AC Milan general manager Marco Fassone says UEFA are being unfair with the demands they have made with regards to their financial fair play (FFP) requirements.
Fassone was part of a Milan congregation who travelled to UEFA headquarters in Nyon last month seeking a voluntary agreement to ensure the Rossoneri would fit within FFP parameters within a stipulated time frame.
They have spent heavily since being taken over last April and would only be able to balance their books by selling players again next summer.
Milan are hoping for some leeway, considering it is only the first year of the club’s new ownership, and they have outlined plans and projections which would see them boost revenue but Fassone claims UEFA are not giving his club a fair chance.
“Recently, the UEFA commission made demands which would be objectively impossible for any club to meet, not just for Milan,” Fassone told ANSA. “Let’s hope that they are ethically neutral in dealing with Milan.
“If this is not possible, despite our flexibility, then it would become a much greater issue, not just regarding Milan but also the institutions. We need to look at what spirit this idea of a voluntary agreement was conceived with, and which clubs are allowed to adhere to it.
“It’s depressing reading the newspapers which are announcing our funeral in advance, but I have too much respect for the UEFA institutions and I hope that is not the case.”
Milan are currently 13 points off the pace of Serie A’s top four, which would earn Champions League football next season — a key source of revenue that the club look set to miss out on, further complicating their financial situation.
They have reached the Europa League round-of-32, but a 2-0 defeat to Rijeka in their final group game on Thursday night — Gennaro Gattuso’s second game in charge since replacing Vincenzo Montella — does not raise hopes of an improvement on the field.
Gattuso said it was a result and performance he had not expected, but at the same time he must be held responsible for it and not the off-field distractions.
“It hurts when you lose like this, and it makes you think” he told Sky Sport Italia. “Today, I’m the responsible one because I picked the team.
“We were too fragile and we’re giving the impression that, at the first sign of difficulty, we cannot react. We need to improve quickly. We’ve got so many problems within the squad that the club’s problems don’t interest me, and I don’t think there are any problems anyway.
“We need to start getting results and playing good football.”
Milan host Bologna, who have 21 points like them, on Sunday before travelling to Hellas Verona and hosting Atalanta before Christmas.
They have won only one of their last five Serie A games but were unbeaten in nine European outings this season until Thursday night’s loss in Croatia.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.