With the recent political events in Spain, many fans, pundits and even players have taken a few moments to ask what exactly would happen if Catalonia was to get it’s independence. What would it mean in terms of Barcelona? And what would it mean for La Liga?
The truth is that it’s a very, very complicated situation in Catalonia politically. At the moment it doesn’t look likely, but if Catalonia was to break away from Spain, there would have to be amendments to the country’s sporting laws.
Article 32 of Spanish sporting law states that any club that wants to participate in any “Official competitive sporting activities at state level has to to be integrated within the corresponding Spanish sporting federations.”
All clubs in Catalonia would have to leave La Liga. This wouldn’t really do anyone any favours.
El Clásico, the heated rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona gets an estimated television audience of 650 million people worldwide whenever the two sides meet. If that was to disappear overnight, that would create a sporting and financial hole for the La Liga bosses.
Apart from Barcelona, a Catalan league would consist of teams such as Espanyol, Girona, Tarragona, Reus, Sabadell and Barcelona’s and Espanyol’s reserves. This wouldn’t make it the most exciting or competitive league with the power FC Barcelona have in the region.
“I cannot imagine the Spanish Liga without Barcelona,” Real boss Zinedine Zidane even said. “I just can’t see it as a fan of football and of sport in general.”
The situation here in Catalonia is tense and that will have to be resolved – despite many pro-independence supporters dispute Spanish ownership on what they consider non-Spanish soil.
It might be some time before that cools down – and for some it never will until Catalonia becomes an official republic.
All eyes will be on the next El Clásico on December 23rd.
Follow Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)