UEFA bans Galatasaray from Europe for 1 season for Financial Fair Play violations, coach quits

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Galatasaray has been banned from the next European competition the club qualifies for over the next two seasons due to breach of Financial Fair Play rules, UEFA confirmed in a statement. They have also been ordered to cut player benefits costs.

The club has repeatedly broken the rules, and was put on a probationary period for the 2014/15 season having signed a break-even agreement. That agreement has been broken, it was announced in January, thus resulting in punishment.

Galatasaray chairman Dursun Özbek predicted this punishment back in January, adding that the club was doing its best to limit spending and reduce the heavy losses the club had been reporting over the past few seasons.

“The committee wants to ban Galatasaray from the European cups for 1+1 years. This is not their decision, but the meetings suggest it,” Özbek said during a press conference in January.

“If there is an improvement in the second year of monitoring us, if there is a loss of 10 million by the end of 2016 and 10 million at the end of 2017, then they recommend only a one-year ban,” Özbek said. “We are working to bring the losses down to 5-10 million euros and minimize spending in the second half. This is not just for UEFA; this is necessary for Galatasaray’s survival.”

UEFA rules say a club cannot post a loss of over €30 million ($32.5 million) for three consecutive seasons. The Turkish club posted losses far in excess of that amount for between 2012 and 2015, reaching €70 million ($76 million) in the 2013/14 season.

Galatasaray has already been eliminated from European competition this season, finishing third in their Champions League group, and falling in the Europa League knockout stages to Lazio on a 4-2 aggregate.

With the ban looming and the defending champions currently sitting fifth in the league standings with 37 points, 16 behind leaders Fererbahce, manager Mustafa Denizli quit his post after just three months in charge. The 66-year-old Denizli had taken over back in mid-November to replace Hamza Hamzagolu, marking his third spell in charge of Gala, but the club confirmed on Tuesday that he would leave, replaced temporarily by developmental coach Orhan Atik.

Notable players who could see these events affect their future at the club include Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, Dutch superstar Wesley Sneijder, Arsenal loanee Lukas Podolski, and club captain Selcuk Inan.