Nicknamed as the Los Franjiverdes they were founded in the year 1923. They play their home games in Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero which is capable of seating 36,017 spectators.
ORIGINS of Elche Soccer Club:
The club was formed as result of the merger of all the town’s football teams in the summer of 1923. The club’s first ever game was against Monovar where they beat the home team 4-0. The first official match of Elche was against Crevillente Deportivo a game which they won 2-0.
The team played made its first mark in club football by playing in the Tercera division of Spain in 1929-1930. They achieved promotion to the Segunda division in 1934. They stayed in this division for the next 6 seasons and then witnessed their first ever relegation, but they got promoted again to the Segunda division the following year.
In the late 1950s, this soccer club achieved two consecutive promotions from the third level Liga to the Segunda division and from the Segunda Division to the Primera Liga.
THE TIMES IN LA LIGA:
The spell of Elche in the La Liga is quite short lived. After getting promoted to the Liga for the first time, they opened the season with a 1-1 draw with Real Oviedo, their first ever Liga goal scored by Vicente Pahuet. The club finished 10th out of 16 sides in their first season. The campaign included a famous 2-1 comeback victory over giants Barcelona and 2-11 loss to Real Madrid. The following season they were engaged in a relegation avoidance playoff where they overcame a 1-0 first leg deficit with a 4-0 home victory over Atletico Ceuta to stay in the First Division.
Their best ever league finish was 5th place in the 1963-1964 season. This season also saw their reserve team, Elche Ilicitano get promoted to the Segunda division.
Another milestone was achieved in the year 1969 as te club reached its first ever Copa Del Rey final after beating Pontevedra CF, Valencia CF and Real Sociedad. They lost the final 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao in a closely contested battle at Santiago Bernabeu on the 15th of June.
After 12 seasons Elche’s resistance was broken and they were relegated to Segunda division in 1971. However, within two years the club made a return to the Spanish top flight. Its return spell in La Liga wasn’t remarkable as again this club was often immersed in battles to avoid relegation. They lasted in the Primera Liga again for only five years. Their best season in their second spell in La Liga was the season 1974-1975 where they finished eighth in the league.
THE FINANCIAL CRISIS of Elche:
In a league dominated mostly by Real Madrid and Barcelona, financial stability is a huge problem that several of Spanish middle tier clubs face. Elche was no exception.
Elche has fluctuated among the third tier and the second tier of Spanish club soccer throughout most of its history. After the relegation from La liga to Segunda division 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 90’s the club reached the second division promotion playoffs, only to consecutively fall short.
RETURN TO THE TOP FLIGHT IN 2010:
On 18 May 2013, following FC Barcelona B and AD Alcorcón’s 1–1 draw, Elche was automatically promoted to the top level, returning to the competition after 24 years.
During the 2013-2014 season, the team managed to keep in the top competition, with an average attendance to home matches estimated at 25,104 people.
CLUB STATS of Elche:
Elche has not won any notable honors and has always been a side that has struggled in La Liga. It has an ironic record of participating in all the three tiers of Spanish Club Soccer for more than 7 seasons.
To summarize the club has no major tournament to its name, but has spent:
- -21 seasons in La Liga
- -35 seasons in Segunda División
- -7 seasons in Segunda División B
- -19 seasons in Tercera División
The clubs future seems bleak with the current squad in La Liga, and is likely to stay in the relegation threat unless some miracle happens.