The Spanish Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected Elche’s appeals and ruled that it must be relegated from the Primera Liga of La Liga to the second division due to non-payment of taxes and wages to players. Elche, which finished the season in 13th place, will be replaced by Eibar, which gets a reprieve having finished third from bottom.
Last Monday, the CAS upheld the previous decision by the league to relegate Elche due to its debts with Spain’s tax office and its own staff. The Spanish league had in June ruled that Elche should go down given that it was the second consecutive year that the club had failed to pay its taxes. The club though is still pursuing legal action through Spain’s regular courts, with a case being put forward before the National Court that Elche has been unfairly discriminated against, with the La Liga president, Javier Tebas, being sued for “prevarication”.
But the problems may get even worse for the Ilicitanos. Due to a debt they have with the AFE (the Spanish Players’ Association), they could still be relegated to Segunda B, the third tier of Spanish football. That may well happen if they are unable to come up with the seven million euros they owe their players, In the case that they don’t find the money and they are relegated again, one of the teams who went down last season, Racing Santander, Recreativo Huelva, Sabadell and Barça B, could occupy their place in Segunda A if they deposit the cash that Elche owe the AFE.