The international break this time has heated up more than ever, with teams giving a final push to enter next year’s world cup. But the political tensions between Madrid and Barcelona have heated things up within Spain. The Catalan referendum scheduled on Sunday was crushed by Spanish forces as a myriad of people not allowed to vote, forcing Barcelona to play in a closed-door encounter against Las Palmas at the Camp Nou. Barcelona star Gerard Pique, who is a supporter of Catalan freedom had expressed his thoughts over the crushed referendum. He also stated that he is ready to quit Spain national team if the situation so requires. FC Barcelona came out in the Catalan colors while warming up before the game to showcase their support for the freedom struggle.
Bartomeu cites a possibility of leaving La Liga
Club president Bartomeu confirmed a possibility of Barcelona leaving the La Liga in the situation of Catalan independence. He said that the possibility of the Catalan giants in the Spanish league would be a subject of contemplation if Catalonia gains independence. As of now, such a situation doesn’t exist and Bartomeu spoke about any such possibility in case of any future event.
“But with regards to things that can happen in the future, it is something that the board of directors would discuss. It would be something to analyze calmly.
“If we discuss the subject intensely then obviously we will find the best solution. But if this [independence] happens, the board of directors will see.”
Earlier there was speculation that Barcelona might enter the Premier League. The Catalan Minister of Sports had fueled the fire to such a speculation as he took Swansea City as an example. “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 neighboring country like Italy, France or the Premier League,” said Figueras, the sports minister. He also added that clubs from Andorra also play in the Spanish leagues as allowed by La Liga. He was also confident of the fact that UEFA would not have any issues regarding the same. He said, “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.”
“I’d try to learn Catalan!” -Wenger
Arsenal manager who has some terrible memories against Barcelona considered them moving to England as an interesting prospect. Wenger who lost the Champions League final to Barcelona alarmed everyone that their arrival would make things difficult for everyone. Wenger made the following statement on any such prospect.
“If Barcelona want to join the Premier League, it makes things even more difficult for everybody. But I don’t think they have gotten as far as that.
“It is interesting and there will be incidents on the sporting side as Barcelona are a highly political club.
“I think it will be interesting to see how they respond in the championship.”
Wenger though did not completely object the Catalan club’s entry to the English top flight but considered that the Scottish clubs could be given a go first. The Welsh teams are already a part of the English system and Wenger cited that clubs like Celtic and Rangers should be invited before the Spanish teams.
“We have enough clubs here with 20 but if you want to go up to 24, we have to invite the Scottish clubs before we go for the Spanish.”
The Catalan demands have been in prominence for a long period now. This is not the first time that Barcelona have been linked to another league. They have been constantly linked to Ligue 1 and Serie A in the past. While the Premier League sounds exciting on the cost of the El Clasico, Wenger’s stand also has its own importance. While Welsh sides play in English league, Scotland has its own league. Voices were raised in Scotland for Celtic to join the Premier League for enhanced competitiveness. Celtic have established a complete monopoly in Scotland with other teams far from their level, while they continue to struggle in Europe. Now it is interesting to see if the Catalan or Scottish clubs join the English top flight or it continues with the existing system.