La Liga play-offs
The La Liga play-offs are an annual series of football matches to determine the final promotion places within Segunda División and La Liga. In its current format, it involves the four teams that finish directly below the automatic promotion places from Segunda División to the top tier. These teams meet in a series of play-off matches to determine the final team that will be promoted. Reserve teams are not eligible for promotion.
|Number of teams||4|
The play-offs were first introduced in 1929 and have been staged at the conclusion of every season since. Until 1999, it consisted in games between teams from both leagues, but when it was reinstated, it only involved four teams from Segunda División.
The first edition of La Liga and Segunda División finished with a promotion/relegation playoff between the champion of Segunda División and the last qualified team of La Liga. It was played with a double-leg format and Racing Santander remained in the top tier.
In 1934, the Segunda División was expanded into three groups of 10 teams. The two first qualified teams of each group would play a final stage with a round-robin format. The two top teams, promoted to La Liga.
Just after the Spanish Civil War, the 1939–40 Segunda División was expanded into five groups where the winners joined the final stage. The champion promoted directly while the runner-up played a single-game to promote to La Liga.
In the next season, the Segunda División was reduced to two groups of 12 teams where the two top teams joined a final group. In this one, the winner and the runner-up promoted directly while the 3rd and 4th qualified played against the two last qualified teams in La Liga. The two winners achieved the spot for the top tier's next season. From 1945 (one year after the reduction of Segunda División to one only group) to 1947, there was only one promotion/relegation game.
All games were played in a neutral venue.
|1940||Celta Vigo||Deportivo La Coruña|
|Deportivo La Coruña||Murcia|
|1944||Deportivo La Coruña||Constancia|
For the leagues of the 1950s, when the Segunda División was divided into two groups, a new promotion/relegation system was created. The second and third qualified of each group and the 13th and 14th of La Liga, played by 16 teams, joined a round-robin group where the two top teams would promote to the next La Liga season.
|1952||Mestalla[N 1]||Real Gijón||Real Santander||Alcoyano||Logroñés||Ferrol|
|1953||Deportivo La Coruña||España Industrial[N 2]||Celta Vigo||Atlético Tetuán||Avilés||Hércules|
|1955||Español||Real Sociedad||Oviedo||Atlético Tetuán||Zaragoza||Granada|
|1956||España Industrial[N 3]||Zaragoza||Oviedo||Murcia||Betis||Alavés|
In 1958 the RFEF re-adopted the promotion/relegation play-offs system between teams from La Liga and Segunda División. Teams qualified in positions 13 and 14 of La Liga would face against the 3rd and 4th qualified in Segunda División. The two winners achieved the spot for the top tier's next season.
In 1987 the LFP, with the expansion of La Liga to 20 teams, re-adopted the promotion/relegation play-offs between teams from La Liga and Segunda División. This time, the 17th and 18th qualified teams in La Liga would face the 3rd and 4th position teams of Segunda División, excluding reserve teams. The two winners of the double-legged play-offs would get a place in the next La Liga season. This format worked until 1999, when the LFP removed it and determined that three teams will directly promote or relegate.
In 1997, for reducing the number of teams in La Liga from 22 to 20, there was only one play-off game between the 18th qualified in La Liga and the third one of Segunda.
In gold, teams from La Liga and in silver, teams from Segunda División.
For the 2010–11 season, the Segunda División adopted the Football League play-offs format. While the two first qualified teams were directly promoted to La Liga's next season, teams qualified between third and sixth would take part in the play-offs. If a reserve team qualifies in one of these positions, its spot will be transferred to the next best qualified.
Fifth placed faces against the fourth, while the sixth positioned team faces against the third. The final is also two-legged. The best positioned team always plays at home on the second leg.
Since the second edition, a new rule was established: in case of a tied eliminatory there were extra time, once finished it, this season introduced that there would not be penalty shoot-out and the winner would be the best positioned team.
|2011||Granada||Elche||Celta and Valladolid|
|2012||Valladolid||Alcorcón||Córdoba and Hércules|
|2013||Almería||Girona||Alcorcón and Las Palmas|
|2014||Córdoba||Las Palmas||Murcia and Sporting Gijón|
|2015||Las Palmas||Zaragoza||Girona and Valladolid|
|2016||Osasuna||Girona||Córdoba and Gimnàstic|
|2017||Getafe||Tenerife||Cádiz and Huesca|
|2018||Valladolid||Numancia||Sporting Gijón and Zaragoza|
|2019||Mallorca||Deportivo La Coruña||Albacete and Málaga|
|2020||Elche||Girona||Almería and Zaragoza|
- Despite being the reserve team of Valencia, Mestalla played the tournament achieving a promotion spot. Finally, the RFEF did not allow the club to play in La Liga and Real Santander occupied its berth.
- Despite being the reserve team of Barcelona, España Industrial played the tournament achieving a promotion spot. Finally, the RFEF did not allow the club to play in La Liga and Celta Vigo occupied its berth.
- For playing La Liga's next season, the club changed its name to CD Condal.
- Due to the La Liga expansion to 22 teams, Albacete remained in La Liga despite losing the play-offs.
- "1929: El Racing de Santander, verdugo del Sevilla, por dos veces" (in Spanish). CIHEFE. 14 February 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "Dos liguillas de promoción malditas" (in Spanish). Real Oviedo Info. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "Vuelve la promoción y se retorna a Primera" (in Spanish). RealOviedo.info. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "Noticias de la temporada 1999/2000" (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "Un playoff decidirá el tercer ascendido en el próximo curso" (in Spanish). As.com. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "No habrá penaltis en los 'playoffs' de ascenso" (in Spanish). Marca. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2016.