Barca Academy shuts shop in India, Gloom, Bloom or meh?

India is often acknowledged as the sleeping giant in the world of football, a nation with great potential ready to be tapped and burst onto both club and international football big time. One reason for this optimism is that there is already an established following of football in the country especially European football more so of the major clubs with FC Barcelona being one of them. When the said club in question decides to run their grassroots program in said country you can make a safe assumption that the only way is up. But that is not to be in this case as after about 1 and a half decade of operations across major metropolitan cities within the sub-continent, they have decided to pack their bags and part ways with their local partners.

Barca Academy shuts shop in India, Gloom, Bloom or meh?
Credits - FC Barcelona 


The Introduction of an institution under which the famed La Masia operates was indeed a positive sign as is indeed for anyone exposed to this school of football where local talents ranging from players, coaches, administrators, sports management stakeholders got to learn a lot. Even though many might have parted ways during their long haul, the knowledge and experience they took with them certainly helped wherever they went next. They were relatively expensive for many, there was still a healthy demand which clearly showed that the locals who had the capacity had the intent to invest within the project and there was indeed a market for same. 


The withdrawal of FC Barcelona Academy is a clear indicator that they believe that aligning their brand and expertise has borne them the desired results for them as the local partners would continue to operate even after their disassociation. A critique of their academy was that it was merely a money minting exercise and did very little for the actual talent pool on ground level and there have not been any noticeable graduates in the senior game from any of their centers. There was also allegedly no progression pathway for the talents who went there thus the project did not have an end goal to focus towards. Also, most of the on ground faculty as per sources was Indian only without any significant input being put in to upskill these backroom staff by the Spanish giants who has been accused of only being present on paper for the sake of their name.

Meh !

Something to take note is that there is no formal reason provided for their decision and  this clearly indicates a lack of transparency from their end even though they are completely entitled to not provide any statement but it does raise certain questions as well as conspiracies. The word doing rounds is that Conscient will continue to exist under a new brand which seems to indicate that there is something else that we do not know that has lead to the exit of  FC Barcelona from India. This is such as shame considering how promising it was when it was first launched. One can only hope that this parting of ways turns out to be best for both the parties and above all, Indian Football.  

Cover Credits - FC Barcelona Official 

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