La Liga demoted and fined club Elche because of their failure to pay unresolved tax debts and promoted Eibar to the league’s top flight, La Liga announced Friday.
Elche officials had been warned of the relegation if they did not solve their financial situation including paying debts of $5.5 million and were punished for "very serious infractions" of Spain's sports law and league rules.
The club was also fined $202,700 by La Liga, also known as the Spanish Primera División.
Elche, who finished in 13th place in the standings this season, will appeal the decision, saying the debts will be paid in full by the end of next month.
"La Liga's social discipline judge has ruled against Elche as a consequence of the debts they have with the national tax authorities," the statement said. "The judge has agreed to impose on Elche the sanction of relegation as it has reoffended in its behavior, having already been punished last season.”
Earlier this season, Elche's players canceled all official non-playing commitments after not receiving a pay check for over two months.
"As of today, Elche continues to have a liquid debt with the tax authorities which is neither paid, agreed to be postponed, or guaranteed, as the tax authorities themselves have stated,” the La Liga statement said.
- Scooby Axson