Why are Eibar punching above their weight in La Liga?

The Basque side are currently sixth in the division

eibar, football, la liga, spain

General view of the Ipurua Stadium in Eibar. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

It's hard to imagine a team like Accrington Stanley lying in sixth position in the Premier League, but that is what is currently happening in La Liga.

SD Eibar play in a stadium with a 6,000 seat capacity, in a town that is home to 27,000 and should have been relegated last season but are somehow in the Europa League places midway through the Spanish season.

The Basque team were promoted to La Liga last season and finished in the relegation places. They only survived in the league after Elche were demoted to the Segunda Division.

Football writer Euan McTear has written about the side and spoke to Off the Ball last night about how they have continued to survive in the league. "This is one of the few clubs in Spain that have no debt", he added.

Eibar had to raise €1.7million at the start of last season to even qualify to reach La Liga after their promotion, such was the small size of their operations. "They have a rule in Spain where to get promoted you have to have social capital which is 25% of all the clubs minus the top two and bottom two."

The side have recruited players smartly through a mixture of loan deals and signings. Their most expensive transfer since promotion was the €300,000 they spent on Japanese international Takashi Inui from Eintracht Frankfurt.

McTear added that while the team live within their means they will constantly have to rebuild. Striker Borja Baston is on loan from Atletico Madrid. He is the top-scoring Spaniard in La Liga and will be expected to return to Madrid in the summer. 

Eibar return to La Liga action this weekend. They welcome Malaga to the Ipurua on Saturday evening.