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 Birth of FC Barcelona (1899–1922)

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PostSubject: Birth of FC Barcelona (1899–1922)   Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:32 am

On 22 October 1899, Joan Gamper placed an advertisement in Los Deportes declaring his wish to form a football club; a positive response resulted in a meeting at the Gimnasio Solé on 29 November. Eleven players attended—Walter Wild (the first director of the club), Lluís d'Ossó, Bartomeu Terradas, Otto Kunzle, Otto Maier, Enric Ducal, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol, Josep Llobet, John Parsons, and William Parsons—and Foot-Ball Club Barcelona was born.[2]

FC Barcelona had a successful start in regional and national cups, competing in the Campionat de Catalunya and the Copa del Rey. In 1902, the club won its first trophy, the Copa Macaya, and participated in the first Copa del Rey, losing 1–2 to Bizcaya in the final.[3] Gamper became club president in 1908, the club in financial difficulty after not winning a competition since the Campionat de Catalunya in 1905. Club president on five separate occasions between 1908 and 1925, he spent 25 years in total at the helm. One of his main achievements was ensuring Barça acquire its own stadium and thus generate a stable income.[4]

On 14 March 1909, the team moved into the Camp de la Indústria, a larger stadium with a seating capacity of 8,000 people. From 1910 to 1914 Barcelona participated in the Pyrenees Cup, which consisted of the best teams of Languedoc, Midi, Aquitaine (Southern France), the Basque Country, and Catalonia. At that time it was considered the finest competition open for participation.[5][6] During the same period, the club changed its official language from Castilian to Catalan and gradually evolved into an important symbol of Catalan identity. For many fans, supporting the club had less to do with the game itself and more with being a part of the club's collective identity.[7]

Gamper launched a campaign to recruit more club members, and by 1922 the club had over 20,000 members and was able to finance a new stadium. The club to moved to the new Les Corts, inaugurated the same year.[8] Les Corts had an initial capacity of 22,000, which was later expanded to 60,000.[9] Jack Greenwell was recruited as the first full-time manager, and the club's fortunes began to improve on the field. During the Gamper era, FC Barcelona won eleven Campionat de Catalunya, six Copas del Rey, and four Pyrenees Cups, its first "golden age"

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