Josep Maria Bartomeu: 'Barcelona want to continue playing in La Liga'

Josep Maria Bartomeu tells Barcelona's annual general meeting that the club wish to continue playing in La Liga even if Catalonia secedes from Spain.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed that the club wish to continue playing in La Liga even if Catalonia secedes from Spain.

The political situation in the region is tense at present, with Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy announcing plans to sack Catalonia's regional government and curtail some of the freedoms of its parliament.

In response, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont stated that the region will not accept Madrid's plan for direct rule.

Bartomeu has previously said that the club's members would be able to help decide Barcelona's future but, speaking at the annual general meeting, the president was clear about his preferred option.

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

"That's why, to all the socios (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."

The standoff in Catalonia comes in the wake of the region's independence referendum on October 1.

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A general view of the stadium prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Celta de Vigo at Camp Nou on November 1, 2014
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