FC Barcelona, along with two other clubs could possibly join the Premier League if the Catalonia region vote for independence from Spain this weekend.
The Catalan region are going ahead with a referendum on Sunday (October 1) despite the ruling of the Spanish Government stating it is illegal and instructed that police will be sent to seize the ballot boxes.
La Liga president Javier Tebas is quoted by The Mirror, “In sport, it isn’t a la carte and things must be clearly stated. 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.”
Should the decision be in favour of leaving Spain, there is a possibility that Barcelona could be barred from playing in the La Liga. Apart from Barcelona, Espanyol and Girono could also be dropped from the domestic league. Catalonia’s minister of sport revealed that the Premier League is a viable option.
Gerard Fiueras said, as quoted by The Sun, “In the case of independence, Catalan teams in La Liga – Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona – will have to decide where they want to play: in the Spanish league or a neighbouring country: Italy, France or the Premier League.
“Now in Spain there are teams from other countries who play in national leagues: clubs from Andorra in football and basketball. Monaco play in France, in England Welsh clubs.
“I don’t think that UEFA has anything against seeing another club play in a different league from their country.”
Popular voices including that of Barcelona and Spain defender Gerrard Pique and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiloa have spoken in favour of the referendum, which is being held among the 7.5 million population in the region.
The former Barcelona manager, who has long campaigned for independence, spoke at a rally in June and said, “We have no other option but to vote. We call on the international community to support us and on democrats the world over to help us to defend the rights that are threatened in Catalunya, such as the right of freedom of expression and the right to vote.”
Barcelona themselves released a statement last month stating, “FC Barcelona, in holding the utmost respect for its diverse body of members, will continue to support the will of the majority of Catalan people, and will do so in a civil, peaceful, and exemplary way.”