AC Milan have been “excluded” from the 2019/20 Europa League after breaching Financial Fair Play rules, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has confirmed.
The Rossoneri finished fifth in Serie A last season, one point behind city rivals Inter who occupied the final Champions League spot, and would have been one of the pre-tournament favourites to lift Europe’s second-tier competition.
AC Milan’s European withdrawal: Five key things to know…
- Milan qualified for the Europa League by finishing fifth in Serie A.
- But they have now been banned from the competition.
- CAS found a three-year period where they failed to meet FFP rules.
- Milan had already overturned one European ban last year.
- Now, the club, Uefa and CAS have agreed on a one-year withdrawal.
However, after failing to adhere to financial rules over a three-year period, the Italian giants will no longer take part in the Europa League during the forthcoming season after reaching an agreement with Uefa that sees them officially withdrawn from the competition.
A statement from CAS read: “AC Milan is excluded from participating in the UEFA Club Competitions of the sporting season 2019/2020 as a consequence of the breach of its FFP break-even obligations during the 2015/2016/2017 and the 2016/2017/2018 monitoring periods.
“The Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body is invited to issue a Procedural Order, acknowledging the outcome of the present arbitration(s) and terminating the AC-01/2019 proceedings relating to the 2016/2017/2018 monitoring period, which have become moot.”
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The outcome is a signal of intent from European football’s governing bodies that they are keen to crack down on Financial Fair Play breaches – with Manchester City also currently under investigation and reported to be facing a one-year ban from the Champions League themselves – while also showing a concerted effort from AC Milan to balance their books.
Li Yonghong completed his takeover of the seven-time European champions in 2017 and parted with huge sums in an effort to return Milan to the top table of Italian and European football, before American hedge fund, Elliott Management, assumed control in 2018 after the Chinese businessman missed a repayment on the loan he had initially taken out to buy the club.
AC Milan issue response
AC Milan have since responded to news of the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s “voluntary acceptance of a one year exclusion” from the Europa League, with an official statement outlining their intentions to be “fully compliant with FFP”.
The statement read: “AC Milan remains committed to restoring the Club to its rightful place at the top of European football. Today’s ruling will act as a stimulus to maximize the efforts to become fully compliant with FFP, while at the same time consolidating the competitiveness of the Club, and returning AC Milan to sustainability and a more positive future.”