In a shock decision, AC Milan have been banned from European competition for the next two years and fined €30m for breaching Financial Fair Play Rules.
AC Milan have been investigated following their the takeover of the club by Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux, chaired by businessman and co-owner Li Yonghong.
Subsequent extortionate spending to bring in players such as Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus and Andre Silva from Porto attracted the attention of UEFA.
A statement on the official UEFA website reads:
“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.
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.”
In the 2017/18 season, AC Milan finished 6th in Serie A to secure a Europa League spot alongside Lazio and Atalanta.
They will now not be allowed to compete in the competition. It is unclear whether the next-placed team, Fiorentina, will now be granted the vacant spot.