Nyon, Switzerland: UEFA on Wednesday banned Turkish champions Galatasaray from European competition for one year for breaching spending rules. A UEFA tribunal ordered the ban after Galatasaray "failed to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement" made with the European confederation in May 2014, said a statement.
Galatasaray have spent heavily in recent years to buy the likes of Germany's World Cup winner Lukas Podolski and Dutch star Wesley Sneijder. They have also been ordered to cut back on wages but the club was relieved only to get a one-year ban. UEFA referred the case to its financial control adjudicatory chamber in January after Galatasaray did not balance its budget for the 2015-2016 season as promised.
Turkish reports said Galatasaray had promised to restrict losses to 30 million euros over a three-year period but the final figure was 160 million euros. UEFA said Galatasary would be banned from European competition for the next season it qualifies in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons.
"The Turkish club has also been ordered to limit the overall aggregate cost of employee benefits expenses of all of its players in each of the next two reporting periods" for 2016 and 2017, UEFA said. Galatasaray, who failed to get beyond the Champions League group stage this season and went out of the Europa League to Lazio last week, said it hoped to be back in European competition after one year.
The team are having a poor Turkish Super Lig campaign and are currently in fifth place, outside even a chance to play in the Europa League next year. Coach Mustafa Denizli resigned on Tuesday after just three months in the job. Galatasaray vice president for legal affairs Esref Alacayair said: "We are going to have to be careful spending money for the next two seasons. We won't be able to spend money like before. "I don't think it's such a bad outcome.
We only got one year. It's our aim this year to win the Turkish Cup or through a placing in the league qualify for UEFA... and then in the next season (17/18) to qualify for the Champions League." UEFA implemented its financial fair play rules in 2011 in a bid to force clubs to balance their books. Every club in European competition is assessed and bans are the toughest sanction.