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Elche relegated due to unpaid tax debts, Eibar remain in Primera

As threatened/mooted for some time now.

Elche fans at El Madrigal
Elche fans at El Madrigal
siempre riquelme

Elche may have finished 13th in the table, but they will not be playing in the Primera next season, unless they successfully appeal today's "administrative relegation".

FourFourTwo reported: A La Liga statement said:  "Following the ruling issued by the judge appointed to look into the case, the social discipline judge has agreed to impose upon Elche CF the sanction of relegation from La Liga in view of the recidivism in the case, given that the club had been sanctioned both last season and this season as a result of serious infractions committed, in accordance with La Liga's Law of Sport and Company Statutes.

"Likewise, the above-mentioned ruling carries an added penalty for Elche CF, in the form of a fine amounting to 180,303.63 euros.

"For this purpose, the ruling states that, at present, Elche CF has liquid, overdue, and payable debt owed to the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT). This debt that has not been paid, deferred, or secured, as shown by the State Tax Administration Agency."

Elche has continually missed various deadlines to pay the several million euros they owe the taxman.  When Juan Angeix took over as President of the club in April he promised the debt would be paid, but has been unable to raise capital to do so.  He has offered a letter of credit or bank guarantee some kind, and has stated "100% of the debt would be secured and would be paid on July 28", but, perhaps understandably in view of all the earlier missed deadlines, the tax authorities have said "show me the money" and Elche has not.

The real losers in this are of course the fans, some 25,000 of whom bought season tickets last season and supported their team marvelously throughout the campaign.  Elche and Villarreal were developing quite a rivalry, too, and it will be sad to see that end.

Elche's problems may not yet be over, either--their players and staff are owed money, and a further relegation to Segunda B is possible.