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AC Milan is open to settlement over financial fair play

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MILAN (AP) AC Milan says it’s open to a “settlement agreement” with UEFA over a financial fair play investigation that threatens to derail the plans of the club’s new Chinese owners.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that UEFA’s club financial control body will turn down Milan’s offer of a “voluntary agreement” to seek more credit.

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A club statement says, “Milan has always declared itself ready to face the other side of the coin, which is the settlement agreement.”

While Milan spent more than 200 million euros (nearly $250 million) on new players in the offseason, there have been questions about the financial stability of the Chinese-led consortium that purchased the club from Silvio Berlusconi for $800 million in April.

Milan reportedly had losses of 255 million euros over the past three years.

UEFA open Financial Fair Play investigation of Paris Saint-Germain

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UEFA is taking a closer look at how Paris Saint-Germain plans to abide by its Financial Fair Play regulations in the coming year.

The European football confederation announced on Friday it was opening a Financial Fair Play investigation to monitor PSG following its massive summer spending on the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe among others.

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“The Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body has opened a formal investigation into Paris Saint-Germain as part of its ongoing monitoring of clubs under Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations,” UEFA wrote in a statement. “The investigation will focus on the compliance of the club with the break-even requirement, particularly in light of its recent transfer activity.

“In the coming months, the Investigatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body will regularly meet in order to carefully evaluate all documentation pertaining to this case.”

Neymar and Mbappe’s combined transfer fees will cost PSG around $477 million alone. PSG only made $66.4 million back in departures this summer.

It’s no surprise that PSG is being investigated for breaching FFP regulations, which state that teams have to break even instead of run at huge losses as many teams did, which led to some going into administration.

However, PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaïfi claims that PSG are operating above board and told fans not to worry about facing future fines or expulsions from competitions.

Report: PSG won’t pursue Mbappe due to FFP restrictions

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If there’s a player that’s going to command almost as much money as Neymar, it’ll probably be Monaco star Kylian Mbappe.

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One club that appears to be out of the running for the 18-year-old Frenchman is Paris Saint-Germain, though, as the Parisians have stated that they don’t want to violate FIFA’s Financial Fair Play laws.

PSG completed their blockbuster move for Neymar last week after triggering the former Barcelona attacker’s $263 million release clause, and Mbappe would likely cost the club another $212 million.

Real Madrid and Premier League side Manchester City continue to be linked to Mbappe — who exited Monaco’s first match of the season with a slight knock. He’s still expected to play in the team’s next match on Sunday at Dijon.

UEFA report: Financial Fair Play working, Real Madrid richest

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While it’s not a surprise that UEFA would trumpet the success of its own policy, it appears Financial Fair Play is working.

Combined club losses are down approximately $1.3 billion, from about $1.8 billion to just under $600 million. And according to a Sky Sports report, UEFA says FFP is to credit for the success.

The report also claims that Real Madrid remains the most successful club in terms of finances, good for a whopping $630 million in revenue last year.

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Completing the top four are Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Barcelona. No real surprises there.

So, do you buy it? That threatening punishment and putting a max on the amount of losses teams can take will lower the amount of losses teams are willing to take? Logic dictates, “Yes”.

Court blocks UEFA plan for stricter Financial Fair Play rules

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UEFA’s hopes of lowering the maximum losses allowed under Financial Fair Play took a hit on Tuesday, as a Belgian court imposed an interim order blocking their plan.

European football’s governing body currently punishes any club that suffers more than approximately $50 million in losses over the course of a season, but was hoping to lower that number to about $33 million.

[ MORE: All Financial Fair Play rules ]

UEFA president Michel Platini is said to be hoping to ease FFP, but not at the expense of this rule. UEFA’s plan is to allow owners to spend their own money, not club money, if they want to dig deeper on player purchases.

Dynamo Moscow was recently banned from the Europa League for breaking FFP rules, while Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were among the clubs punished last season.

From the BBC:

Uefa claimed the Belgian court was “incompetent” and insisted its appeal “automatically suspends the ruling of the lower court”.

“It means that Uefa can proceed with the next phase of implementation of FFP,” it said.

The governing body’s statement added: “Uefa remains fully confident that FFP is entirely in line with EU law, and that the European Court will in due course simply confirm this to be the case.”

The Belgian court is asking the ECJ if Uefa’s ‘break-even rule’, the centrepiece of FFP, violates EU regulations on free competition, free movement of capital, freedom to invest and free movement of works and services.

That last part is the tricky portion of the idea. If clubs are willing to spend themselves into debt in pursuit of on-field glory, at the potential long-term damage to its club, should they be allowed to do so?