Barcelona, Spain – If Catalan voters back an independence drive in Sunday's regional election then Barcelona football club may consider its options – including competing in the French league, according to city mayor Javier Trias.

Trias, who backs secession by the eastern region from crisis-hit Spain, said Saturday that the four-times European champions could continue to play on in the Spanish league or “perhaps, in the French league.”

“We do not have the possibility of a competitive league for Catalonia, population just over seven million,” said Trias.

“There would be very few teams and we would have to join another league – we could adhere to the Spanish league or perhaps the French league,” he told AFP.

Asked if the club itself had a political facet Trias noted that that had been more the case in previous years.

“Years back, in the time of the (Franco) dictatorship, the club was a reference point for everyone in Catalonia and it was said that Barca was more than a club.”

He also noted that the club “represent a particular style and way of doing things which make us proud.” – Sapa-AFP