Barcelona are without doubt one of the biggest clubs in the world, and massively contribute to the reputation and quality of La Liga itself.
By Conor Carroll – @mrstability
As well as that, they allow Spain to seriously compete on the continent alongside Real Madrid (and Atletico to a lesser extent) while Espanyol continue to be one of the top-flight’s ever-presents.
The ruling involved states that only one club from a non-Spanish nation can play in La Liga – Andorra being this nation. So with the introduction of free Catalunya what will become of the two clubs plying their trade in Spain’s premier football competition?
It’s being suggested that they could find themselves in Ligue 1 (or at least in French competition) amongst the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco. But would teams like Lyon and Marseille, who regularly compete at the top of end of French football, welcome a new powerful enemy like Barca? Who would drop out of the top-tier to make way for them and Espanyol? No-one!
I’m not suggesting for a second that Spanish football would seriously risk losing both teams if Catalonia did say yes to independence but there must be considerable worry about limbo period to follow.
Players, staff, fans and the club don’t know what to expect. What would happen to the El Clasico if Barca were to leave the country or fold altogether?
Atletico may be the current title holders but the Spanish duopoly consisting of Barca and Real may be a thing of the past regardless of whether Diego Simeone can keep performing miracles. Nobody is really capable of replacing everything that comes with the Catalan giants.
The league would suffer from a lack of competition, the teams would too and the footballing world would be at a loss as the city’s finest are impacted by their own fans’ desire for separation from the Spanish government.
Ultimately, I believe that while the Spanish national team could have more serious problems – the league can be saved. Both teams are in with the furniture of La Liga and that’s something the football association can’t afford to compromise.
Besides, can Catalans really expect to form their own football league? No chance.