27 June, 2018
The Italian giants AC Milan have been banned from European football for two years by the UEFA for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.
Milan had qualified for the group stages of this season’s Europa League after finishing sixth in Serie A. On Wednesday, a UEFA statement read: “The club is excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify.
Uefa said the club, which spent £200m on transfers last summer after a takeover, breached rules around requirements for clubs to break even.
The decision could be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Before the verdict, Milan released a video on Twitter saying they expected “fairness, rulings based on facts and equal rules for all” from Uefa.
The statement said the club are “ready to pay for the errors made in the past” and “have the utmost respect for the rules, but we expect equality”.
The Italian club was owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi from 1986 until it was sold to a Chinese consortium for 740m euros (£648m) in April 2017.
The club then went on a £200m spending spree in the summer, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus for £35.1m and Andre Silva from FC Porto for £33.6m. It was the first time since 2002 the club had broken the £30m barrier for a player.
Uefa referred the case to its adjudicatory body to make a ruling as it said there “remained uncertainties” following an investigation into the Serie A club’s financial affairs.
The “uncertainties” were said to relate to the refinancing of a loan due to be paid back in October 2018.