Tuesday July 10 2018
Milan punished for 'unrealistic' plans

The full 33-page document on why Milan were excluded from Europe for Financial Fair Play violations points to an unrealistic business plan.

The Rossoneri had originally tried to work out a Voluntary Agreement with UEFA after Yonghong Li bought the club from Silvio Berlusconi for €740m in April 2017.

When that was rejected in December, they were stunned to find out the Settlement Agreement was also turned down, eventually leading UEFA to exclude them from Europe for the 2018-19 season.

According to, who went through the 33-page explanation, the problems did not just lie in failure to fulfil the break-even requirement.

The adjudicatory chamber was also very concerned by the unrealistic business plan presented, especially as it was changed several times over the last few months.

The fact Yonghong Li was only able to purchase the club with the aid of a €303m loan from US hedge fund Elliott Management, payable in full with interest for a total of €380m in October 2018, raised serious questions.

This proved to be founded, because Yonghong Li hasn’t even made it to October, failing to meet a deadline for an extra €32m loan and Elliott have already begun the process of repossessing his assets.

There were other problems too, because UEFA and their financial analysts found very little “credibility” in the business plan presented and targets they were expected to hit.

They seemed to be almost random, as the first business plan cited €19m from commercial interests in China, reduced to just €9m in the third version.

There were no contracts signed with Chinese businesses for 2019 or 2020, so as of now the revenue from China is believed to be €0.

UEFA argue that the €120m over the break-even requirement was one reason, but more than anything else, Milan’s business plan provided very little reassurance they could rectify the situation in future.

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