The Catalan Independence referendum, which took place on Sunday, reportedly ended with around 90% of voters choosing to break away from Spain. Catalonia has been part of Spain since when, back in the 15th Century, King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella married and united their kingdoms to form what is now Spain.
However, the region has had far from a smooth relationship with the rest of Spain. It has its own language and flag, and many residents have always been in favour of independence, as we saw in Sunday’s referendum results.
Catalonia’s independence will, undoubtedly, send ripples through not only the political landscape of Europe but European football. FC Barcelona, Spain’s second most successful football team of all time (behind only Real Madrid), has been known to be very pro-independence, and have often clashed with the pro-union league authorities, and, for that matter, Real Madrid.
Supposedly, should Catalonia become independent from Spain, which is looking increasingly likely, all of the Catalan Football sides would be forced to leave the Spanish league. Seeing as Girona and RCD Espanyol (the pro-union club in Barcelona) are the only other two sides which could cause any sort of a threat to Barcelona, with maybe the inclusion of Real Sociedad, who were members of the original football association of Catalonia, I would struggle to see any form of Catalan League include Barcelona for any long stretch of time.
Hence, that would mean Barcelona would face having to find a new league to compete in. There have been rumours that they could enter the French Ligue 1 to compete with Monaco and PSG, or maybe the Portuguese Primeira Liga, and even some have said that the Premier League could be an option.
However, I can’t really see the Premier League as a viable option. Away trips from Newcastle to Barcelona won’t be the most appealing, seeing as fans of Northern sides already complain about a trip to Bournemouth. The French league does seem, at least to me, like a possible option, as they already have a successful side from a different country in their ranks in Monaco.
However, I think the most likely outcome would be for Barcelona to strike a deal with La Liga and to remain in their current league. Their fiery relationship with Real Madrid creates one of the world’s greatest matchups in El Classico, and neither La Liga, Barcelona or Real Madrid will want to lose the advertising and publicity they gain from it.
El Classico is always a feisty affair
But independence from Spain could mean more than just a change of league. Players who already play for the club could be inclined to leave, and, with the loss of Neymar already causing problems, life without more of their illustrious squad could be a hugely difficult time. There has been talk of Pique, Suarez and even Messi searching for pastures new, and I’m sure that should they be serious about a move there will be no lack of potential suitors.
And without their world-class superstars, iconic ‘El Classico’ battle twice each year or their familiar league and style you can’t help but wonder what would come of FC Barcelona should they leave La Liga.
So what do you think of the Predicament Barcelona are in? Which league do you think they would join should they leave La Liga, and how will they fare? Leave your opinion in the comments below.
On a side note, once again, huge apologies for the lack of posts recently, I took my final exam yesterday so I’m sure things will be back to normal in no time. I do have some hugely exciting things lined up, working with some hugely exciting people, so I can’t wait to share that with you. There will be a post out tomorrow, and one again on Sunday, which will be the general weekend’s football overview.
If you enjoyed the post then please leave a like, leave any comments, queries and question in the comments below. If you want to see more from ‘In The Dugout’ and be told first when I post new content you can follow the site, just enter your Email into the widget above and it’s all done!