Alex Aranzábal: "Eibar is a first division side"
The president of the Basque side said the decision in the Elche case, which would see Eibar saved from relegation, had to stand or football would find itself being dragged back into the past.
After a weekend which saw various sources close to Elche argue that the club still had potential solutions available to avoid being relegated due to outstanding debts, this morning Alex Aranzábal, the president of Eibar gave a press conference to argue that these potential solutions offered by Elche should have no chance of succeeding. Aranzábal is of course not a disinterested party: if Elche are relegated then Eibar, who finished in 18th position in the Liga and stand therefore to be relegated, would be saved from the drop.
According to Aranzábal, the decision by the Liga's Judge to relegate Elche “can’t be altered”, due to the "solidity" of the arguments set out. This means, according to the Eibar president that “Eibar is a first division club and next season will play in the Liga BBVA”. “The judgement is overwhelming, with extensive, detailed and justified legal arguments”, added the president.
“The judgement is completely conclusive. What we want to make clear is that it would be lamentable if the situation were to be reversed. The other day I said that the key thing is not that Eibar is saved, but that there is enough bravery to send a message that things are changing. What we’re heard over the past few days would take us back in time”, said Aranzábal.
The Eibar president has demanded that judges be "independent" and not subject to pressure of forces from outside football. “The legitimacy and prestige of Spanish football is at stake. Football deserves respect and any social or political interference would be going back to customs and ways of doing things that did football no good”.
In relation to this situation, Spain’s Sports Council today refuted on Twitter statements given by Miguel Cardenal, the Council’s president, to the mayor of Elche, Mercedes Alonso, that Elche would be saved, saying that the Spanish Court of Arbitration for Sport is “independent”.
On that basis, Aranzábal underlined in his press conference today that his club are only considering one possibility: that they are in the Primera next season. “June is a critical month in terms of completing the squad. We are obliged to plan for being a first division team. We can’t wait with our arms folded, or our hands tied, until July to plan for next season”, he said.
In the opinion of the Eibar president, there is no need for the Liga to make an explicit statement regarding Eibar’s status, because on 25 March, the Liga approved a rule stating that where a club was relegated by the courts, the vacant spot would be taken by the team in the best position out of the three teams relegated on the pitch. That is, Eibar.