AC Milan is open to settlement over financial fair play

Gennaro Gattuso. (Thanassis Stavrakis file/AP)

MILAN — AC Milan is open to a "settlement agreement" with UEFA over a financial fair play investigation that threatens to derail the plans of the club’s new Chinese owners.

UEFA’s club financial control body will turn down Milan’s offer of a "voluntary agreement" to seek more credit, the Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Thursday.

"Milan has always declared itself ready to face the other side of the coin, which is the settlement agreement," the club said in a statement reacting to the report.

While Milan spent more than 200 million euros (nearly $250 million) on new players in the off-season, there have been questions about the financial stability of the Chinese-led consortium that purchased the club from Silvio Berlusconi for $800 million in April.

Milan reportedly had losses of 255 million euros over the past three years and recently took a loan from U.S. private equity fund Elliott worth more than 300 million euros.

Milan CEO Marco Fassone said the club has a refinancing plan that it expects to complete by April in order to repay Elliott.

Milan opened itself to UEFA scrutiny by qualifying for European competition this season for the first time in three years.

Possible punishments include limits on transfer spending, player salaries, and squad sizes for UEFA competitions.

However, Milan is in eighth place in Serie A and might not qualify for Europe next season. In that case, eventual sanctions would likely not apply until the club returns to European competition.