Milan have been excluded from Europe for this season for Financial Fair Play violations, in one of the toughest sentences ever handed down.
It comes after the governing body rejected both a voluntary agreement and a settlement agreement, insisting their financial stability was unsustainable.
“The Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), chaired by José Narciso da Cunha Rodrigues, has taken a decision in the case of the club AC Milan that had been referred to it by the CFCB Chief Investigator for the breach of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, in particular the break-even requirement," read the UEFA statement.
“The club is excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next two (2) seasons (i.e. one competition in 2018/19 or 2019/20, subject to qualification).
“This decision may be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in accordance with Article 34(2) of the Procedural rules governing the UEFA Club Financial Control Body, as well as Articles 62 and 63 of the UEFA Statutes.
“The full reasoned decision will be published on UEFA.com in due course.”
Milan had qualified for the Europa League group phase, but have now been thrown out of the tournament, so Atalanta should be bumped up from the preliminary round to take their place.
In theory the Diavolo can enter European competition in 2019-20 if they qualify, but that would also be subject to Financial Fair Play checks.
It remains to be seen whether Fiorentina will step up into the play-off rounds to replace Atalanta.
The Rossoneri have already said they will appeal the decision to the CAS/TAS (Court/Tribunal of Arbitration for Sport), but it’s reported UEFA were very careful over the wording of their verdict to make a successful appeal more difficult.
This could be considered the toughest punishment ever handed down under the FFP rules and it’s widely suggested UEFA are using Milan to set a precedent, warning other clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain that they will clamp down from now on.
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