Bartomeu offers assurances over Barcelona's La Liga status

The prospect of Catalonia becoming an independent state will not threaten Barcelona's place in La Liga, says president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has assured members that the club will not leave La Liga in the event of Catalan independence.

The volatile political situation in Barca's home region on the back of its October 1 referendum has raised questions over whether one of the Spanish top flight's iconic mainstays would be able to remain in the competition if Catalonia becomes an independent state.

La Liga president Javier Tebas said Barcelona would be barred under such a turn of events, while Catalan sports minister Gerard Figueras claims the status of the region's professional clubs under independence would be "the great unknown".

However, Jaume Roures of La Liga's international rights holder Mediapro told the World Football Summit this week that he "cannot conceive the possibility of La Liga without Barcelona and Real Madrid" and Bartomeu was similarly unswerving when addressing the club's annual general meeting.

"You can be sure that this board will always act in the club's defence," he said. "We will never put the club, nor its presence in any competition, at risk.

"That's why, to all the club's members, I say that we want to continue playing in La Liga and, as of today, our participation [in La Liga] is guaranteed.

"It's mutually beneficial for La Liga and Barcelona for that link to continue."

Barcelona confirmed a record revenue prediction of €897million for the current campaign and Bartomeu offered an update on negotiations for a naming sponsor at Camp Nou.

"The renovation of Camp Nou is essential to achieve new income for the club," he added, with Barca having enlisted North American company Van Wagner to assist with the search for a naming-rights sponsor as part of its Espai Barca project.

"In that regard, negotiations to find a company to sponsor the stadium are going well."

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