25 years of the League that could have been and was not

This Tuesday, January 26, 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of a decision that could have changed the closest history of The league
Santander, at that time the LFP (Professional Soccer League).

On a day like today, in 1996, the president of the UEFA, Lennart
Johansson, and its general secretary, Gerhard
Aigner, set a deadline of June 30, 1998 for the competition to be reduced, which at that time was from 22 teams, to 18.

A reduction that never took place and that would have equated the Spanish League with other European domestic competitions, such as the Serie
TO Italian or the Bundesliga German, which had only 18 teams and ended up expanding to 20.

Why were there 22 teams in the 1995-96 First Division?

Before the start of the season, LFP decided to exclude from its competitions Celtic and Seville -descending them to Second B- due to different delays and problems in the documentation of their registration, inviting to occupy their places to Valladolid and Albacete, recently descended to Second, and the places of these two to Leganes and Getafe, after his descent to Second B.

Celtic, Seville, Valladolid and Albacete They presented individual resources and there were numerous mobilizations of the fans of these clubs, who finally stayed in the First Division after increasing the number of participating teams by two. This implied that four teams descended in 1996-97, ascending only two, playing the third classified of 2nd against the fifth worst of 1st in a promotion phase.

The LFP dodged the decision of the UEFA and finally it was kept in 20 teams, the format that is more successful today. The 18-team League finally did not go.