Before the 2014-2015 La Liga season, you could have been forgiven for not knowing SD Eibar.
The tiny town of Eibar, located in the autonomous Basque country and home to just over 27,000 inhabitants, celebrated the end of their club's 2013-2014 season in style. After the final game of the season, which SD Eibar won at home with a 1-0 victory over Deportivo Alavés, the club secured promotion to La Liga, Spain's premier soccer division.
But as the fans celebrated in the streets of Eibar, the club's board struggled to negotiate the complicated financial requirements necessary for the team to make its way up to La Liga. Because of a 1990 Spanish law known as Real Decreto 1251/1999, requiring first division sports teams to have a share capital of 25% of the average expenses in their league, SD Eibar suddenly found itself needing around two million Euros in capital.
While the story of a small town team struggling to punch above its financial weight has proved fodder for journalists before, this one, however, has a much happier ending.
The club set off on an ambitious campaign to raise the required capital before August 6. With little time in which to work, the club enlisted some big endorsements -- including from former SD Eibar player Xabi Alonso -- and with just two weeks to spare, announced that they had raised the funding necessary to play in La Liga.
While Eibar has predictably struggled in its first La Liga season -- they currently sit 14th in the table, with 28 points -- fans are simply happy to welcome some of the best and wealthiest clubs in the world to their tiny Basque enclave.
The video below, produced by Copa90, gives a beautiful overview of Eibar's rise to La Liga. Take a look:
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