Barcelona Eldenc’s promotion to the Second Division is almost the story of a miracle. The team from Elda (Alicante) sealed the deal this Sunday by eliminating Real Madrid Castilla in extra time (3-3) after the second and final match of the final for play-off to move up to the Second Division and, therefore, enter professional football. This promotion comes six years after a major scandal, related to the former ownership of Eldenc, an Italian investment group.
On April 1, 2017, Barça B thrashed them 12-0 in a match corresponding to the former Second Division B. This unusual thrashing uncovered an alleged plot of fraud in state football, behind which would have the mafia If the Italian mafia, Ndragheta, was initially targeted, as the president of the club’s manager, David Aguilar, assured then, other information also pointed to the Chinese mafia. The rivalry between the two mafias blew up the case. In total, they would have tried to fix five matches. Five arrests were made, who were released on bail, and players like Cheikh Saad also reported how they wanted to buy them to let them win. The case is still pending trial, six years later, with an investigation that crosses Spanish borders.
That season Eldenc was relegated to the Third Division and in 2019, this club founded in 1921 by a Blaugrana fan from Elda, almost disappeared due to debts. A not-so-distant descent into hell that contrasts with the entity’s recent success. When the club seemed doomed to oblivion, Pascual Pérez appeared, an entrepreneur in the Alicante sector. He is the sole shareholder of the club and took over in 2020, assuming the 250,000 euros of debt that the entity was carrying.
Finetwork, the giant behind Eldenc
Pérez is the owner of Finetwork, an internet service provider that has been embroiled in recent days in a controversy related to the disagreement over sponsorship payments related to Liga F (the state’s first division of women’s soccer). . Finetwork, with a turnover of 93 million euros last year, is an ascending company and maintains advertising links with well-known faces such as the singer Alejandro Sanz, the pilot Fernando Alonso (also with the F1 Aston Martin team) or Joaquín Sánchez, retired from football this season. The company is also the main sponsor of teams such as Real Sociedad and Betis.
The 47-year-old businessman, not much of a microphone friend and who turned the club into a joint-stock company, has invested a lot of money in Eldenc. In this way it is explained how this modest organization has achieved two promotions in three years until returning to professional football, where he already played between the 50s and 60s. Pérez, very jealous of his image – he does not give interviews and they circulate a lot few photographs of him – the Alicante club has one of the highest budgets in the category, a competitive squad and also keeps the fans happy with very cheap promotions to accompany the team on trips.
Eldenc’s crown jewel, a new stadium
The jewel in the crown of Pascual Pérez’s project is building a new stadium. With a population of less than 55,000 inhabitants, the entrepreneur has already processed with the City Council that the new club house has a capacity for 18,000 spectators and that, in addition to hosting football matches, it can also be used for cultural events”. The forecast is that it will include parking for 3,000 people and an attached hotel and commercial area. The current stadium, the Nuevo Pepico Amat, is too small for a team that has not only come to professional football as a stopover, but wants to stay there thanks to the powerful owner of Finetwork.
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