When the civil war (1936-1939) began in Spain, the Catalans started to demand recognition of their ethnicity, as well as their language, culture and history. The Catalans wanted at the beginning to achieve wide and extensive autonomy but later they demanded the establishment of Catalan state in the framework of Federal Spain. Against the single national image was FC Barcelona, representative of the Catalan nationalism. The Catalans were in favor of the regional image and not national image. They believed that each region in Spain should maintain its own customs, flags and languages. On 26th January of 1939, Franco’s soldiers entered the city of Barcelona. Later, the Catalan club was placed under fascist management after the Franco’s dignitaries applied the policy, which foresaw that the administration of Spanish football should be taken under the control of Franco’s officers. During the Franco’s regime, FC Barcelona had some restrictions such was the ban on the use of the Catalan flag in the stadium, the registration with the police of all membership files, and the obligatory use of the Spanish language in the club’s announcements. Another measure of Franco towards FC Barcelona, was that the four red bars of the Catalan flag on the coat of arms were reduced to two. By this measure, the Catalan colours were absorbed into those of the new Spanish state. The football stadium of FC Barcelona was the only place that the Franco’s regime didn’t prohibit the entrance to the Catalans. As a result the club and Nuevo Campo stadium became places of resistance against the dictatorship. In Catalonia developed intense resistance against Franco’s regime and the Catalans became members of left parties and Communist movements. (Barca: a people’s passion, Burns J., p. 97-105,122-128).
Barcelona was against the policy of Franco’s regime, which had as an aim the establishment of single Spanish identity and single Spanish nation. The club was representative of the Catalan nationalism and representative of the Catalans’ political stance for independence of Catalonia from the Spanish state. The former manager of FC Barcelona Louis Van Gaal recognized the club’s political side and what the club represents than the rest of Spain. It is a club that exists not just to play football that’s why the Catalans put the motto “more than a club”. (Spanish Identities in the European Press: The Case of Football Writing, Hand D., Crolley L., p.307, The International Journal of the History of Sport Vol. 22, No. 2, March 2005, 298 – 313, Building a Mass Activity: Fandom, Class and Business in Early Spanish Football, McFarland A., p.216, Soccer & Society Vol. 8, No. 2/3, April/July 2007, pp. 205–220)