AC Milan have been banned by UEFA from European football this season for breaking Financial Fair Play regulations, which is one of the toughest sentences ever handed down.
The Italian giants had qualified for the 2018-19 Europa League campaign after finishing sixth in Serie A last season.
The San Siro side have spent £200m on transfers last summer and the UEFA stated that the seven-time Champions League winners have breached FFP rules.
The UEFA governing body has insisted the Rossoneri’s financial stability was really unsustainable.
“The Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), chaired by José Narciso da Cunha Rodrigues, has taken a decision in the case of the club AC Milan that had been referred to it by the CFCB Chief Investigator for the breach of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations, in particular, the break-even requirement,” read the UEFA statement.
“The club is excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next two (2) seasons (i.e. one competition in 2018/19 or 2019/20, subject to qualification).”
“This decision may be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in accordance with Article 34(2) of the Procedural rules governing the UEFA Club Financial Control Body, as well as Articles 62 and 63 of the UEFA Statutes.”
“The full reasoned decision will be published on UEFA.com in due course.”
Milan had qualified for the Europa League group phase, and now Atalanta are likely to be bumped up from the play-off round to the group stage; while Fiorentina, who finished eighth will reportedly step up into the playoffs to take Atalanta place.