Where will Barça, Espanyol and Girona play if Catalonia becomes independent?

Catalan clubs would likely finish the current season in Spanish competitions...

...but their futures beyond the summer of 2018 would not be clear at all

Sergio García y Leo Messi se saludan durante el último derbi Barça-Espanyol de la Liga 2017/18
Sergio García y Leo Messi se saludan durante el último derbi Barça-Espanyol de la Liga 2017/18 | Ignasi Paredes

On Tuesday everyone was waiting for the appearance of Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. Catalonia's football clubs and sporting federations were also waiting patiently for his appearance. 

What is Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona's (the three Catalan clubs in La Liga) plan in the case of an independent Catalonia? In principle, their plan is to finish the current season as normal, as said by Josep Maria Bartomeu. 

The logical outcome would be for the Catalan clubs to finish the current campaigns and then for a period of uncertainty to begin next summer. 

THE PUZZLE 

In theory, the will of an independent Catalan government would be for their clubs and federations to remain part of the Spanish federations... But here is where a legal puzzle could start. 

For example, if the Catalan Football Federation (FCF) doesn't leave the Spanish Federation (RFEF), its clubs would still be Spanish teams in effect and in principle could still compete in La Liga and the Copa del Rey. 

In contrast, if the Catalan federations break of links with their Spanish counterparts, the teams would have take part in their own domestic competitions and would lose rankings and coeffecients on a European level. Another alternative would be to join another European league. 

As for Catalan athletes, they could choose between both national teams, and if Catalonia was left outside of the European Union, those that opted for a Catalan 'sporting passport' would have non-EU status. 

THE LFP'S ATTITUDE 

But there's another factor. And it's the attitude which the Spanish sporting authorities could have. For example, the president of the LFP, Javier Tebas, says Catalan clubs would not be able to play in Spanish competitions in the case of an independent Catalonia per the league and the federations's rules. 

It's not a minor matter, given the exclusion of Catalan clubs would have huge consequences for both sides. 

El ClAsico

In addition, Barça are a mult-sports club, whose presence in various disciplines generates a huge media following, especially in football, where the Clasico between Barça and Real Madrid is a global event worth millions of euros. 

The government could also push for a modification to the law in which Catalan clubs are expressly excluded from Spanish competitions if independence is proclaimed.

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