BSP-12 Sports court annuls AC Milan Europa League ban

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BSP-12

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Sports court annuls AC Milan Europa League ban

LAUSANNE, July 20, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – The Court of Arbitration for Sport on
Friday overturned a European ban imposed on AC Milan for violating UEFA’s
financial fair play rules, calling the punishment “not proportionate.”

UEFA banned Milan from playing in next season’s Europa League citing the
club’s failure to meet the “break-even requirement,” which bars clubs from
taking on debt to fund daily operations.

But CAS in statement ruled that “some important elements have not been
properly assessed,” by UEFA judges, notably that the “current financial
situation of the club was now better following the recent change in the
club’s ownership.”

CAS referred the case back to UEFA as requested by AC Milan, whose
executives appeared at the Lausanne-based court on Thursday to argue their
case.

The court “considers that the (UEFA’s) Adjudicatory Chamber is in a better
position than the CAS Panel to issue a new proportionate disciplinary measure
on the basis of the current financial situation of the club,” the statement
said.

AC Milan have spent a troubled 15 months since they were bought by Chinese
businessman Li Yonghong from Silvio Berlusconi in April 2017.

The takeover was partly funded by a high-interest loan of 300 million
euros ($348 million) from American hedge fund Elliott Management.

When Milan failed to make a repayment at the start of July, Elliott moved
to take over, a process which is due to be ratified by club shareholders on
July 21.

The Chinese owners spent more than 200 million euros on players last
summer and that, combined with the terms of the Elliott loan, triggered the
interest of UEFA.

At the end of June, UEFA ruled that Milan were in breach of “the break-
even requirement.”

AC Milan’s managing director Marco Fassone has blamed the club’s woes on
Berlusconi.

BSS/AFP/BZC/1810HRS