, but due to disagreements between Riquelme's Argentinean club, Boca Juniors, and Barзa, a transfer was not settled. But the same Barзa officials went to Argentina in the summer of 2002 and managed to settle a transfer with Riquelme's club. Riquelme had figured as one of South America's leading football personalities. There was expectation for what Riquelme was capable of performing. The 158
great Argentinean football star, Maradona, stated that Riquelme was one of his favourite footballers. Maradona meant that Riquelme was the natural inheritor of the Argentinean national shirt of number "10" (Nettavisen 2003). When Riquelme arrived, it was displayed as a masshysteria through the Catalan sports media. El Mundo Deportivo and Sports were the leading voices for stating that Barзa had signed on a "crack",87 where El Mundo Deportivo stated "Riquelme: El primer Crack"88 (El Mundo Deportivo 1st of June 2002). But the passion took a ritualised form through Riquelme's arrival at the airport. Hundreds of Barзa fans were assembled at the airport welcoming the footballer. After the transfer, things did not turn out the way as it was first projected in the media. Van Gaal was sacked midways through the season 2002/03. Radomir Antic took over and Riquelme was obliged to spend a lot of time on the bench. The Barзa officials did not extend Antic's contract, meaning that things got worse for Riquelme. As Laporta took over as presidente, another Dutchman was employed as coach, Rijkaard. With Rijkaard as coach, Riquelme did not enter into Rijkaard's plans and the Argentinean left Barзa on loan to the Spanish club Villarreal. Transfers of footballers pinpoint to social mechanisms that influence how Barзa fans negotiate fan identity. Transfers also distinguish an aspect of the market penetration. But a transfer of a footballer does not merely deal with the signing of a contract. It needs some elaboration. A transfer is a complex juridical process with different types of social meaning. Firstly, a transfer of a footballer appears to be a legal process dealing with the signing of contracts. The parties involved seem to be representatives from the clubs in question, the footballer and other professional law advisers. With the implementation of the Bosman-verdict, and its influence on the transfer-system, implies that judicial consulting has gained significance. Secondly, as negotiation of transfer fees and the use of contracts have become important parts in transfers of footballers, which involve legal advising also deals with economic questions. Legal advisers' deeper involvement in transfers denotes an increased focus on footballers' individual careers. In such a process, it is plausible to assume that in a footballer's star potential and the development of his professional career, economic proceeds play a crucial role. Professional legal advisers are often observed in transfer cases. Thirdly, with the implementation of the Bosman-verdict, includes that footballers has gained increased autonomy. But there are other traits suggesting a development of how footballers are focusing on their individual careers. Boyle & Haynes (2000:101) note that in England, organisations like the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), have lobbied long and hard to ensure that footballers from professional ranks receive fair reward for their talents and secure their careers. 87 Term employed in Spanish and South American football to describe the individual genius of a footballer. 88 Spanish for: "Riquelme: The first Crack". My translation. 159
The Bosman-verdict and footballers' increased focus on their professional careers might generate social disputes. Football clubs often employ financial means to fetch footballers on the market. It gives the impression that these means are employed to meet demands of short-time success. Along with abolishing of the quota system, and simplifications of the transfer system, competition with other clubs fancying the best footballer on market, might lead to the contract offered includes wages and sporting means to meet demands of success. The outcome might be reflected in the exorbitant transfer fees and towering wages. As exorbitant transfer fees and towering wages are dominating issues in the discourse on footballers, the members of Dracs begin questioning footballers' incentive for appearing in blaugrana. Although footballers say that their incentive of playing for Barзa rests on a great honourable task, meaning to stress an emotional sentiment, footballers seem to be ascribed an economic incentive. Footballers hint they have emotional incentives for appearing in blaugrana. For example, in an interview with the Swedish footballer Patrick Anderson, which I conducted during the fieldwork, he stated that winning titles and representing Barзa are important issues. Anderson agreed that many European football clubs were run as large business firms. Anderson said that he was never in doubt that he would turn down the possibility in playing for Barзa. However, this does not exclude that the motive for playing for Barзa is the high pay-cheque. Placing Dracs in such a context, where the dominating idea of the economic incentive enters into a discourse transforming the cultural representation of the footballer, the members demonstrate non-solidarity by remaining passive at Camp Nou. For the members, it is imperative to know the footballers by face, beyond the superficial nod. Being present at Camp Nou represents, to a sense, a symbolic alienation. This happens to be worth taking note as a female member stated that the Bosman-verdict led to her lack of enthusiasm for football. This implied that Barзa's 1st team in football did not matter to her anymore. With footballers developing to become global sport stars, the members' task of familiarising themselves with the players, becomes problematical. The agents of the market penetration appear to be granted first priority in knowing them. Footballers' vast fame requires that they are protected, meaning that the projected idea of an equal relation between footballers and the members is then problematical to uphold. In sum, the process of socio-cultural change seems to have absorbed the footballers away from the supporter sphere, leaving the members of Dracs behind with the opportunity only to gaze at them. 160
