Italian powerhouse AC Milan could miss out on playing in the Europa League next season after European football’s top financial investigators have recommended excluding the Chinese-owned club for violating rules that limit spending, the New York Times reported on Friday. According to the US-based outlet, “two people involved in the process” have confirmed that UEFA investigators have recommended Milan be excluded from Europe’s second-tier continental tournament for violating Financial Fair Play rules.
UEFA had announced last week that the seven-time European champions had failed to convince officials that they are in a financially healthy position and referred the case to the adjudicatory chamber of its financial control unit to recommend an appropriate punishment. A final decision is expected next week with the investigators “recommended excluding .. AC Milan from continental competition,” reports the New York Times.
UEFA are concerned over Rossoneri’s financial stability since it was purchased by Chinese businessman Li Yonghong from Silvio Berlusconi for 740 million Euros ($918mn) in April last year.
The club then spent more than 200 million Euros on new players in the summer and have a high interest loan of 300 million euros from US hedge fund Elliott Management.
Milan finished sixth in the Serie A last season and qualified for the second-tier Europa League for a second successive season missing out on the money-spinning Champions League.
If Milan were to be barred, they would become the biggest club banished from Europe, following Spanish club Malaga, Red Star Belgrade and Turkey’s Galatasary who were banned for a year in the past for failing to meet financial criteria.