AC Milan confident of avoiding Financial Fair Play penalties

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AC Milan are confident of warding off the threat of Financial Fair Play sanctions from UEFA.

The Serie A club’s managing director Marco Fassone insists they will soon finalise a refinancing programme to avoid being penalised by the governing body of European football.

Eighteen-time Italian champions Milan were bought by Chinese investors Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux in April and spent over 230 million euros (£210million) on new players in the summer.

That outlay – and concern over Milan’s ability to repay several loans to an American hedge fund – has reportedly prompted an investigation by UEFA’s Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee.

The Italian media says Milan have offered to commit to a voluntary agreement to present a multi-year business plan to restructure their finances, or else face exclusion from continental competitions should they qualify in the future.

Fassone told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “The funeral has come a bit early. The UEFA committee has made requests which would be objectively impossible to satisfy, not only by Milan but by any club.

“I am confident we can organise our refinancing by the spring.”

A UEFA spokesman told Press Association Sport: “These media reports are unfounded.

“There is a meeting of the Club Financial Control Body on Friday to discuss the request for voluntary agreement and a decision will be communicated next week.

“The Club Financial Control Body is an independent organ and has not taken any decision yet on the request submitted by the Italian club.”

Hedge fund Elliott Management are reported to have loaned Milan’s Chinese owners – headed by businessman Li Yonghong – 180m euros (£157m) and a further 123m euros (£107m) to the club. Together with approximately 50m euros (£43.6m) of interest, the loans must be repaid by October 2018, according to reports.

Milan are currently competing in the Europa League and have qualified for the last 32, and it is hoped they will qualify for a Champions League place in the 2018-19 season.

Should Milan fail to qualify for the continent’s top tournament it is reported they will end the current campaign with 100m euros (£87m) of debt, and be forced to sell high-profile players to satisfy FFP.

Those in danger of being moved on, according to the Italian media, would include precociously-talented goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and club captain Leonardo Bonucci, the Italy defender.

Source: PA





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