The 2011–12 Segunda División season (known as the Liga Adelante for sponsorship reasons) was the 81st since its establishment. The first matches of the season were played on 26 August 2011 after the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) called a strike, the regular league ended on 3 June 2012, while the entire season ended on 16 June 2012 with the promotion play-off finals.
Deportivo La Coruña, Hércules and Almería are the teams which were relegated from La Liga the previous season. Deportivo were relegated after 20 years in La Liga, Hércules made their immediate return to the second level after just one season in the top division, while Almería ended a four-year tenure in La Liga. Betis were promoted after two consecutive seasons in the second level, Rayo Vallecano after eight years in lower divisions and Granada after playing in lower divisions for 35 years.
Source: LFP - Liga Adelante
Rules for classification: 1st points; 2nd head-to-head points; 3rd head-to-head goal difference; 4th head-to-head goals scored; 5th goal difference; 6th number of goals scored; 7th Fair-play points 1Since first team Villarreal was relegated to the Segunda División, reserve team Villarreal B was automatically relegated to Segunda División B. (C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished: (Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
This promotion phase (known as Promoción de ascenso) was to determine the third team which was promoted to 2012–13 La Liga. Teams placed between third and sixth position (excluding reserve teams) took part in the promotion play-offs. Fifth placed faced against the fourth, while the sixth positioned team faced against the third. The first leg of the semi-finals was played on 6 June with the best positioned team playing at home the second leg was played on 10 June. The final was also be two-legged, with the first leg on 13 June and the second leg on 16 June, with the best positioned team also playing at home the second leg. This season was introduced the rule in which if a tie was drawn on aggregate and was still drawn after extra time, round of penalties was not used, instead the best positioned team advanced to next round. Valladolid and Alcorcón played the final phase, where Valladolid was winner and promoted to La Liga after a two-year absence. Córdoba and Hércules were eliminated in semi-finals.
This award is given annually since 1999 to the team with the best fair play during the season. This ranking takes into account aspects such as cards, suspension of matches, audience behaviour and other penalties. This section not only aims to know this aspect, but also serves to break the tie in teams that are tied in all the other rules: points, head-to-head, goal difference and goals scored.
^Because of the tight schedule, and given that any Liga Adelante team would compete to win the Copa del Rey trophy due to its early defeat, LFP approved on 18 January the television operators request to postpone the Matchday 30 to 23 May, between the Matchdays 40 and 41.