Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has had his say on the possibility of Barcelona leaving La Liga and joining the Premier League, following growing unrest in Catalonia.
The Catalans held a referendum this weekend to determine their right to an independent statehood which was met with strong opposition from the Spanish government. More than 300 people were injured as the Spanish police launched their assault on voters. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont announced on Monday that the region had won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic with nearly 90% voting for secession.
Now, if this indeed happens, Barcelona are likely to be ousted from La Liga and play their football elsewhere. Ligue 1 and the Premier League are touted as alternatives but Wenger does not seem to be quite fond of the idea that he could possibly compete with the Catalan giants for the league title.
“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,” he said.
“It is interesting and there will be incidents on the sporting side as Barcelona are a highly political club.”
Wenger added that if the Premier League was to invite clubs from outside of England, Scottish clubs should be on the very top of the list.
“I think it will be interesting to see how they respond in the championship,” he said.
“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.”
Despite the riots in Barcelona last weekend, Ernesto Valverde’s men won 3-0 against Las Palmas in a game that was played behind closed doors at the Nou Camp.