AC MILAN have been banned from Europe for a year – after striking a deal with Uefa that allows them to get round Financial Fair Play rules this summer.
The club has been thrown out of the Europa League, with Roma taking their place in the main draw and Torino gaining entry through the qualifying rounds.
The Italian giants had been challenging a ruling through the courts after twice breaking regulations limiting the amount of money they could spend.
Uefa’s FFP rules say clubs can lose just £27m over three years.
Despite the warnings, Milan spent around £180m on transfers in 2018-19 after being taken over by US hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation – only to again finish outside the Serie A top four.
But Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis has successfully persuaded the governing body to bring the punishment forward by a year – which allows the club 12 months before having their accounts examined again.
That means the former Arsenal CEO can oversea a huge spending spree this summer as they gamble on securing a top four finish and Champions League qualification this season.
If they manage to do that, the club will be set for a huge cash windfall from the new Uefa “historical” rankings system.
The club know they can appeal any FFP punishment imposed on them next summer, which would allow the following year’s European money to hit their books.
And then they could show the business was being run properly – meaning they would be able to avoid any punishment.
Uefa agreed to the penalty in a ruling that was delivered by CAS this morning.
A CAS statement read: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued a Consent Award embodying the agreement reached between AC Milan S.p.A and the Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) concerning breaches of the Uefa Financial Fair Play Regulations by the Italian club.
“i. The Decision rendered by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Uefa Club Financial Control Body in the case AC-05/2018 on 20 November 2018 (i.e. decision under appeal in the CAS 2018/A/6083 matter) is set aside.
“ii. The Decision rendered by the Investigatory Chamber of the Uefa Club Financial Control Body on 10 April 2019 (i.e. decision under appeal in the CAS 2018/A/6261 matter) is set aside.
“iii. The decisions referred to under item i) and ii) above are replaced by the following order: “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”.
“iv. 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.”