Spanish Huesca could sue the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) for €5 million as the chaos around the final composition of the 2012-13 Segunda Division continues.
In early August, Huesca, who finished second bottom of La Segunda last season, asked the LFP for Hercules to be punished with relegation for alleged involvement in match-fixing last season. That plea was rejected, and Huesca have begun the new campaign in the third tier.
In an interview published on the club’s official website, lawyer Alfredo Hernandez said there was “no doubt” they had been unfairly damaged.
“Huesca, without any doubt, should have begun the league in the Segunda Division,” Hernandez said. “Huesca has been damaged a lot in this. The damage is valued at €5 million.”
In a summer of controversy and allegations, LFP president Javier Tebas admitted match-fixing inquiries were taking place into three Primera Division and six Segunda Division games from 2012-13, with particular focus on second-tier games involving Hercules and Racing Santander.
La Liga authorities only finally decided which 22 teams would take part in the 2013-14 Segunda Division three days before it kicked off, when they ruled that Alcorcon could remain in the division even though they were accused of financial “issues” similar to those that saw Guadalajara forcibly relegated.
When asked for his verdict on the body’s decision-making processes, Hernandez claimed the LFP favoured clubs with bigger fanbases and media profiles.
“Huesca is small and protests less than the furore which would have kicked off had Hercules and Racing been relegated,” he said. “Huesca completed its process of conversion into an SAD [limited company] impeccably. Others changed their results, did not fulfil the rules, and were not relegated. Huesca, doing everything right, went down.”
Other clubs remembering that Tebas was Huesca president in the 1990s had led the LFP to ensure it was not seen to be favouring anyone in particular, Hernandez claimed.
“That Javier Tebas is from Huesca has been utilised a lot,” he said. “You must separate the facts from the emotional side, and not think about the ‘honour’ of Alicante or Santander. You must apply the legal rules with the appropriate rigour.”
Tebas and the LFP have reserved the right to punish clubs whose players or officials are found guilty of fixing games, whether in the case of illegal betting practices or ‘third-party incentive’ payments being made to affect results with a bearing on relegation battles or promotion races. Inquiries by state investigators into a number of games are continuing.