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UEFA fines AC Milan, threatens European ban

AC Milan v Torino FC - Serie A

MILAN, ITALY - DECEMBER 09: Players of AC Milan during the minute of silence in tribute to Gigi Radice before the Serie A match between AC Milan and Torino FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on December 9, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

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AC Milan will lose out on $13.5 million and could be banned from European competition in the future for breaking Financial Fair Play rules.

UEFA made its announcement on Friday, issuing a double blow to Milan after the club were booted from the Europa League. UEFA issued a fine of $13.5 million, which will be deducted from revenues earned during the 2018-2019 Europa League, as well as threatened to ban Milan from European competition in the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 seasons if they don’t break even by June 30, 2021.

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sold his stake in Milan in June 2017 to Chinese businessman Li Yonghong and his company Rossoneri Sport, which then began to spend wildly to make Milan a top club again. However, after less than a year, Li was unable to pay his creditors on time and questions emerged on how Milan would possibly balance the books.

UEFA last June initially banned Milan from this season’s Europa League, but the Court for Arbitration and Sport overturned the decision in July, calling on UEFA to make a more appropriate punishment.

UEFA’s FFP rules were put in place for situations just like Milan’s to avoid a business person entering a club, spending wildly, and then using the club as debt collateral as the business person works to pay back the debts, holding the club back. However, the quick decision to ban Milan was much different than the previous punishments to Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, which were mostly just large fines.