Madrid president cannot imagine La Liga without Barca
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez insists he cannot imagine “Spain without Catalonia nor La Liga without Barcelona” but has admitted concern at the political crisis sweeping Spain amid Catalonia’s drive for independence.
“There are hypotheticals that I do not consider. I am not considering a Spain without Catalonia nor La Liga without Barcelona,” the Real president for nearly 15 years over two spells told online newspaper El Espanol on Wednesday.
“Obviously it worries me like everyone else, but I can offer little assistance.
“I trust the government and the parties that back the constitution that have united to solve the problem in the best possible way.”
Spain has been shrouded in uncertainty since an independence referendum called by pro-separatist parties — and deemed illegal by the Spanish government — on October 1 was marred by a violent crackdown on people trying to vote.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, and the Barcelona Football Club have backed the region’s right to self-determination, but stopped short of supporting independence.
La Liga president Javier Tebas announced on Tuesday that he has delayed putting future international TV rights out to tender due to the uncertainty.
According to Tebas, the TV rights are likely to lose 20 to 25 percent of their value should Barca leave La Liga.
However, Barca have stressed their desire to remain in the Spanish league.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has also expressed his wish for La Liga not to lose the world-famous Real-Barca rivalry.
El Clasico clashes between the two are routinely the most watched matches around the world, attracting a reported audience of 650 million.