UEFA should provide more support to clubs under new ownership to help them adhere to Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, according to AC Milan chief executive Marco Fassone.
European football’s governing body confirmed on Friday it had turned down Milan’s offer of a “voluntary agreement” to delay punishments under the FFP model.
Last month, UEFA asked Milan for more information about their business plan before deciding whether to punish them under the rules, which leave clubs who compete in its competitions and spend more than they generate in revenue vulnerable to sanctions.
Chinese entrepreneur Yonghong Li completed his takeover of Milan in April and financed a sustained spending spree of more than €200million during the last transfer window, with players including Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu arriving at San Siro.
Fassone accepted Milan are now awaiting UEFA’s decision regarding sanctions but said more should be done to help new owners comply with the regulations.
“It was something we were expecting, as UEFA asked us to complete the refinancing of the debt with [American private equity fund] Elliott before completing the voluntary agreement and to provide a bank guarantee or to make a deposit of an important sum, which are impossible to meet and it would be the same for any other club in AC Milan’s situation,” the chief executive said.
“Despite the explanations that we provided the UEFA committee which show that all the guarantees and the documentation should be considered sound enough, UEFA decided to reject the voluntary agreement.
“I think we did everything the right way, we provided UEFA with all the documentation. We made two different plans, one more optimistic and the other less, we have proved to the committee how AC Milan could deal with lower incomes, especially those coming from China, with performances on the pitch not in line with the expectations.
“I think that we have shown UEFA a solid strategy which the committee was also satisfied with, but apparently, the thing needed was a bank guarantee.
“I think UEFA should try to help those clubs who have just changed ownership and are making investments to put the club back on their perch, back on a top international level.
“With these rules, it is almost impossible to reach a voluntary agreement. It probably would have been possible if we hadn’t decided to make the investments we made this summer. With the other European clubs, we can discuss whether to keep the opportunity to offer a voluntary agreement or not.
“Through the settlement agreement, the club will need to accept UEFA’s financial sanctions hoping they will be in line with those suffered by other clubs in the past, presumably some squad sanctions on the list of players that can take part in European competitions and probably some restrictions, a salary cap, we’ll see.”