After much speculation and a little delay, UEFA, and more specifically the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body, has excluded Milan from international competition for one season due to Financial Fair Play infractions. The club can now appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. If the punishment holds, Atalanta will access to the group stage, while Fiorentina will go through the playoffs.
The full reasoned decision will be released at a later time: besides the break-even requirement, which was not respected in the 2014/2017 triennium, UEFA had raised concerns about the sustainability of financial plan put in place by the new owner Yonghong Li. Despite the intricate language in the statement, the ban is just for the next season, since they indeed qualified for 2018/2019. Also, they have not been fined.
Li needs to pay back to the Elliott fund a €300M loan in October. The Rossoneri spent over €200M in transfer market last summer, bringing in, among others, Leonardo Bonucci, Hakan Calhanoglu, André Silva and Ricardo Rodriguez.
The sentence arrives while Li is negotiating the sale of part, if not the majority, of his stakes to American investors. In particular, he is in talks with Mediacom and New York Cosmos president Rocco Commisso and the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs. He also has to give €32M to Elliott by July 6th for the latest capital increase, otherwise he would cede control and then it will be up to the fund to find a new buyer.
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