Racing Santander went through with their threat to boycott the Copa del Rey second-leg against Real Sociedad on Thursday.
The Racing players, who have not been paid for several months, had said in a statement earlier this week that unless the club’s current board resigned, they would not play the second-leg of the Copa quarter-final against Real Sociedad.
President Angel Lavin and his board remained in place and so despite turning up and preparing for the game, once the referee blew the whistle for La Real to kick-off, Racing’s reluctance to play became clear as they stood arm-in-arm around the centre circle.
When Racing did have possession they moved the ball between each other before kicking it out of play. The referee then approached the Racing players, was told they had no intention of playing, and brought an end to the game.
Racing’s players and staff had met with the head of the players’ union on Thursday and their actions were fully backed by the association.
Speaking after the match, Racing midfielder Javi Soria admitted to mixed feelings about what had transpired.
“There is sadness and a kind of joy but it is a shame that it had to come to this,” he said.
“We have been clear since Monday and we have showed tonight that we are a team.
“We hope things get sorted out because we just want to get back to playing and trying to make Racing the best it can be.
“We hope there are no legal consequences because we have done this for the good of football, for the good of a city and for the whole of Spain because there are lots of similar cases and we wanted to set an example.”
Sociedad led the tie 3-1 from the first-leg and will now play Barcelona in the semi-finals, although this has to be ratified by the football federation.