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Elche relegated from La Liga despite finishing 13th after failing to pay debts

Elche have been relegated to the second tier despite finishing 13th. Photo: PA

Elche beat the drop during the Primera Division campaign but on Friday the Spanish Football League (LFP) relegated the Valencia-region outfit for unpaid debts.

The club, in their second year since winning promotion to Spain's top flight, finished 13th in the standings yet had debilitating financial problems throughout the year, which led to protests among players and workers.

Elche owe money to the country's tax office.

A statement from the LFP read: "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.

Eibar are hoping the decision means they are no longer relegated. Credit: PA

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

Elche stated earlier this week that they would appeal if they were relegated over their tax debts, claiming they would pay the full amount owed by next month.

Eibar have already petitioned the LFP to take Elche's place in the Primera Division for the 2015-16 campaign.

The Basque outfit were demoted on the final day of the campaign, finishing 18th in the standings in their first season in Spain's top flight.