surinenglish

Marbella facing the very real prospect of relegation to the fifth tier

Marbella coach José Manuel Aira, right, sits on the bench.
Marbella coach José Manuel Aira, right, sits on the bench. / Julio Rodríguez
  • The side which missed out on promotion to Segunda in the playoffs last year have now lost four games in a row

Despite only missing out on promotion to Segunda in the playoffs last season, the reign of José Manuel Aira, who took over in the summer, has so far been a complete disaster.

If the Segunda B season were to finish right now, third-from-bottom Marbella, who have now lost their last four games in a row, could effectively be facing a double relegation as the Spain football league undergoes a reorganisation at the end of the current campaign. This would leave the Costa side in the fifth tier.

Next season, the top two divisions (Primer and Segunda, both run by La Liga) will remain unchanged. The latter will be followed by three new competitions: Primera RFEF, Segunda RFEF and Tercera RFEF.

The current Segunda B as we know it will be broken down into these three divisions. It will go from having 102 teams, the biggest division in Europe (ahead of Italy’s Serie C with 60), to 40 clubs divided into two groups, north and south. The reasoning for this is that it will make the third tier more professional with fewer, but stronger teams, therefore making it more marketable.

With only four games left to play, Marbella’s hopes of promotion to Segunda are gone (a top three finish is required). Their chances of being in Primera RFEF are very slim too. For that to happen they must first finish in fourth to sixth place to progress to the qualifying round. Even if they manage to do that, they must then finish in the top two (out of eight) which, given their form this season, seems highly unlikely. In the best-case scenario, therefore, if Marbella finish sixth (they are currently one point adrift), they will guarantee their place in Segunda RFEF (the fourth tier).

If, however, they finish in seventh to tenth place(they are currently in eighth), they must then fight to be in the top two (out of eight) in the next round to ensure their place in Segunda RFEF and not be relegated to Tercera RFEF(the fifth tier).