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3 Oct 2017

Barcelona President Confirms La Liga Exit a Possibility over Catalan Independence

Josep Maria Bartomeu has acknowledged the possibility of leaving the league should the region gain independence from Spain.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says the club would have to discuss the possibility of leaving La Liga if Catalonia gained independence from Spain.

A Catalan independence referendum, which has been deemed illegal, was marred by violence on Sunday, with Barca forced to play a 3-0 win over Las Palmas behind closed doors at the Camp Nou.

Bartomeu said Barca's future in La Liga would need to be discussed if Catalonia ever gained independence.

"This situation does not exist so far," he said on Monday.

"But with regards to things that can happen in the future, it is something that the board of directors would discuss. It would be something to analyse calmly.

"If we discuss the subject intensely then obviously we will find the best solution. But if this [independence] happens, the board of directors will see."

Catalonia's sport minister, Gerard Figueras, has suggested that Barca could play in the Premier League if the region secedes from Spain, citing Swansea City as an example of a club from a different country playing in England's top-flight.

“In the case of independence, Catalan teams in La Liga – Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona – will have to decide where they want to play: in the Spanish league or a neighbouring country like Italy, France or the Premier League,”said Figueras.

“Now in Spain there teams from other countries who play in national leagues: clubs from Andorra in football and basketball.

“Monaco play in France, in England Welsh clubs. I don't think that Uefa has anything against seeing another club play in a different league from their country.”

Barcelona are 24-time La Liga champions, trailing only rivals Real Madrid (33).

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