Elche coach leaves club two days after La Liga promotion


Despite guiding Elche back to La Liga after a five-year absence, coach Juan Jose Rojo Martin, known as “Pacheta”, will not lead the team into the Spanish top flight, the club said on Tuesday.

“The coach and the club are going their separate ways, ending a glorious and triumphant cycle which will go down in the memory of our fans forever,” Elche said in a statement.

Pacheta’s contract with the club expired at the end of the season, although it was not clear why it was not renewed.

He took over a club in financial ruin and in Spain’s third tier in February 2018 and earned promotion from the Segunda Division B in his first campaign.null

The side, who had the fifth-lowest budget in Spain’s second tier, then won the most unlikely of promotions to the top flight, beating Girona 1-0 in Sunday’s play-off final second leg with a goal deep in stoppage time.

Elche had sneaked into the play-offs on the last day of the season at the expense of Fuenlabrada, whose preparations were torpedoed by 28 players and staff testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

“In almost three seasons the team went from Segunda B to Primera, a meteoric rise achieved by a coach who is now part of a golden age in the club’s history,” Elche said in its statement.