7.8/10
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FC Barcelona Confidential (2004)

FC Barcelona is the biggest football club in the world. Its 102,000 shareholder members all have seats at the Nou Camp, Europe's biggest stadium and the right, every four years, to elect ... See full summary »
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Ronaldinho Gaúcho
Joan Laporta ...
Himself
Sandro Rossell ...
Himself
Justin Webster ...
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Storyline

FC Barcelona is the biggest football club in the world. Its 102,000 shareholder members all have seats at the Nou Camp, Europe's biggest stadium and the right, every four years, to elect the Club President the dream job for thousands of ambitious, patriotic Catalans. In 2003, thanks to poor domestic performances and a spiraling debt, the club sank into the worst crisis in its 100 year history. With the promise of root and branch reform, a new regime was ushered in under the leadership of the charismatic Joan Laporta. With unprecedented and exclusive access, directors Webster and Hernandez spent a year at the Nou Camp documenting the new boards efforts to turn an old fashioned Catalan family affair into a global football business. Written by bob the moo

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24 August 2004 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Barça! The Inside Story  »

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Worth seeing for the access and insight it provides
29 June 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

FC Barcelona is the biggest football club in the world. Its 102,000 shareholder members all have seats at the Nou Camp, Europe's biggest stadium and the right, every four years, to elect the Club President the dream job for thousands of ambitious, patriotic Catalans. In 2003, thanks to poor domestic performances and a spiralling debt, the club sank into the worst crisis in its 100 year history. With the promise of root and branch reform, a new regime was ushered in under the leadership of the charismatic Joan Laporta. With unprecedented and exclusive access, directors Webster and Hernandez spent a year at the Nou Camp documenting the new boards efforts to turn an old fashioned Catalan family affair into a global football business.

With cameras in the boardroom, commentary boxes, director's homes and even sitting in on contract negotiations with big name players, it is impossible to ignore this film for the opportunities it gives to get inside a football club. Can you imagine the same level of access being given by Man Utd, Chelsea or any of the English big clubs? No, neither could I, which is why I tuned into this. Although Barcalona is far from being like the English clubs, this is still a very interesting film. Barca have similar problems to most clubs but their management structure is much different and they have problems with fan violence that put one in mind of the English fans of a decade ago (or more). It is the management side that the film comes from: following Laporta and his team as they try to move past the old regime at the club and move the club into more of a modern, solvent, global business. This side of things is interesting and, as I said, the level of access is impressive and simply by being a fly on the wall there are countless insights into the backroom of the club. At the same time we also see the contract dealings, the pressures on results and the oxymoron that is football financial planning – the directors sweat every point and their plans are based on results that are in the hands of the gods.

The film only touches on the "Mad Boys" once or twice but it does this wisely since these thugs are a film in their own right. Their violent streak is shown clearly though and it must be a totally frustrating for the directors to have to cope with these "fans" costing "their" club money in fines, lost revenues, negative publicity and matches played behind closed doors etc. Like I said, these thugs could easily have a whole film about them and their unsavoury "support" but here we only see how they affect the running of a club – death threats, violent attacks on directors and property damage; all against a board that turned the club around, won titles and greatly improved the financial stability of the club. Overall, although I would prefer to see this same film made with English clubs, this was still a great film and the issue relevancy to me became less important as the film went on. The almost total access and the frank, honest presentation is fascinating viewing and fans of big clubs the world should try and get a chance to see this.


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