Joan Laporta is the most famous catalan independentist. His position as president of Barça makes him without a doubt the catalan person with the greatest international projection.
Joan Carreteto, leader of Reagrupament, recently declared that “being the president of Barça is a thousand times more important position than the Catalan President” (link in catalan). Meaning that everyone in the world knows what Barça is but it is very difficult to explain abroad the exact description of the Generalitat which is currently nothing more than a Spanish regional institution. This didn’t sit well with the political establishment either. Admitting the truth always hurts.
While Spanish football club presidents don’t have any problem in reaffirming their Spanish nationalism those same people find it inappropiate that a person with the public display and responsibility of Joan Laporta declares himself openly Catalan independentist. Laporta been lately invited to several public acts related with the Catalan independence and everywhere he’s gathered great media attention. Like the protest on the Catalan National Day, september the 11th or the memorial to Lluís Companys, the Catalan President whom Franco had executed by firing squad after the Spanish Civil War.
Today he’s declared that “He’ll go into politics if Catalonia wants a leader, not a martyr” (link in Spanish) and that while he was very confident that he knew all there was to know to do an excellent job for Barça he’s not so sure about jumping into politics but he also has declared that Catalonia has gone backwards in the last few years and needs a change. Xavier Sala-i-Martín, one of the most important economists in the world and member of the Barça management, recently declared that “if Joan Laporta goes into politics he’ll do an excellent job”. (link in Catalan)
A recent poll has revealed that as of now approximately 12% of voters would give him their support (link in Catalan) even before he’s even said what he’s going to do. This hasn’t sit well with the Catalan political establishment since he would certainly be a disruptive force. There’s one certainty, whatever he does he’ll attract the media attention and he’ll keep supporting Catalonia’s independence.