Despite hailing from Europe’s self-styled party island, the football clubs of Ibiza have had very little to celebrate. Always playing second fiddle to the clubs from Mallorca, they have at times, dropped in the pecking order below teams from Menorca and Formentera. So, the recent success of SCR Peña Deportiva & UD Ibiza-Eivissa must have been greeted with equal measures of relief and surprise.
Sociedad Cultural y Recreativa Peña Deportiva Santa Eulalia, to give their full title, was founded on 31 March 1935. Later that year on 19 May 1935, the club played its first match, a 2-4 defeat in a friendly vs SD Ibicenca at their new home, the Camp de Ses Estaques. For the first 12 months of its existence, Peña Deportiva was content to play unofficial matches against other clubs from Ibiza, but friendlies were replaced with hostilities in July 1936 with the outbreak of the Civil War. The club re-emerged in 1942 as Peña Deportiva de Educación y Descanso, and continued to play friendlies until joining the Balearic Federation in October 1949. Home continued to be the Camp de Ses Estaques, which was little more than an open dirt pitch on a spur of land to the east of the town’s natural harbour. Peña Deportiva spent the next decade or so in the Balearic third division until football in the town came to an abrupt halt in 1962 when the Camp de Ses Estaques was closed and a hotel was built on the land.
Finally, after 8 long years without football, the municipality opened a new sports facility to the north of the town in 1970. Peña Deportiva reformed and joined the Regional Preferente (Eivissa) for the 1971-72 season, but it wasn’t until the advent of the 1980s did things begin the stir. The Regional Preferente title was won for five consecutive seasons from 1981, before eventually gaining a place in the Tercera for the 1985-86 season, following the demise of UD Porreres. Peña Deportiva acquitted themselves admirably in the Tercera and with growing confidence (and budget) they started to challenge for the title. The 1992-93 season saw the club finish second behind CD Manacor and therefore reach the play-offs for Segunda B. Here Peña Deportiva struggled and finished bottom of the playoff group behind CD Cieza, CD Villena and CE Jupiter. However, once again the failure of another club proved fortuitous. Neighbours SD Ibiza’s financial problems led to their demotion from Segunda B, and with a vacancy up for grabs, the Balearic Federation offered the position to Peña Deportiva.
Peña Deportiva’s first season in Segunda B was a tough gig, with the club winning just 5 matches and collecting 19 points on the way to an 18th placed finish and relegation. Peña Deportiva has been a stalwart of the Tercera for the past quarter of a century and it has never failed to achieve a top-ten finish. The title has been won on four occasions and further promotions to Segunda B has been achieved in 2008, 2017 (albeit following Real Mallorca B’s demotion) and most recently in 2019. Each of the club’s three previous stays in the third tier have ended after just one season, so the objective for the 2019-20 must be simply to survive and build a foundation.
When the Campo Municipal de Deportes opened in 1970, it was little more than a football pitch and a few tennis courts. By the mid-1990s it had grown to incorporate an indoor sports hall, swimming pool, athletics track and a full-length uncovered terrace on the western side of the football pitch. The old dirt pitch was also replaced with artificial turf. Following promotion to Segunda B in 2008, new floodlights were installed and a propped cantilevered roof was added to the western terrace. The roof is 50 metres in length and straddles the central section of the terrace, underneath which sits a small seated area. The football enclosure holds 1,500, but the whole complex receives well in excess of that number each day, as its facilities are available to the whole community.