Catalonia crisis: The potential La Liga fallout if push comes to shove Q&A
Which La Liga clubs are affected?
As well as Barcelona, there are two other Catalan clubs — Espanyol and Girona — in La Liga and three more, including Barca’s B team, in the second division.
Could Catalans continue in La Liga?
La Liga president Javier Tebas has repeatedly insisted Catalan teams would not be allowed to continue in La Liga after independence.
“If the rebellion succeeds, we will work for a league without Barcelona,” Tebas told BEIN Sports recently.
Tebas’s reasoning is that Spain’s sports law only allows teams from Spain and Andorra to participate in Spanish leagues.
However, a change in legislation could allow Catalan teams to continue and many believe Tebas’s hardline stance could soften should independence be established, not least due to the economic blow that losing Barca could have for La Liga. “Barca-real Madrid is a very attractive product. Trying to destroy that would be an error on the part of the government, La Liga or the Federation,” former Barca president and pro-independence campaigner Joan Laporta told a conference last month.
Could Barca play in other leagues?
The examples of Monaco in Ligue 1 or Welsh side Swansea City in the Premier League have led to rumours Barca could turn to one of Europe’s other top leagues if they are shut out of La Liga.
However, the prospect of clubs in England or France voting for the inclusion of a powerhouse like Barca remains remote. Any Catalan league would also need UEFA recognition to gain entry to competitions such as the Champions League. Faced with a series of unenticing options, Barca could also use their sporting and financial muscle to try and convince some of Europe’s other top clubs to form a breakaway league.
What would the economic impact be?
In an interview with AFP in 2015, Tebas described Barca’s rivalry with Real Madrid as La Liga’s “crown jewels”. El Clasico is regularly the most watched match around the world and a huge boost to La Liga’s near €1.8bn TV revenue for the 2016/17 season. According to Jose María Gay de Liebana, professor of economics at Barcelona University, Barca’s departure would see a “minimum of €200m” wiped off La Liga’s TV income. Barcelona itself expects to make a record €897m this season, nearly a quarter of which comes from La Liga TV deals.
What are Barca’s contingency plans?
Barca have tried to walk a political tightrope by coming out in favour of Catalonia’s right to self-determination, but stopping short of backing independence.
A Barca spokesperson said the club would “consult its members” if independence came to pass.