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Catalan independence puts Barcelona future in jeopardy - La Liga chief

Catalan independence puts Barcelona future in jeopardy - La Liga chief
From ESPN - September 8, 2017

Catalan clubs like Barcelona will not be allowed to play in La Liga if Catalonia goes ahead with its independence process,league president Javier Tebas says.

A contentious referendum planned for Oct. 1 could see the region in northeastern Spain unilaterally break away from the rest of the country.

Tebas said that a deal to keep Barcelona,Espanyol and Girona in La Liga would not be as simple as most people may think, and the club would be stuck playing in a Catalan league which he believes "would not be much better than the Dutch league or something like that."

And Tebas, an outspoken critic of the independence move, said Barcelona would not earn as much from television rights away from the Spanish league and "certainly wo not remain one of the top clubs in Europe."

"I am concerned about Barcelona's future if the independence happens," said Tebas, who is often criticised by Barcelona fans and players for taking what they call pro-Real Madrid stances in many issues.

"I was surprised by comments that said Barcelona would be allowed to choose where to play," he added. "It must be clearly said that that's not the case. It wo not be so easy to reach a deal. Spanish legislation must be looked at."

Barcelona would not be affected as much if the independence were to happen through an agreement with the Spanish government, but things will be more complicated if the breakaway comes through the scenario currently in place.

Regional leaders in Catalonia defied the Spanish government earlier this week when they called for a binding referendum to decide whether the region should become a new republic. Spain's constitutional court ordered the referendum suspended, but the Catalonia leaders said the vote will go ahead anyway.

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