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May 05, 2020

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“Duty to the community”: The Spanish fan-owned football club helping local health services tackle Covid-19

Following the launch of the #FansVsCovid19 interactive map last week, we bring an in focus look at the efforts of one of Spain’s member-run football clubs…

We spoke to Ulises Illán, Secretary of CAP Ciudad de Murcia, about how the football club is helping its community through the pandemic.



CAP Ciudad de Murcia compete in Spain’s Terrace División (4th tier of football). The club was founded by its supporters in 2010 after the original Ciudad de Murcia was dissolved. Ulises explains “so we created a fan-owned club. Now our club is more humble but we are proud to be an inclusive club which has teams for people with disabilities, several women’s teams, a team for refugees and even a Subbuteo team that plays in Europe.” The football club is a member of FASFE, the national supporters organisation in Spain.

CAP Ciudad de Murcia is at the spearhead of the “fútbol popular” movement in Spain alongside other fan-owned and member-run clubs such as Unionistas de Salamanca CF and Xerez Deportivo FC. The “fútbol popular” movement is about more football clubs in Spain becoming equally owned and democratically run by their supporters.



Ulises shared that the situation in Murcia is moderate compared with other parts of the country, “the situation in the Region of Murcia, compared to the rest of Spain, could be said to be good. Here 112 people have died and in the rest of Spain, however, thousands more have died. We have the lowest average death rate in the country. Despite this, we are very concerned about the people of our country, Europe and other continents. Spaniards in general are very aware, united and obeying the Government’s guidance.”

CAP Ciudad de Murcia supported its local people by donating partitions to local health services and small businesses to allow their staff to work more safely. “Through our foundation, we got in contact with a sponsor of the club and thanks to his effort we have distributed 350 sanitary partitions free of charge. For hospitals, pharmacies, police stations and small businesses with little money”.



When asked why the football club decided to do this, Ulises offered “It is about duty to the community. We are always doing things for our community, trying to open football to people, helping minority groups and people without economic resources to enjoy sports. With our ability to do things, crossing our arms and doing nothing would have been unforgivable. Also, the feedback people give you when they’re helped is worth more than money. It is very comforting.”

As all will agree it is impressive to see a fan-owned football with limited resources utilising its contacts and network to offer support to local health services and small businesses, particularly in times when every cent counts. CAP Ciudad de Murcia provides a strong example of the active citizenship that comes as a direct result of the values embedded in fan-owned or member-run football clubs. 

SD Europe would like to sincerely thank CAP Ciudad de Murica and Ulises Illán.

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