Now I’m no political expert, to be honest I’m far from it but the current goings on in Catalonia are certainly interesting on a number of levels. Not only from a geopolitical level but more importantly where I am concerned on a footballing level.
To be honest no one really knows what ultimately the fallout will be in terms of Catalonia declaring independence from Spain but it could have seismic reprecussions for the jewel in it’s crown, that of course being the team of FC Barcelona.
If independence in some shape or form does go ahead then La Liga could be left with something resembling a very hot political potato. Just exactly what would you do with Barcelona in terms of them being a sporting entity in Spain’s top division.
The cynic in me would say that Real Madrid would love nothing more than to have their perennial arch rivals expunged from the competition giving them an almost free crack at winning the title each season, but at the same time sport needs rivalries such as this.
You only have to look at Celtic to see what happened to Scottish Football once Rangers were sent packing to the Third Division and had to start all over again. Without a sporting nemesis life becomes very boring and results in Pyrrhic victories.
But say Barcelona were expelled or perhaps decide to cut a lone furrow (by extension the same could be said for Espanyol and Girona but let’s just work with the biggest club for the purpose of this article) where exactly would they end up.
There could be a Catalan league but the disparity in quality of the clubs would be almost laughable and it would not be the best use of the talents that Barcelona have on offer. They could however look to Monaco as their inspiration as to where to go next.
Monaco is obviously far to small to have it’s own league, the same could be said about Liechtenstein also. Hence that is why the former play in France while the clubs from the latter ply their trade in the Swiss league system with Vaduz being the biggest name of the lot.
So there is the possibility where Barcelona could create something of a gold rush and but themselves out to the highest bidder. If they were to transfer their registration to the French Leagues that would give Ligue 1 a real shot in the arm.
Imagine the scene, Neymar makes a big money move to PSG to get away from Lionel Messi only to then have to go up against his former teammate. I doubt the Brazilian would be too happy at the prospect of then being pipped to the title by the club he used to play for.
Logistically Ligue 1 would make the most sense in terms of Barcelona’s new home but that is not to say that the other big leagues would not be interested. In what are relative one horses races (although perhaps not on the early evidence this season) the Bundesliga and Serie A would love nothing more than a bit of competition.
But it is the real jewel in the crown which could make the biggest bid for Barcelona. Imagine an open market for Barcelona to join and the Premier League offer a membership, that could be the most sensational result of all this independence.
We’ve long joked about whether or not Lionel Messi can do it on a cold wet night at Stoke, we could very well have the answer if the Premier League were willing to open their doors. To be honest with the potential business it would be generate they would stupid not to.
How best to evolve your product without the risk of losing clubs to a European Super League then by offering an olive branch to a team without a competition called home. Forget Celtic and Rangers joining the English top flight this is where the money would be.
The caveat to this is that it is all conjecture and these are just ideas off the top of my head. So please don’t come back to me and say this is nonsense as I am already in the realm of fantasy as it is, that said it certainly does raise an interesting topic. We will have to see how this one pans out after the weeks and months to come.