The newspaper was founded on 23 April 1976, (Saint George's day, a symbolic holiday in Catalonia). It initially relied on the subscriptions of thousands of Catalans for financial support. It soon went into financial problems and changed ownership. A partnership of two publishers along with the Catalan regional government itself took over in order to avoid imminent bankruptcy. Then it went to change hands again in 2009, being bought by its rival El Punt.
The Catalan government subsidises with important amounts those Catalan newspapers with at least one Catalan language edition. In 2008 Avui was only second to El Punt in terms of circulation/funds granted, having received almost 1.5 million euros that amounted to 48.9 euros per newspaper sold.