Today's Segunda Division results might not look terribly exciting (lots of 1-1 draws) but if you're a fan of little Basque club Eibar, this is a day to remember.
Despite going a man down near the end, Eibar defeated Alaves 1-0, giving them 67 points on the season. That proved to be enough to gain automatic promotion, because Murcia could only draw at home to Zaragoza, so have 60, and Las Palmas blew a two-goal lead at home and lost to Recre, 3-2, so are on 60 points as well. Eibar currently lead the table, too, because Depor went down to Numancia so remain on 66 points.
Eibar become the sixth club to ascend from the Segunda B to the Primera in two years. The last was Granada (2011), which made it through the playoffs; others were Almeria (1979), Celta (1982), Albacete (1991), Salamanca (1995) and Malaga (1999).
Here is some information on Eibar's Ipurua ground, which holds only 5000. You thought Mirandés's stadium was small?
Eibar will become the smallest town (population 28,000) to have a Priméra team ever (Vila-real, near 50,000, had the old record) but, as mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there is a big IF. Eibar must, through no fault of their own, raise over €1.5 million in share capital or they will not only miss out on promotion, they will be demoted all the way to the Segunda B. Sid Lowe details the story here.
Of course, the club might need that capital a little more now that they could be trying to compete with other Primera clubs for loan players and have to pay Primera salaries. Elche did that this year and barely stayed up, on gates of 25,000. Whether Eibar can do it on the miniscule TV revenues they will get, and attendances of 5,000, I have no idea. But they certainly deserve the chance.
That Sid Lowe article mentions some pretty well-known guys who have come through Eibar--David Silva, Xabi Alonso, ex-Villarreal man Joseba Llorente. Here's hoping one or more of these guys can come through with some financial support.
At the moment, they've raised just over €650,000, with slightly more than €1m still to go. You can follow their success here.
In other promotion news:
To the Segunda B: Racing Santander (now free of Ali Syed!), Albacete.
Still in with a chance (2 of these will go up):
La Hoya Lorca (the broccoli boys), Real Aviles, Lleida Esportiu, Leganes, Nastic Tarragona, L'Hospitalet, Sestao River, Llagostera.
Valencia B and Atletico Madrid B won their playoffs to remain in the Segunda B.
Promotion from Tercera to Segunda B is in progress, but it's not worth going through it at this point!E