UEFA effectively banned AC Milan from European competition for one year on Wednesday for overspending on player transfers and wages in one of the toughest sentences handed down for breaching financial fair play regulations.
That means Milan will be excluded from next season’s Europa League unless it successfully appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Milan last year spent more than 200 million euros (then nearly $250 million) on new players amid questions over the financial stability of the Chinese-led consortium that purchased the club from Silvio Berlusconi for $800 million in April 2017.
It finished sixth in Serie A and qualified for the Europa League but has now been excluded following a financial fair play investigation.
UEFA rejected both a voluntary agreement at the end of last year and a settlement agreement last month.
“The Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) … 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,” UEFA’s statement said.
“The club is excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next two seasons (i.e. one competition in 2018/19 or 2019/20, subject to qualification).”
Atalanta, which finished seventh, looks set to take over Milan’s automatic place in the competition, with Fiorentina entering at the second qualifying round.
Fiorentina announced earlier on Wednesday that it had brought the start of its pre-season training forward by two days, to July 2. The first leg of the second qualifying round is scheduled for July 26.