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May 26, 2014

Eibar need €1.7m to save Liga dream

Eibar routinely draws 3,000 fans, not nearly enough to match their needs.
Eibar hope their Ipurua stadium will be hosting the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona next season.

Eibar face a race against time to raise the 1.7 million euros they need to be allowed play their first-ever season in the Spanish top flight after winning promotion on Sunday.

- Lowe: Eibar punished for success?

The Basque side beat neighbours Alaves 1-0 in front of 5,129 fans at the Ipurua stadium, with the win putting them seven points clear of third-placed Las Palmas and Sporting Gijon in the Segunda Division with two games remaining.

However, celebrations in the small rural town were tempered by the knowledge that recently introduced financial regulations mean the club, which is financially sound, must raise extra 'share capital' of 1.7 million euros by Aug. 6 or be forced down to the third tier.

Club president Alex Aranzabal told AS he hoped the publicity generated by winning promotion would help the club raise the money.

"We are on a cloud, it is difficult to explain," he said. "You must pinch yourself to believe it. It is a very nice story of difficulty, of battling qualities. This is the team with the lowest budget [in the second division]. That is why so many people from outside are helping with raising the share capital. Without a doubt, this promotion is the best publicity for this campaign."

Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso, who spent six months on loan at Eibar as a teenager, said he believed the situation did not make sense.

"It is contradictory that a club that has an enviable financial health and with zero debts is obliged to do this when there are others who have much deeper problems," he added. "I hope we can put in a big push to keep them where they deserve to be."

Should Eibar not be able to take their place in the Primera Division next season, AS has reported that Osasuna -- who finished 18th -- could be reprieved from relegation.

The situation might drag on all summer -- a similar situation to last year, when the final lineup of the Segunda was only decided three days before the season began.

Then, Alcorcon were threatened with automatic relegation due to the same regulations, which force all professional clubs to become 'SAD' limited companies.

The rules have been mandated by the Spanish government in a move to ensure that all Spain's football clubs follow set accounting guidelines.

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