This would leave La Liga without El Clasico and would decrease the TV value of the world’s second most valuable football competition after the English Premier League. Catalan football teams would also miss one of their largest sources of income.
However, according to Spain’s sports law, only Spanish teams will be allowed to play in a Spanish competition, with the only exception being Andorra. In fact, the Fútbol Club Andorra is currently playing in Spain’s fifth division, so a change in the law could allow a team from an independent Catalan Republic to continue playing in La Liga. The final ball is therefore in the court of politicians and lawmakers.
FC Barcelona has avoided taking a strong position in the recent events in Catalonia and has repeatedly stated that it intends to continue to play in La Liga. For Messi’s team, leaving the Spanish competition would mean losing €140 million per season purely through broadcasting rights (according to 2016 figures).
Not only that, Espanyol and Girona, which also play in La Liga would also miss out on an important source of income for them and the Catalan football federation. Girona has just move up from the second division, but Espanyol invoiced €50 million through TV rights last summer.
Last but not least, El Clásico is La Liga’s most coveted product. Reaching 100 countries and a having a potential audience of over 600 million viewers, the FC Barcelona vs. Real Madrid game represents a big part of La Liga’s TV value.
The organisation’s president, Javier Tebas, who is an active supporter of the anti-independence movement, has already stated that FC Barcelona and the rest of Catalan clubs won’t play in La Liga if Spain and Catalonia become two separate states.