Elche in race against time

Elche have until 23:59 CET on Friday to settle a €4m debt or face further demotion to Segunda B.

Los Franjiverdes’ relegation to the second tier was confirmed earlier in July, despite finishing 13th in La Liga last season, but they could drop yet another division if an outstanding bill with 30 players is not paid by midnight.

“We have a huge challenge ahead and must make a great effort as a city. In a few hours, we must raise €4m,” Elche mayor Carlos Gonzalez was quoted as saying by Marca.

Juan Peran, President of footware giant Pikolinos, whose headquarters are based in Elche, added: “I’ve always said that you need money and courage [in business], but now money is needed.

“Let everyone [make their contribution] because Elche aren’t just a football team, but also a sense of the city.”

A bank account has been opened by the club for the sole purpose of fan contributions from €10 to €200,000.

Regardless of whether they can meet Friday’s deadline, there are still serious concerns over whether Elche can continue to meet payments for the squad, staff and utilities.

Marca also understands the Valencians will apply a €68,000 salary cap on any new arrivals.

Tags La Segunda Segunda B