Selasa, 27 Juli 2010

No Europa League for Mallorca, possible implications for other clubs

European football governing body UEFA it finally going tough on clubs who are facing financial problems and aren't willing to change their ways. UEFA has barred Spanish La Liga side RCD Mallorca from participating in its competitions in the upcoming 2010/11 season. The decision was taken by UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body at its meeting in Nyon on July 22.

A statement by UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body said: "On the basis of all expert reviews which have been undertaken, the Control and Disciplinary Body ruled that the club does not fulfil the necessary admission criteria (Article 2.07 of the Regulations of the UEFA Europa League), as the licence of the club was not granted in accordance with the UEFA Club Licensing Regulations, 2008 edition, and the club has not fulfilled its obligations as defined in these regulations."

This tough decision did take some by surprise and also means that RCD Mallorca would be replaced by FC Villareal in the Europa League as a Spanish representative as they finished seventh in last season La Liga behind then island club.

A statement on Mallorca's official website read: "UEFA's decision is quite surprising in substance and form. The club will consider legal steps to follow upon receipt of the resolution in its entirety. RCD Mallorca deeply regrets the disappointment that UEFA's decision (which is unprecedented and not understandable) will cause our fans."

In the meanwhile RCD Mallorca have lodged an appeal with UEFA against the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body's decision last week whereby the Spanish club are not admitted to the UEFA club competitions for the 2010/11 season. The date of the appeal hearing will be announced by UEFA in due course. One will then see if UEFA stick to their guns or takes a step back and leave it with a warning.

And what does this step mean for other European club sides???

Take this as a real warning as regulations will get tougher in the coming years and UEFA will more and more scrutinize the balance sheets of clubs qualifying to participate in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
It would be interesting to see financially troubled clubs from England, Spain and Italy barred from European competitions due to their balance sheets in the minus and their debts in 100's of Millions. An interesting case would have been FC Portsmouth if they had won the FA Cup last season though they went down from the Premiership and went into administration. They would have also been debarred from taking part in the Europa League.

So can you e.g. think about a UEFA Champions League without an FC Barcelona or a Manchester United? Well unlikely for not qualifying through their respective leagues, but rather due to the financial problems these biggies of world football currently face. Barca are just looking for a 150 Million Euro loan, while Man U's owners the Glazers have financed their buy of the Red Devils with hefty loans. An unlikely scenario, but if UEFA goes by their financial rules then these clubs could follow Mallorca in the future. And that wouldn't be good for football and its fans, but we also don't want clubs to end up being in a situation like Portsmouth.

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