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Milan Out of Europa League, Roma Directly to Group Stage

Some good news to brighten your day

AC Milan U15 v AS Roma U15 - Serie A & B Under 15 Playoff Final Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Manolas to be sold, Dzeko to be sold, Inter interested in Florenzi, Nzonzi going AWOL for his medical exams at Trigoria, SES linked with a billion dollar move to China. Admittedly, the last couple of days in Romaville were depressing and not very uplifting for us, the fans, but Taddei today is a good day. Finally. Thanks to a certain club called AC Milan. Grazie, Rossoneri.

I’ll start with the official thingy:

A Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) statement reads: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued a Consent Award embodying the agreement reached between AC Milan S.p.A and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) concerning breaches of the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations by the Italian club.

‘Some boring facts and numbers and shizzles... Hey look, a butterfly!’

The decisions referred to under item i) and ii) above are replaced by the following order: “AC Milan is excluded from participating in the UEFA Club Competitions of the sporting season 2019/2020 as a consequence of the breach of its FFP break-even obligations during the 2015/2016/2017 and the 2016/2017/2018 monitoring periods”.

Bla bla bla, yadda yadda yadda. Whatever. In short: AC Milan, the fifth placed team in Serie A, will NOT participate in the Europa League due to financial restrictions, thus freeing up a spot for Italy. The mighty AS Roma, as number six in the league, will take their place and Torino will take Roma’s spot in the qualifiers.

This is good news for Torino as they suddenly are qualified for Europe after a nice campaign but it's more important for Roma—they don’t need to play those damned qualifying rounds against FC Hungary or Sporting Albania. Instead, they will now automatically go to the group stage (starting mid September), in pot 1 along with sides like Sevilla, Arsenal, Man U and CSKA Moscow.

That sounds better than Debrecen or Kukesi, right?

Fonseca and co get a little lifeline here, as the team now has a more time to train, gel, get to know each other etc. Also, the pressure on Petrachi reduces a bit because the official start of the season is delayed by this decision so I reckon his working days will be less stressful. For now.

Transfers in almost every department are necessary, even urgent, but the club now gets four extra weeks of preseason before Serie A kicks off. There should be no excuses to be 100% by August 24, when the first game takes place. Still, this feels like justice has been served and Roma can take a breather in July and fully concentrate on Serie A.

More Europa League news will follow soon, in which we cover the possible opponents of Roma and the exact amount of tears the Milan fans have shed during this day.

Now let’s just enjoy silly season (Diawara and Barella per favore) and let those Balkan clubs fight it out between themselves in July.