The system of financial control imposed by UEFA, the financial fair play, has been punishing the clubs that have inconsistencies on their finances. AC Milan was the first big victim of this new regulation, that is also eyeing other European giants and their mysterious finances.
UEFA’s financial fair play eliminates AC Milan from the Europa League
The club from Italy was the great recent example for the other European clubs, regarding the financial fair play rule, imposed by UEFA.
According to the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the rossoneri side is excluded from the European international competitions, on the 2019-2020 season, by not having fulfilled their financial obligations during the periods of 2015 and 2018.
Since AC Milan had conquered their spot on the group stage of the Europa League by finishing in 5th place of the Serie A, their exclusion benefited Roma, that finished in 6th place of the competition.
I remind you that UEFA’s rules regarding the financial fair play are very strict, clear and, in a certain way, very well informed, to maintain the high level of football on the continent.
As a number 1 rule, the clubs can’t have net loss on their finances superior to 30 million euros, during a period of 3 years.
Still, the entity regularizes and controls the utilization of their own resources or collection that involves the campaigns related to the club, not allowing the use of resources deriving from irregular sources.
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For example, a club’s owner can’t simply inject as much money as he wants, since in theory, that should be mediated by some company, and in this case, UEFA would investigate the origin of resources, and they would limit to a value that would be considered fair, in order to maintain the parity of the football in the continent.
Another rule that the entity prioritizes is the balance of purchases and sales from the clubs during that period.
In other words, each club as a limit of 100 million euros as a deficit, between what they spend on players and the profit they have from the ones they develop and sell.
That ends up limiting a club that hasn’t invested on the development of their youth academies and is basically a “poacher” of extraneous talents.
It’s worth to remind that AC Milan recently had a switch on their administration of Chinese investors, that caused chaos at the club, not paying back loans and eventually abandoning the club, due to their lack of success on finances.
Since last year, an American investment fund took control of the club, with the promise of injecting around 50 million euros in a short period.
The Italian club has recently bought the midfielder Lucas Paquetá, from Flamengo, with the promise of playing in great competitions, and right now they are limited to domestic competitions only.
On an oficial note, the club has made a statement regarding this punishment:
“AC Milan confirm their maximum commitment to bringing the club back where they deserve to be, at the top of European football. This sanction will represent another incentive to maximize the efforts to get back within the requirements of the CAS.”
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Other clubs are at risk of being punished
This situation isn’t exclusive to AC Milan. Other clubs are on UEFA’s sight regarding their attitude on the European market. As an example, Manchester City and PSG, that have been spending several millions for the last couple of seasons without any prudence.
That criteria is given by the 2nd rule, where the European entity limits the injection of “irregular” money, in order to be able to have more transparency on the deals and have more balance in terms of quality on the continent.
PSG, for example, was investigated due to the money they utilized on the millionaire signings of Mbappé and Neymar.
Being clipped on the third rule of the CAS are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus. All of them had big signings recently, but they still haven’t managed to net a profit with the sales of their athletes.
Juve hired CR7 by a ton of money, Real Madrid bought a set of players by a huge amount of money, in Hazard, Militão, Jovic, Mendy and Rodrigo, and Barça bought Griezmann and they are still trying to secure Neymar’s purchase.
On a very personal way, I have a lot of respect for this European mechanism.
Firstly, due to the fact that it limits the clubs spending money that is not theirs and create a monopoly of great stars on a limited set of clubs.
It also forces the clubs to better manage their finances, maintaining the European level always very high and forcing the clubs to invest on their youth academies, training centres and women’s football.
Imagine if this trend spreads and the same sort of rules are applied in South America?
Maybe the clubs would be heavily affected by that. The South Americans can only dream about being so well organized and serious as the Europeans.