Més que un club (More than a club)

Sunday 11 June 2017, by ari.carbo, Cris Romero, judith aldabo

4 inspired

FC Barcelona is broadly known as the most socially dedicated club on the planet, transmitting on-the-field brilliance to off-the-field social projects. It utilizes the power of sports to target kids and youth with messages about wellbeing. It has been focusing on social issues for many years, working with various partners to help enhance the lives of kids around the world.

A. Main facts about the activities of FCB Foundation

The Futbol Club Barcelona Foundation, hereinafter referred to as FCB Foundation, is a social entity created in 1994 with the mission to contribute to the development of unprivileged kids and communities through sportive, educational and cultural initiatives.

The main objectives of the foundation are:
- Foster education and healthy lifestyle to kids
- Promote FCB values (respect, effort, ambition, teamwork, and humility) with the slogan “More than a club”
- Help people with risk of social exclusion

At the moment of creation, the entity was founded by private donations; nevertheless, since 2006 the foundation budget comes from:
-  Futbol Club Barcelona donates a percentage of its annual income
-  Players and professional trainers of FCB also donate a percentage of their salary
-  Donations from sponsors of FCBarcelona (La Caixa, Ajuntament de Barcelona, Mapfre, among others)

For that reason, FCB Foundation conducts the corporate social responsibility of FCB. Due to the image of FCB, the foundation can reach more children and develop educational and social initiatives, reaching 400,00 kids around the world.

In Catalonia, FCB Foundation carries out the following social, educative and sportive initiatives:
- Barça Kids
- Futbol Net
- Som el que mengem
- Joves Solidaris

With international alliances, FCB Foundation spreads its educational message worldwide.

B. Ethical Challenges FCB Foundation is addressing

FCB Foundation has alliances with many well-known entities in order to address local and international ethical challenges which have repercussions worldwide.

FCB Foundation started collaborating with UNICEF with the aim to promote education through sport among the most vulnerable children. Last year was the 10th anniversary of this partnership. It first started in September 2006, where FCB Foundation donated 1.5 million euros each year to perform projects to fight against AIDS mainly in three African countries: Swaziland, Malawi, and Angola. The logo of UNICEF was stamped on the FCB shirt and raised awareness worldwide on this entity. In 2011, both UNICEF and FCB Foundation work together in Catalonia, Ghana, South Africa, China and Brazil to promote children’s human development, improve infrastructure, school equipment and level of educators. Since last year, FCB Foundation and UNICEF renewed their alliance for four more years, increasing the amount provided every year up to 2 million euros to work on projects to foster children’s education through sport in the neediest areas of the world. Last year, around 450.000 children worldwide benefited from these social projects. It’s estimated that the number will increase to 700.000 this year.

FCB Players’ Foundations
Some FCB players such as Lionel Messi, Neymar Junior or Eric Abidal have their own Foundations. For example, the Lionel Messi Foundation’s aim is for all kids to be able to reach their dreams. It started back in 2007 with the mission to favor kids and teenagers in an unstable situation worldwide, in partnerships with other institutions which develop projects aligned with the fundamental ideas of the Foundation: health, education, and sports.

Gates Foundation
“More than a goal. Let’s eradicate polio”
The aim of the alliance between the Gates Foundation and FCB Foundation is to eradicate polio and give every child the same chances to live. Polio is a disease that has been reduced globally by 99% and has become a clear example of the value of life-saving vaccines. At the start, this disease paralyzed children worldwide. However, nowadays it’s only present in four countries: Nigeria, Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan. FCB Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation work together through awareness campaigns and joint actions.

Fundación Pies Descalzos
A Colombian non-governmental organization, founded by famous singer Shakira back in 1997 with the aim to promote children’s quality public education in the vulnerable situation in Colombia. Since 2004, the Foundation has implemented an intervention strategy, focusing on 5 aspects: providing quality and public education, improving kids’ nutrition, promoting personal growth and sustainable development, building top-notch schools and, last but not least, supporting schools as community centers via “Open door school strategy”. More than 10.000 children and 67.000 teens and adults benefited from these schooling programs in Barranquilla, Cartagena, Quibdo, and Soacha.