5.7 Entering the role of the socio ­ symbolic protest? The remaining members hooked up with the rest inside Camp Nou. As 35 minutes of the first half had passed, the group found their seats. Certain members were watching the football game, while others were paying attention to Mad Boys' espectбculo. Dracs' leader brought with him his binoculars in order to get a closer view of Mad Boys' performance. The binoculars were used in turn by the members. In turn, the members were observing the game and the espectбculo. Despite Panathinaikos being in the lead, and Barзa coming back to win, some members displayed their indifferences. When Barзa scored the equalizer, Camp Nou exploded into one celebrating roar. Together with the other Barзa fans, I celebrated the goal by providing the ritual applause. In contrast to this conduct, Dracs' leader sat resolutely in his seat. Toni and the other members symbolically re-socialised into the role of socio, displayed shallow play with Barзa. But other members also celebrated the goals. The scoring of a goal, a social state associated with celebration; moreover, being a snapshot moment when supporters are expected to release emotions, the reversed was now displayed. The social action of not celebrating the goals can be interpreted as the members' way of not communicating solidarity. Considering that Dracs' prime objective is to support Barзa, regardless the sport, watching the footballers at Camp Nou indicates a kind of supporteristic dissatisfaction. Concealed is a symbolic resentment against representatives of the market penetration. The members' silent protesting, blame is principally ascribed the footballers and parts of La Directiva. It might be asserted that the members' way of dissenting with the economic development, discloses particular similarities to parts of Jim Scott's definition of peasant class resistance. Especially his emphasis on the third aspect: "...the definition recognises what we might call symbolic or ideological resistance" (Scott 1986:22). Rejecting to have a rigid loyalty to the footballers is a way of stepping out of the category associated with being a loyal supporter. In contrast one finds the members' supporteristic dissatisfaction is carried out through the role of the socio. As the socio evokes the notion of being the opposition of the members' supporter identity, the members' disagreement with the market penetration is reflected through the role of the socio. Toni's way of expressing approbation for another supporter organisation's performance is a toying with the members' opposition of being committed supporters. It can be regarded as a way of turning things up side down in order to make a social belief implicit; that the members are not content with how the club is managed. Claiming interest for attending a football game, moreover that it rests on the idea of admiring a visiting supporter organisation's performance, which normally is the subject to committed supporters' antagonistic behaviour, indeed, is a perilous play with capricious ideas. Such a play with the representation of the Other, gives innovative meaning to the identity category of the Other and displays supporteristic reflexivity. 161
However, an interesting characteristic is how the symbolic protesting is performed through the role of the socio. The members are symbolically required to constrain themselves to a non-liked role. Demonstrated earlier in the thesis, the role of the socio represents quite the reverse of Dracs' social beliefs. The stereotypical idea of the socio, displays the idea of a spectator that is seated and stares at the game (ritual). While Dracs projects an idea of bringing an atmosphere to the stadium, the socio performs the opposite. A socio's principal task is less associated with the act of supporting, merely comprising of being critical and result orientated. The members' entry to Camp Nou as socios, and the way of observing Mad Boys, reflect a symbolic action of observing and admiring themselves. To a degree, it could be interpreted as a style of changing focus, a change in focus away from the activities taking place on the football pitch and the emphasising that the curve is a vital part of the club. It reflects a statement of how the market penetration has symbolically absorbed the footballers away from the members. In sum, performing the descried practices at Camp Nou implies that the members put emphasis on that the market penetration has altered the intimate relation between supporter and player and it needs to be changed. One fascinating facet with the practice of observing the Other is the progress of a critical discourse, a critical discourse, reflecting the members' high-developed ideas of Barзa's social and cultural meaning, notions of loyalty, locality and moralities. The members' critical discourse reflects a righteous and emotional involvement with Barзa, turning out to be imperative variables influencing how the members negotiate and narrate supporter identity. The members' way of evaluating the market penetration is accomplished through means of reflecting upon their relation to Barзa's governing, the increasing gap between footballers and supporters, the meaning of remaining in Palau, and so forth. This in sum, points toward the members' highly developed awareness of the current situation in international football, and the contemporary situation in international football has some bearing on the social milieu where the members interact. 162
