On October 27, the Catalan government officially voted to declare independence from Spain, though the Spanish parliament was quick to approve direct rule over the region.
The Catalan government said that out of the 43 per cent of voters who took part, 90pc were in favour of independence, but Spain’s Constitutional Court had ruled the vote illegal.
With the referendum taking place under a shroud of controversy, questions have been raised over regarding the position of La Liga.
What will happen to La Liga?
Could this be the last of football’s most popular fixture, the El Clasico, where the giants Real Madrid and Barcelona go head to head?
It is not yet certain what exactly will happen to La Liga or the Catalan clubs Barcelona, Espanyol, Girnona and others, but there are number of scenarios which could transpire.
It would be impossible to imagine La Liga without Barcelona, but this option is still on the cards La Liga’s President Javier Tebas, in an interview with Marca said: “In sport, it isn’t a la carte and things must be clearly stated,”
Tebas further told Marca. “It isn’t easy to have an agreement and study Spanish legislation, but if they (Catalan clubs) do get that, then they will not be able to play in Spain’s La Liga, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.”
Real Madrid coach Zidane is against the idea of La Liga without Barcelona. In an interview, the former French great said: “A league without Barcelona? No I don’t want that.”
Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed that the club wishes to continue playing in La Liga, even if Catalonia is granted independence from Spain.
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez also insisted that he cannot imagine “Spain without Catalonia nor La Liga without Barcelona”.
If La Liga and Barcelona do part ways, this would be a great loss for for the league.
El Clasico generates more than $40 million of revenue for sponsors according to Forbes. Considering the financial repercussions associated with the enforced removal of Catalan clubs from La Liga – it could mean that a compromise could be reached that benefits all parties involved.
As there are a number of Catalan clubs playing in the league, creating a league of their own is an option which could be considered. Though this would mean a new country coefficient and could result in the Catalan clubs playing qualification rounds for competitions such as Champions and Europa league.
If forming a league is not considered as an option, Catalan clubs could move other leagues such as France, Italy or even England.
In 2015, former prime minister of France Manuel Valls welcomed the prospect of Barcelona playing in France Ligue 1.
There are a number of clubs around the world which are based in a country but play in another league, such as AS Monaco, Swansea and Cardiff.
Another possible option involves Barcelona moving to the Premier League.
The Premier League of England is considered to be the most watched and the richest league in the world. It would be mouthwatering to see Barcelona competing with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United in the league.
The possibility of moving to another league is still an option to be considered, as it has to be accepted by all regularity authorities such as LFP, UEFA and FIFA.
Even the move is accepted by the regularity authorities, fans and club have the right to contest.
La Liga needs both Real Madrid and Barcelona, the rivalry between the clubs is what makes the league so exciting. What will happen to La Liga remains to be seen, a league without one of its star attraction could mean the Spanish league losing a significant number of viewers.