Football

Eibar: The success story of Spanish football

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Located in the Basque region of the country, Eibar has a population of just 27,000 and a city football club with a stadium which holds just 6,000 spectators.

Suffering the heart-ache of relegation in their debut season in La Liga, Eibar were reprieved as fellow newcomers Elche were forced to drop down to the second tier due to their financial problems.

After achieving promotion to the Spanish top division in 2014, things were not quite plane sailing for Eibar, as La Liga rulings implied that they would have to provide a bond of 1.5 million euros - a tall ask for such a small club.

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In a story rivalling the successes of Swansea City in the English Premier League, Eibar launched a worldwide appeal to attract investment and eventually take their place in La Liga.

Top of La Liga

Over a year on and Jose Luis Mendilibar’s over-achievers have begun to mix it with the very best in Spanish football. After an impressive 3-1 victory at Granada on the opening weekend, Eibar went one better beating Europa League contenders and Spanish Super Cup holders Athletic Bilbao on Saturday evening, to move to the top of La Liga.

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Having been re-instated into the top division, Eibar will be hoping for a more sustained presence this campaign so the club can benefit from extra revenue and a higher profile, replicating that of Swansea.

Eibar’s strong start to the new campaign mirrors that of last season, where they ended October in fifth place. However, collecting just four victories in the second-half of the campaign saw the club descend dramatically down the table eventually finishing in the relegation places, before their reprieve.

Mendilibar will not want a repeat of a run including 16 defeats in 20 league games, with fans beginning to question their existence in the top division. The reprieve seems to have given everyone at the club a timely confidence boost, but another struggle against the drop seems the most likely outcome for the smallest club in La Liga history.

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Topics:
Football
La Liga

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