Catalan independence puts Barcelona future in jeopardy- La Liga chief

Catalan clubs like Barcelona will not be allowed to play in La Liga if Catalonia goes ahead with its independence process; league president Javier Tebas says.laliga-v-600x600

A contentious referendum planned for October 1 could see the region in northeastern Spain unilaterally break away from the rest of the country.

Tebas said that a deal to keep Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona in La Liga would not be as simple as most people may think, and the club would be stuck playing in a Catalan league which he believes “wouldn’t be much better than the Dutch league or something like that.”

Tebas, an outspoken critic of the independence move said, Barcelona would not earn as much from television rights away from the Spanish league and “certainly won’t remain one of the top clubs in Europe.”

“I’m concerned about Barcelona’s future if the independence happens,” said Tebas.

“I was surprised by comments that said Barcelona would be allowed to choose where to play,” he added. “It must be clearly said that, that’s not the case. It won’t be so easy to reach a deal. Spanish legislation must be looked at.”

Barcelona would not be affected as much if the independence were to happen through an agreement with the Spanish government, but things will be more complicated if the breakaway comes through the scenario currently in place.

Spanish law allows only teams in the Spanish territory to play in the league; plus those from the small mountain nation of Andorra between Catalonia and France. That means Barcelona would have to win support from Spain’s government and parliament to pass new legislation giving Catalan teams an exception like Andorra’s.

WrYta Amenyoh Raphael*

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