“Few institutions, sporting or otherwise, have been able to match the aura and mystique that FC Barcelona as a football club exude. Even if the team is doing badly, as it has done for long spells in its history, Barca has still always been symbolic with Protest Football - be it during Franco's reign where it became a potent symbol of Catalan identity to the incident in March 2002, when anti-capitalists protesting the WTO, stormed the Nou Camp pitch during a Barca-Real Madrid game. If ever there was an anti-capitalist entity sitting among the world's elite, it was Barcelona, or so it was perceived by people not even footballing. So what better place to showcase your ire, then, than in its backyard - with the whole world watching.
That this could happen at any other venue, with any other club is slightly unimaginable, for even if Manchester United's supporters showing their protest against Malcolm Glazer's advances at Old Trafford is heartening, it is a direct reaction to something that is likely to affect them and not so much an instance of lending the world's richest club to an issue totally outside soccer's purview.