Yonghong Li

Financial Fair Play seems to be a dark topic for many fans. AC Milan’s summer transfer moves have raised doubts about the real efficiency of this rule implemented by UEFA in 2011.

This morning, in an interview released to the Italian newspaper ‘La Repubblica’, Umberto Lago, a professor of economics at the University of Bologna and one of the fathers of the UEFA Financial Fair Play, explained, once more, how FFP works and in particular AC Milan’s situation. Mr. Lago also highlighted that the Rossoneri have never been rejected by UEFA on the voluntary agreement.

“Due to delays incurred in the closing of the acquisition of the majority stake of the club, UEFA didn’t have enough time to assess the situation of the Rossoneri. The dossier will be re-released between the summer break and the next transfer market window. Milan will have to demonstrate the continuity of its business plan for the next 4 seasons. The current transfer market campaign is unrestricted.”

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin –
Photo: Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto

Umberto Lago doesn’t believe that AC Milan’s current transfer market expenses are crazy. However, the club has to make sure that its business plan is credible.

It’s interesting to highlight that Mr. Lago has also mentioned the time frame in which the club must cope with the rules of the FFP.

“To avoid financial or sports sanctions, Milan must reach break even in 4 years. To do so, the club has to increase revenues. A few objectives should be implemented in the overall plan. If salaries increase a sanction could be inflicted. However, the expenses for the Champions League are normal for those who invest.”

In reference to the new AC Milan’s ownership, Lago explained: “UEFA has the right to know who is the final beneficiary of the club.”

Umberto Lago evaluated club defaults from April 2014 to September 2015. He was the interim manager of the investigative chamber. He was also involved with the investigations on PSG, Manchester City, Inter, and Roma. Just four months ago, Umberto Lago retired from his job.

AC Milan’s current situation with the FFP is different from that of Inter and Roma.

“The Nerazzurri and the Giallorossi had to find an agreement with UEFA but, during the change of ownership, the Rossoneri did well in establishing a settlement agreement with the European football association. They should be satisfied. This is a virtuous path!”