C. What makes you believe FCB Foundation is really ethical? Why do you trust it?

As mentioned in the previous section, FCB Foundation has developed and keeps developing numerous projects with the aim of improving children’s lives all around the world. If ethics is understood as what you do for others, it can be clearly seen that FCB Foundation has gone a step further to make a difference in the field of business ethics.

Not only can we perceive what is being done for others, but also can collaborate myself and be part of the projects. For instance, FCB Foundation recently started a project named “Para Los Valientes”, together with the Lionel Messi Foundation and IESE Business School. The aim of this project is to raise awareness and resources for children’s cancer research at Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona. Almost 4.5 million euros have been raised so far. The overall objective is to build SJD Pediatric Cancer Center Barcelona, a center for treatment and research of children’s cancer. A nonprofit oncologic center pioneer in Europe and one of the largest in the world. This is not a project on the other side of the world, like helping education in a poor country (which is as equally valid), but it’s instead a project being started from scratch which we have personally been able to be part of by contributing to the donation.

Back in 2006, only two teams in the Spanish league didn’t have adverts on their T-Shirts: Barça and Athletic of Bilbao. The decision in the case of the Catalan team was to wear the UNICEF logo on the lower back of the shirt. This implies that the Club loses in sponsorship about 20 million euros a year. This shows that FCB is not exclusively focusing on money and revenue. Other sponsorships have changed over time: Qatar and now Rakuten, but UNICEF still persists and does not plan on disappearing anytime soon.

D. Possible challenges facing FCB Foundation in the future. How you think FCB Foundation may improve?

Without disregarding all the good actions taken by FCB Foundation, it must be highlighted that this entity still has several non-ethical issues to overcome. Social responsibility and business ethics should be present in every new stage, deal or action. Nevertheless, as much as FCB Foundation tries to be consistent, behaving ethically in all areas is very difficult especially in big entities like this one where so many people take part. In fact, since FCB Foundation is directly linked to FCB, we can find several controversial actions that oppose the ethical codes the FCB Foundation is intended to follow.

- Former president of FCB Sandro Rosell has been recently accused of money laundering.

- Qatar Airways sponsorship has always been controversial. On the one hand, its introduction implied that FCB changed the main sponsor Unicef to Qatar Airways, leaving Unicef in a second-level. In addition, FCB supporters disapprove the public-owned Qatari company as it is owned by an authoritarian regime, involved in corruption and terrorism cases, which does not fit in FCB values.

- Numerous cases of corruption related to FCB current players (such as Neymar or Messi) are being investigated for illegal payments, money laundering, or incomes in tax havens.

As it is commonly said not everything is white or black, with this we mean that we believe FCB Foundation has good faith in its projects and ethical actions and therefore it should continue contributing to society with its initiatives. Nevertheless, at the same time, it has to consider the drawbacks of being part of an organization investigated by corruption as well as try to find more consistency in their sponsors and the entities with whom they collaborate.


FCB Annual Report:

FCB Foundation:

Sport News:


FCB Code of Ethics:

FCB Code of Conduct:

Bill Gates Foundation:

Pies Descalzos:

FCB Players’ Foundations
Leo Messi: http://www.fundacionleomessi.org
Neymar Jr: http://www.institutoneymarjr.org.br
Abidal: http://ericabidalfoundation.org/es/la-fundacion

Controversy with Qatar Airways:

Sandro Rosell:

Para Los Valientes Campaign:

Unicef T-shirt:

Location: Barcelona (Spain)

Sector: Arts, entertainment and recreation

Official website: http://www.fcbarcelona.com

Key figures:

Annual Revenue of FCB: 679M €

FCB Foundation
- FCB Contributions: 4.753.000€
- FCB Players’ contribution: 1.784.365€
- FCB Sponsors’ contribution: 4.500.000€

FCB contributes with UNICEF 2.000.000€ annually

- Capacity: 99,354 people
- Opened: 24th September 1957

Nbr. visits: 758

Nbr. inspires: 4