What is Barca’s future after Catalanio splits from Spain?

FC Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu leaves after giving a press conference at the Camp ...
FC Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu leaves after giving a press conference at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 2, 2017. Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed today two of the club's board members resigned in the wake of his decision to play a match behind closed doors after a violent crackdown by police of an independence referendum for Catalonia yesterday. / AFP PHOTO / Josep LAGO

FC Barcelona faces the possibility of an exit from La Liga after Catalan lawmakers voted Friday to declare independence from Spain.

Majority separatist lawmakers voted to declare independence from Spain and proclaim Catalonia a republic, leaving football fans all over the world perplexed over the future of Barcelona, one of country’s most prestigious and successful football clubs.

The club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, had already stated Barcelona’s board will have to consider the option of leaving the national league way before Catalonia voted to split from Spain.

Football analysts say the only way the four-time European champions can remain in the Spanish league following the secession, is if amendments are made to the country’s laws.

“The sports law and the regulations will have to be changed in the Spanish parliament for Barcelona to be accepted in the Spanish league,” Guillem Balague, Spanish football journalist, told Al Jazeera.

“There is no other way for Barcelona to be part of the league after independence.”

Madrid has vowed in turn to “restore legality” and quash the region’s secessionist bid leading some – including Catalonia sports minister Gerard Figueras – to suggest Barca could one day play in the English Premier League (EPL).

Despite the speculations of a possible move to the English top flight, experts believe the Catalan team’s top priority would be to stay in the Spanish league.

Keeping Barcelona in La Liga is also in the interest of the league and the club’s archrival, Real Madrid, said Balague.

Barcelona had repeatedly said it is not a political entity, but some players, including Gerard Pique, and former FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach, Pep Guardiola, have openly expressed their views in favor of independence.

Espanyol and Girona are other major football clubs in the region who could be affected in the aftermath of Friday’s “yes” vote in Catalonia.

The Catalan Football Federation manages a number of other smaller clubs in the region and could initiate its own league if Catalonia becomes an independent country.

Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls gave his two cents on the issue in 2015, suggesting that FC Barcelona could play their football in Ligue 1 should Catalonia gain independence from Spain.

“Monaco play in Ligue 1, so why not Barcelona?” Valls told the media.

A number of clubs across Europe do not play in their national leagues, for instance Welsh club Swansea City, which competes in the Premier League.

It is possible that FC Barcelona would be taken in by Italy’s Serie A.

-Material sourced from dw.com

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