CHAPTER 6 - CONCLUDING NOTES The contemporary situation in international football can be traced to an economic development happening throughout the 1990s. I have referred to this development as the market penetration. The market penetration is among other things characterised by footballers' towering wages and exorbitant transfer fees. These changes have influenced Barзa. The members of Dracs' way of dealing with and adapting to the market penetration are expressed through the group's reflexive project of abandoning football. The main approach for this dissertation has dealt with the understanding of how the members have interpreted the market penetration of Barзa. Analysing parts of the group's social life, the discussion has made it clear how the members' negotiate and narrate supporter identity in relation to a process of global change. Consequently, recapitulating the order of the chapters allows us to comprehend Dracs' venture of abandoning football. The discussion has been divided into five different chapters. With the introduction, I attempted to define a perspective for the thesis. The increased meaning of economic transactions in international football, defined to be a market penetration, has somewhat affected football's social and cultural meaning. I argued that this can be interpreted as a process of socio-cultural change. In context of this process, I claimed that there are representatives, or agents, of the market penetration. Through the discussion, I tried to identify these agents of the market penetration to be the footballers that play for Barзa. But the analysis has also demonstrated that the agents of the market penetration can take different forms. For example, the governing body of the club has been interpreted to be an agent of the market penetration as well. The agents have a somewhat dominating position within the milieu where the members of Dracs interact. As a consequence, the agents play a crucial role in how the members choose to negotiate and narrate supporter identity. The way to negotiate supporter identity has dealt with the choice of sharing solidarity with agents that represent the club or not. The members' approach to the market penetration copes with the supporting of the club in the less professionalized sports, and plays out the supporter identity with the players of these sports. Analysing the members' supporter identity required some contextualisation. Therefore I divided the analysis into three analytical levels. The second chapter was the first analytical level of the thesis. Here I tried to provide Barзa with a contextual reference. It involved accounting for Barзa's collective representation. Since Spanish football clubs are significant identity markers, clubs are regularly employed as vehicles to express national sentiments. Analysing Barзa's collective representation, involved investigating the social milieu in which the club originated. Accounting for the Catalan region meant to analyse how the Catalans see themselves in contrast to 163
the Spanish national identity. These two conflicting national identities have often been reflected through Barзa. The analysis has exposed the close relationship between football, nationality and the Spanish state. The third chapter was the second analytical level of the thesis. The analysis entailed a curtailing of the analytical perspective to deal with local modes of fandom, which are reflected through the socio and the penya segment. Local modes of fandom tend to work as an extension of Catalan sentiments and seldom take a static form. Local modes of fandom are jam-packed with moralities and sentiments meaning that there are a great deal of opinions and beliefs attached to these fan segments. Here I contextualised how the members narrate and negotiate supporter identity in relation to modes of local fandom. What role the agents of the market penetration have in this context was also discussed. The violent event leading to Dracs' decision to leave Camp Nou was also a subject I looked into. The fourth and fifth chapter constituted the third analytical level of the thesis. These chapters analysed the social milieu where the members interact. Chapter four dealt with the basketball game between Barзa and Real Madrid. It was an attempt to look at the alternative ritual universe the members have created after remaining in Palau. In Palau, the members play out supporter identity and live in symbiosis with the players of the less professionalized sports. The fifth chapter dealt with a case where the members first appeared in Palau, supporting Barзa in fъtbol sala and then relocated to Camp Nou to attend a football game. The element indicating the members' project of abandoning football is the manner of going from the deep supporting to the shallow play through the act of watching. The chapter dealt with the dissertation's main approach. I intended showing how the members negotiate and adapt supporter identity in relation to the process of socio-cultural change. The members' way of negotiating supporter identity can be identified through the group's own principles for interacting in spaces where Barзa is manifested. I argued that through the members' principle of attending games at Camp Nou on an individual initiative, and the members' way of appearing in Palau as an assembled supporter organisation complied with the thesis main approach. The case illustrated how the members first appeared in Palau, a social universe where the agents of the market penetration are absent. Here the members performed the practice of supporting. Afterwards, Dracs dissolved as a supporter organisation and the members entered Camp Nou, a social universe dominated by the agents of the market penetration. Examining the members' way of interacting within two spaces where Barзa is celebrated, demonstrates how the members' supporteristic activities have been performed. In Palau, the fervent relationship between the members and Barзa's footballers in fъtbol sala was communicated. The members' deep play with the footballers demonstrates that Palau is a sports facility where the members are permitted to play out ideas of being Barзa supporters. 164
