AC Milan banned from Europa League next season over Financial Fair Play breaches

AC Milan were investigated over alleged FFP breaches.
AC Milan successfully appealed against a ban in July 2018

AC Milan have struck a deal with Uefa to serve a one-year ban from European football over breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.

The club, which finished fifth in Italy's Serie A, will miss next season's Europa League.

Uefa will end its proceedings against the Italians for overspending, said the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

"AC Milan is excluded from Uefa club competitions of the sporting season 2019-2020," said Cas.

Milan's ban means AS Roma, who came sixth in the standings, move up to the Europa League group stage while their place in the qualifying rounds is taken by seventh-placed Torino.

Seven-time European champions Milan finished one point behind local rivals Inter, who took the final Champions League qualifying place.

AC Milan confirmed their "voluntary acceptance" of the ban and said they hoped it would "act as a stimulus" to take them back to the top.

"Whilst saddened by the fact that our fans will not be able to see their team compete in European competition next season, the club recognises and respects FFP," the club said in a statement.

"The club acknowledges it has no other choice but to accept the sanctions, as it seeks to forge a pathway back to full compliance.

"AC Milan remains committed to restoring the club to its rightful place at the top of European football."

Milan previously successfully appealed against a two-year ban imposed by Uefa last summer after being found guilty of breaking spending rules between 2015 and 2017.

Under Uefa regulations, any club making losses beyond the permitted limits over a three-year period faces possible sanctions, and in some circumstances, a ban.

Milan were able to take part in last season's Europa League - going out in the group stage - after appealing to Cas.

Analysis

BBC Sport's David Ornstein

It is understood this ruling was requested by Milan as part of their overall FFP settlement agreement with Uefa.

Last year, Milan were banned from the Europa League but then reinstated by Cas following an appeal.

This year, Milan agreed to take the ban as it was in the mutual interests of both the club and Uefa.

It is likely to earn Milan a more favourable ruling from Uefa in terms of their overall FFP predicament, as they face breaches in the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

The ban allows Uefa to shows the world they're clamping down, while Milan get some breathing space in their efforts to move into a more stable financial position.

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