Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido has issued a dire warning ahead of their trip to Espanyol that players may be sold to make up for a deficit in the club accounts.
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Sevilla travel to rock-bottom Espanyol looking to close the gap on the European places, but past misadventures on the continent are catching up with them.
At the club's AGM on Wednesday night, Del Nido revealed a budget deficit of 15million euros which is forecast to grow over the coming seasons unless action is taken.
Describing the results as "the worst of all my years", Del Nido said: "We took some risks to try and take Sevilla to the top despite having a lower income.
"The deficit is the result of our elimination in the Champions League qualifier with Braga (in 2010) and losing to Hannover in the Europa League qualifiers (in 2011), and then not qualifying for Europe last season."
He added in AS: "We have done badly, we have not done things the right way and have spent two years making mistakes.
"We need to sell players or return to the mediocrity of the past. What I want is to continue to aspire to something and not just wander through the league unnoticed."
Del Nido's warning has overshadowed Sevilla's preparations for the game, despite positive news in the form of Alvaro Negredo's return to training after injury.
Also returning is Manu del Moral, while Federico Fazio, Emir Spahic and Ivan Rakitic are all back after suspension.
Espanyol, dead last with 10 points from 14 games, are preparing for the home debut of new coach Javier Aguirre after their 0-0 draw at Granada last week.
They are hoping striker Christian Stuani will be able to play in a mask after surgery on a fracture in his jaw.
He has been named in Aguirre's squad along with Hector Moreno, who has completed a two-match suspension.