Consequently, as the members relocated to Camp Nou, the question emphasized the members' way of interacting in a social space where the agents of the market penetration are dominating. Returning to Camp Nou reflected the members' shallow play with Barзa's footballers, being distant and passive. The shallow play mediated assorted social meanings. I argued that the members' shallow play was based on the Barзa footballers' violation of social values that the members esteem. Violating Dracs' normative ideas implied that solidarity was not communicated with the footballers. Is it possible to claim the existence of a larger reservation inspiring from Dracs' reflexive project of abandoning football? Archetti argues that in football it is impossible to love a possible enemy (1998b). It points towards the idea that fan identity can be linked to experiences of conflict and emotion (Goksшyr & Hognestad 1999). This proposes to be the case with Dracs and the members' difficulties of identifying with Barзa's footballers. Barзa's well-paid footballers emerge to be potential opponents to Dracs. The footballers' way of appearing in the Barзa shirt, without a genuine emotional incentive, moreover, being separate from the supporters, constitutes a conflicting dilemma. For the members, this conflicting dilemma triggers emotional reflection on who the members decide to express loyalty to. The emotional question emphasizes if it is normatively acceptable, by a partisan supporter organisation, to express a rigid loyalty to footballers that violates the group's own ideas of equality, familiarity, locality, morality. Furthermore, it represents a conflicting idea that a committed supporter organisation should express solidarity with footballers, which are perceived as corrupt and are ascribed the role of upholding the group's cherished beliefs. Regarding this, the members' way of adapting to the situation means that the members choose to convey their loyalty to players who uphold the valued ideas, and these players are to be found in Palau. The problem of identification is highlighted by one central question. How is it possible for a committed Barзa supporter, which barley has enough money to pay for an entrance and considers him or herself to be part of the club, to identify with a Barзa footballer that is well paid and represents the club? Toni narrates: "For us it's hard, it's an insult. Many times, they pay a lot of money to footballers that are not worth it. For me, if you were a footballer (the author), and you wanted to play for Barзa, I would like to tell you that you would earn an exact amount of money. If we won the league, you would earn more, if we won the European Championships, or the Copa del Rey, we would pay you more. We would pay you for every scored goal. If we did not win anything, you would earn less. Today, the footballers earn a lot. He is walking around scratching his balls, regardless if he wins or loses. He earns the same! For us, it would be better to say that the footballers should earn less if they do not win titles. It is very hard that footballers do absolutely nothing and make a lot of money, and we do not have anything. The footballer is very separated from the supporting and this needs to change. The clubs do not understand the work of the supporters. Very often, and at many football stadiums, if the espectбculo is not on the pitch, then it is in the curves. In Spain, there is only one club that has understood the meaning of this and that's Atlйtico de Madrid. Atlйtico de Madrid has 165
understood the importance of this. Is it the team or is it the curves? A lot of times, when the espectбculo is not on the pitch, the espectбculo is in the southern part of the stadium. The president and the board support the club's supporter organisation. They have money, an office, their own store. They have the facilities and this helps. They are a part of the club. The rest ,never! At many occasions, the team pay thanks to the supporter organisations. Imagine that you are attending a game at Camp Nou, and the game gets boring, the footballers are only passing the ball. Then you saw 5.000 supporters, chanting and supporting from the curve. That is a part of the espectбculo. Having this at the stadium, you and the others would enjoy yourself. But there is only one club in the whole of Spain that has understood the meaning of this. In England, none, in Germany, none. In Italy, the majority. In Italy, one says, if the game is bad, the curve has to be good. They support the curves to create an atmosphere so that everybody can take part in this great party. If you go to the curve and chant, regardless if the game went bad, you go from the game happy, because it felt good and you leave chanting. If not, what feeling do you leave with? Nothing, you go home to sleep." (Interview July 2002)89 89 My translation. 166
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