Elche demoted due to tax debts

After two seasons in La Liga Elche will drop down to the Segunda Division as punishment for not paying tax debts.

Elche have been demoted from La Liga for failing to settle tax debts, with Eibar now set to remain in the Spanish top flight.

The Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) on Friday revealed that a judge has ruled Elche must drop down to the Segunda Division next season and pay a fine of €180,303.63.

Elche's players were not paid for long periods of the season and, despite finishing 13th, they now face up to life in the second tier once again.

A La Liga statement said: "The La Liga social discipline judge has issued a ruling on Case 28/2014-15, brought against Elche CF SAD, as a result of the aforementioned institution's debts with the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT).

"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 have spent two seasons in La Liga after being crowned Segunda Division champions in the 2012-13 campaign.

Eibar finished their first La Liga campaign in the relegation zone on goal difference despite beating Cordoba on a dramatic final day of the season, prompting coach Gaizka Garitano to resign, but their stay in the top flight is set to continue.