Cat­alo­nia cri­sis: The po­ten­tial La Liga fall­out if push comes to shove Q&A

Irish Examiner - Sport - - SOCCER -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.