Spanish football club Malaga have had their one year ban from European football upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The Spanish club, who reached the Champions League quarter finals earlier this season, had originally been handed a two year ban by UEFA back in December 2012.
The second year of this ban was waived following an appeal in May 2013 when Malaga’s finances were proven to be in a more favourable condition but the CAS has now rejected an appeal to overturn the first year. The initial reason given by UEFA for the ban was stated to be “significant overdue payable balances’.
The ban generally relates to unpaid bills and stems from UEFA’s aim to prevent football clubs from spending beyond their means in line with new Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP). The recent CAS hearing took place in Lausanne, Switzerland and Malaga was also ordered to honour the original €300,000 fine imposed by the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) of UEFA.
The decision is tough for Malaga’s fans and players but comes as a harsh warning to football clubs that UEFA is keen to take a strong stance against any potential breaches of the new FFP regulations. Big spending teams such as Manchester City and Paris St Germain will have to tighten up their finances to ensure they do not receive a similar punishment.
A statement from Malaga expressed dismay following the ruling, stating that it was “without precedent in the football world’s judicial sporting realm’. Malaga also expressed their disappointment in the fact that they had been working tirelessly to comply with the new FFP regulations. The situation had seemed a lot more positive for the club after they were initially granted a 2013-2014 UEFA Licence on the basis that they were complying with FFP.
Malaga’s spot in European football will now be taken by Sevilla who finished 9th in La Liga. Interestingly, Rayo Vallecano finished above Sevilla in 8th but have been denied a UEFA Licence due to a failure to agree a timeframe to pay creditors. Rayo have now stated a willingness to take a separate appeal to the CAS in this respect.
Here at Farleys we provide regular advice to both clubs and individuals affected by the new Financial Fair Play Regulations. If you have been affected by any of the above issues then do not hesitate to contact us today in order to speak to one of our specialist Sports Lawyers.