Elche fail in Spanish High Court appeal as Eibar remain in La Liga

A Spanish High Court has turned down Elche's petition to be reinstated to the Primera Division for the 2015-16 campaign, leaving Eibar in the top flight.

Elche were relegated to the second tier at the end of the season by the Spanish Football League (LFP) as punishment for unpaid debts to the tax authorities.

Elche, who had finished 13th in the table, decided to lodge the appeal with the Spanish court after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the LFP's ruling last month.

The fans of Elche and Eibar were holding their breath to wait to discover which of the teams will play in the Primera Division next season.

A statement from the High Court on Tuesday read: "The judge has decided to maintain the resolution of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in which Elche were relegated to the Segunda Division.

"Having examined the case and having listened to the allegations made by the parties involved, the judge considers that there are no circumstances that can justify changing the ruling.

"Several requests were made that were not addressed by Elche and only when the punishment of being demoted to the Segunda Division was determined did the club decide to pay, not before."

Elche have 15 days to appeal against the Spanish High Court ruling.

Tuesday's announcement is positive news for Basque outfit Eibar, who played in La Liga for the first time in 2014-15 and went down on the final day of the campaign after finishing 18th.

The LFP took a strong stand against Elche as the club had already missed tax payments in the 2013-14 campaign.

It stated that Elche had committed "very serious infractions" of Spain's sports law and league rules and also fined the club €180,000.

Elche recently appointed former Valencia and Spain player Ruben Baraja as their new coach after Fran Escriba left the club at the end of the season.

Escriba has since taken charge of Getafe.