Santander players threaten Copa boycott

Racing Santander's players have threatened to boycott their Copa del Rey clash with Real Sociedad unless club's board resigns.

Captain Mario Fernandez read a statement to the Spanish media on Monday, confirming the squad are unhappy with recent departures from the Segunda B outfit, which they believe have "decreased the potential of the team", and issues regarding pay. 

Santander are joint top of Spain's third tier, but fell to their first league defeat since November on Sunday and the players are concerned their chances of moving back up the divisions are being hampered by the club's hierarchy.

And, after losing 3-1 in the first leg of their Copa quarter-final to La Liga club Sociedad last week, the squad are willing to refuse to take to the field in Thursday's return fixture at El Sardinero unless there are changes at the top.

Fernandez's statement read: "The professional staff of Real Racing Club de Santander wants to inform members, subscribers and fans of the club and to the regional public the following: As is well known through the media, we are owed salaries for months, despite repeated promises to pay conducted by the president.

"Such defaults and failures have led to economic hardship for many members of the staff.

"The recent departures of players have decreased the potential of the team, thereby diminishing the chances of the competing.

"The lack of adequate response by the board of directors, the increasingly dire economic situation we are in and the news that appeared in the media in recent days led to the professional staff unanimously taking the decision to seek the immediate resignation of the president and the rest of the board.

"In the event of such no such resignation, we will miss the next quarter-final of the Copa del Rey.

"This decision, in critical circumstances for us and for our club, we hope to be understood and supported by all, to which we extend our respect and gratitude, and we allow ourselves to ask for your support and understanding at these difficult moments."