|Full name||Elche Club de Fútbol, S.A.D.|
|Nickname(s)||Los Franjiverdes (The Green-striped ones)
Los Ilicitanos (The Ones from Elche)
|Ground||Martínez Valero, Elche,
|2015–16||Segunda División, 11th|
|Website||Club home page|
Elche Club de Fútbol, S.A.D. (Valencian: Elx Club de Futbol, S.A.D.), is a Spanish football team based in Elche, Province of Alicante, in the Valencian Community. Founded in 1922,the club currently plays in the Segunda División, holding home matches at Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero, with a capacity of 36,017 seats.
Founded in 1923 as the result of a merger between all of the town's clubs, Elche entered the league system in 1929, reaching Segunda División in 1934 and La Liga in 1959, finishing fifth in the latter tournament in 1963–64. It was runner-up in the Copa del Rey in 1969. They were relegated at the end of the 2014–15 season due to unpaid tax debts.
- 1 History
- 2 Seasons
- 3 Current squad
- 4 Honours
- 5 International players
- 6 Coaches
- 7 Reserve team
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Foundation and early years
Elche Club de Fútbol was founded in the summer of 1923, after the merger of all of the town's football teams. The club's first-ever game was against Monóvar, where they beat the home team 4–0, and its first official match was a 2–0 win over Crevillente. The team played its first league season in 1929–30, in Tercera División, achieving promotion to Segunda División in 1934; it suffered relegation for the first time six years later, but promoted back the following season.
1959–78: La Liga
Elche opened its first season in the top level with a 1–1 draw against Real Oviedo, the first goal being scored by Vicente Pahuet. The club finished tenth out of 16 sides, nine points ahead of relegated Osasuna – the campaign included a 2–1 comeback home victory over Barcelona, but also a 2–11 loss at Real Madrid. The following season saw the team having to compete in the relegation/promotion play-off, where it overcame a 0–1 loss in the away leg against Atlético Ceuta with a 4–0 home victory.
In 1969 the club reached their first and only Copa del Rey final, following victories over Pontevedra, Valencia and Real Sociedad. The semi-final against the latter was won 2–0 in a replay in neutral Madrid, as the tie had finished 4–4 on aggregate; the final, played on 15 June at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the same city, brought a 0–1 loss to Athletic Bilbao.
After twelve seasons Elche was relegated to division two in 1971, having finished second from bottom. Two years later the team returned to the main category, as champions. Its second spell in the top flight lasted five seasons, often immerse in relegation fights as the best campaign (1974–75) ended with the club in eighth position; at the end of 1977–78 the side returned to the second division after finishing 17th out of 18 clubs, the last game being a 4–4 draw with Atlético Madrid, which was led 2–4 with five minutes remaining.
80s and 90s: severe financial crisis
After the relegation in 1978 Elche suffered. Although on paper they had a good team they never managed to gain promotion to the top flight – in fact, in the first five years since their return to the second level, they were fourth on three occasions and fifth on two (and on a further two, even on points with the third-placed team but with a worse goal difference), often losing the chance of promotion on the last matchday. Especially traumatic was the finish of the 1980–81 season: with one game remaining, they were second two points ahead of Rayo Vallecano and Racing de Santander, only needing a draw against Cádiz at the Martínez Valero; the game ended however in a loss, and Elche finished with 45 points alongside Castellón, Cádiz, Racing and Rayo.
A promotion finally occurred at the end of 1983–84, even though Elche only finished fifth in the regular season – the first two positions were occupied by Real Madrid Castilla and Athletic Bilbao B, who could not promote as reserve sides. The whole of the top division campaign was spent in the relegation zone, and relegation consequently befell as 17th. In 1988 they were promoted again for another cameo appearance, as the side went on to finish dead last with eighteen points, dropping down a category alongside Real Murcia, who they trailed by nine points; the last match for years in the category was a 1–3 away loss against Real Zaragoza, the goal coming courtesy of Alfonso Fernández.
After the relegation in 1989, Elche started to suffer heavily in the financial department, and relegated to Segunda División B – the new third level created in 1977 – at the end of 1990–91. During the better part of the 1990s the club reached the second division promotion playoffs, only to consecutively fall short.
2010s: return to the top flight
In 2010–11, again in the "silver category", the team finished fourth and thus qualified for the play-offs: after disposing of Real Valladolid in the first round (3–2 on aggregate) the dream of top flight promotion ended at the hands of Granada, on the away goals rule.
On 18 May 2013, following Barcelona B and Alcorcón's 1–1 draw, Elche was automatically promoted to the top level, returning to the competition after 24 years. In the meantime the team coached by Fran Escribá had broken a number of Segunda División records, being the only team to date able to lead the competition from the very first until the last match of the season, setting in the process a new record of both matches won and points scored to date as well as the best first round in the history of Segunda's championship.
During the 2013–14 season, the team managed to keep in the top competition, with an average attendance to home matches estimated at 25,104 people.
In the 2014–15 season, despite managing once again to keep in the top flight (the team was already safe from relegation four dates before the end of the competition) Elche became the first team ever in the history of the Spanish Primera División being relegated to Segunda following new regulations by the Spanish football league limiting excess debt and economic mismanagement.
Season Pos. Pl. W D L GS GA P 2002–03 2D 16 42 12 14 16 49 52 50 2003–04 2D 14 42 13 11 18 50 63 50 2004–05 2D 10 42 16 9 17 51 52 57 2005–06 2D 14 42 13 14 15 47 54 53 2006–07 2D 11 42 16 10 16 47 46 58 2007–08 2D 10 42 14 12 16 44 50 54 2008–09 2D 12 42 13 14 15 52 50 53 2009–10 2D 6 42 18 9 15 67 57 63 2010–11 2D 4 42 18 15 9 55 42 69 2011–12 2D 11 42 17 6 19 56 58 57 2012–13 2D 1 42 23 13 6 54 27 82 2013–14 1D 16 38 9 13 16 30 50 40 2014–15 1D 13 38 11 8 19 35 62 41
Season to season
- As Elche Football Club
- As Elche Club de Fútbol
- 21 seasons in La Liga
- 37 seasons in Segunda División
- 7 seasons in Segunda División B
- 19 seasons in Tercera División
- As of 23 July 2016
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
see also Category:Elche CF footballers
see also Category:Elche CF managers
Elche's reserve team, Elche Ilicitano, was founded in 1932. It managed to spend two seasons in the second division, when the main squad was in the top flight.
- Spain 1960/61; at RSSSF
- Spain 1963/64; at RSSSF
- Spain – Cup 1969; at RSSSF
- Spain 1970/71; at RSSSF
- Spain 1977/78; at RSSSF
- El Elche está en la final contra el Granada (3–1) (Elche is in the final against Granada (3–1)); Info Expres, 12 June 2011 (Spanish)
- El Granada asciende a Primera a costa del Elche (Granada promotes to Primera at Elche's expense); RTVE, 18 June 2011 (Spanish)
- "¡El Elche ya es de Primera!" [Elche already a Primera team!] (in Spanish). Marca. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Un líder de principio a fin (Leader from beginning to end)
- "Primer equipo" [First team] (in Spanish). Elche CF. Retrieved 31 January 2014.