The year in which the League had 22 teams

The present Spanish football continues to be marked by the cancellation by positives in COVID-19 of Deportivo-Fuenlabrada, party in which a good part of both the promotion and the descent of the Second Division was decided. LaLiga made the decision that the rest of the day would be played, which for many supposed a adulteration of the competition by not respecting the principle of equality that implies that the matches of the last days are played at the same time.

The crossing of declarations between LaLiga and the clubs has been constant and while Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, stated emphatically that the day will not be repeated and that they will try to get the remaining match to be played, the Deportivo and Numancia, both descended, have proposed the idea of ​​expanding the Second Division to 24 teams, thus retaining the category.

This possibility of enlargement is reminiscent of an episode that took place in Spain 25 years ago and which is worth looking back at in this situation. In nineteen ninety five The LFP, currently LaLiga, required the teams to present a guarantee corresponding to 5% of the budget of each team that functioned as a provision of possible future debts. Something that did not have to cause a greater problem, but the surprise jumped when the agency decided on August 1 to decree the administrative descent of Sevilla and Celta by a delay in the presentation of a transfer of 85 and 45 million pesetas respectively. Consequently, Albacete and Valladolid, teams that together with Logroñés had lost the category in the field, were invited to remain in the first division.

The consequences they did not wait and the decision fell like a jug of cold water in Seville and Vigo after both teams had had a good season with the Andalusians qualifying for Europe and the Galicians saving themselves from relegation. The first reaction was that Sevilla sent an 85 million stub without signing by fax, document that was not validated. Furthermore, the Andalusian team alleged that in 1991 they had made a transfer of 340 million pesetas which served as a guarantee for five years, to which the LFP replied that it had to be renewed every year.

For his part, Celtic fed up with explaining that everything was due to an error since they had sent the guarantees for the 94-95 season instead of the 95-96 and that on day two the corresponding document was going to arrive, something that did not happen.

The fans invaded the streets

The situation seemed to have no solution. The Professional Soccer League insisted that in case of complaint Sevilla and Celta should go to the CSD, while the latter affirmed that in accordance with the law the only possible recourse was to go to the ordinary courts. It was the moment when the interests of both teams played a crucial role for the salvation of their clubs.

In Seville more than 25,000 people took to the streets to demand that his team was First Division. In Vigo, Celta's fans followed those same steps, putting maximum pressure on the LFP. The problem was not only thinking about whether the two teams were readmitted, but that nor was it possible to remove the permanence that Albacete and Valladolid they “made a habit” in the offices.

So tense was the situation that two weeks later, on August 16, 1995, through an extraordinary assembly, the Professional Football League decided that the four teams were to remain in the First Division that happened to be formed by 22 teams. This number of teams was maintained during the 1995-1996 season and the following, 1996-1997, but in the latter it was already decreed that they would descend a total of four clubs directly while two would be promoted. There was one more place in the first division at stake, which was the promotion that Mallorca, third in second place, managed to take against Rayo Vallecano, who had finished eighteenth.

In this way, the 97-98 season already it was disputed with 20 teams in First and 22 in Second, a system that is maintained until today unless the proposal of Deportivo and Numancia prospers, which does not seem likely. Curiously, in these two very unusual seasons of Spanish football, the Albacete and Sevilla, two of the four teams involved in the whole mess, descended from the highest category. The effort of the Seville fans allowed at least this to occur in the field.