AC Milan banned from Europa League for next season

Club has managed to reduce ban by a year after breaching financial fair play rules

AC Milan won’t be playing in the Europa League next season. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

AC Milan won’t be playing in the Europa League next season. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

 

AC Milan have struck a deal with Uefa to serve a one-year ban from European football for breaching the governing body’s financial fair play rules, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has confirmed.

The agreement means AC Milan will not take their place in next season’s Europa League and Uefa will end its proceedings against the Italian club for overspending between 2016-18 — the second three-year accounting period in a row that had got them in hot water with Uefa.

Their place in the Europa League is now likely to go to Torino, who finished seventh in Serie A last season, which means their season will start with the final qualifying round for the competition’s group stages on July 25.

Uefa initially gave AC Milan a two-year FFP ban last summer but the club successfully appealed against that sanction at CAS, only for the seven-time European champions to be referred to Uefa’s financial watchdog again in April.

Under Uefa’s rules, clubs are not allowed to make losses of more than €30million euros over three seasons, a cap Uefa believed AC Milan breached between 2015-17 when they spent €200million on transfers, with more spending in 2018, as well.

But AC Milan managed to persuade sport’s highest court that their finances would improve under the ownership of American hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation, which assumed control of the club last summer when former owner Li Yonghong missed a repayment on the loan he had taken to buy the club in 2017.

That CAS decision gave them until June 2021 to balance their books or receive an automatic one-year ban from European club football.

But April’s referral for a second FFP breach could have seen the club banned from Europe for two years, which clearly forced AC Milan back to the negotiating table where they have agreed to serve a one-year ban now while they tidy up their finances under the direction of former Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

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