Circumstances of the case
On 8 November 2017, the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) Chief Investigator referred the case of the club Panathinaikos to the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber due to the presence of overdue payables as at 30 September 2017. The club accepted the findings of the CFCB Chief Investigator, admitting the breach of Articles 65(1) and 66(1) of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations (CL&FFP Regulations). The club states that the aim of the club is to survive, comply with its obligations towards its creditors and asking for leniency considering its critical situation without harming the objectives of the UEFA’s Financial Fair Play System. The CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber determined that Panathinaikos has breached Articles 65(1) and 66(1) of the CL&FFP Regulations because it had overdue payables towards other football clubs and in respect to its employees as at 30 September 2017. The CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber deemed that an exclusion from the next UEFA club competition for which the Club would otherwise qualify in the next three (3) seasons and a fine of €200,000 are appropriate penalties. However, considering the circumstances and particularities of the case, the CFCB Adjudicatory Chamber decided that the exclusion as well as half of the fine, i.e. €100,000, will be lifted if the club is able to prove having paid the amounts or concluded an agreement with the creditors with regard to the amounts identified as overdue payables.
The Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) decided to exclude Panathinaikos from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next three (3) seasons (i.e. 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons), unless the club is able to prove by 1 March 2018 that it has paid the amounts or concluded an agreement with the creditors with regard to the amounts that were identified as overdue payables as at 30 September 2017.
The club was also fined €200,000, from which €100,000 is suspended and will only fall due in case the club is not able to prove by 1 March 2018 that it has paid the amounts or concluded an agreement with the creditors with regard to the amounts that were identified as overdue payables as at 30 September 2017.
Chairman: José Narciso da Cunha Rodrigues (Portugal)
Christiann Timmermans (Netherlands)
Louis Peila (Switzerland)
Charles Flint (England)
Adam Giersz (Poland)
Circumstances of the case
PFC Ludogorets 1945 supporters blocked the stairways and the emergency exit gate in ‘Sector A2-A3’ (behind the goal) throughout the Match. No effort was made by the club’s stewards to address the problem. Also, the club’s player Nascimento Da Costa Marcelo was dismissed by the referee for “violent conduct” after hitting an opponent. In addition, four yellow cards were issued to the club’s players by the referee. PFC Ludogorets 1945 stated that the incident involving the Player involved “no excessive force or brutality”, and argues that the offence should be considered only to be “rough play” or “unsporting behavior”. The club also provides a video of the incident.
Legal framework Article 15 (1) (e) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, Article 15 (4) UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, Article 38 UEFA Safety and Security Regulations
The CEDB reviewed the video evidence and noted that the player hit an opponent on the head. This act is described in the referee’s report as “violent conduct”, and this report carries the presumption of accuracy. Further, the video provided by the club clearly shows the player hitting an opponent. Consequently, the player’s behaviour during the match constitutes assault under the terms of Art. 15 (1) (e) DR and needs to be punished accordingly, in the present case with a three match suspension. With regard to the blocking of stairways and the blocking of stairways, the CEDB deemed a fine of €13’250 to be appropriate.
Chairman: Partl Thomas (AUT)
Circumstances of the case
According to the official reports of UEFA Europa League match between Olympique Lyonnais and Beşiktaş, several incidents were reported regarding Olympique Lyonnais, such as insufficient organization, pitch invasions, crowd disturbances, setting off and throwing of fireworks, blocking of stairways and improper conduct of the team. The CEDB considered that a very harsh sanction needed to be imposed on the club, considering the extreme violence which broke out in the stands. The CEDB emphasised that such behaviour tarnishes the image of football, of UEFA and the UEFA Europa League. The CEDB also took into account the positive previous record of the club pertaining to crowd disturbances and decided to exclude Olympique Lyonnais from participating in the next UEFA club competition, deferring this exclusion for a probationary period of two (2) years. The club appealed the CEDB’s decision, requesting that the exclusion from participating in the next UEFA club competition is set aside and an amount of fine is fixed according to the principle of proportionality. In its appeal the club accepted the breaches established in the CEDB decision, but stated that the CEDB did not consider the club’s degree of fault and the sanctions imposed were disproportionate. The club also held that its right to equal treatment was violated in light of the significantly lower sanctions imposed on other clubs in the past in alleged similar circumstances.
Legal framework Article 15 (4) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR). Article 16 (2) (a), (c) and (h) of the UEFA DR; Article 37 and Article 38 of the UEFA Safety and Security Regulations
On 19 April 2017, the CEDB decided to exclude Olympique Lyonnais from participating in the next UEFA club competition, deferred for a probationary period of two (2) years. The CEDB also imposed a fine of 100’000 on the club. The Appeals Body upheld the initial CEDB decision and rejected the appeal of Olympique Lyonnais. The Appeals Body considered that the CEDB neither abused nor exceeded its broad powers of discretion and that the measures imposed comply with the principles of legality and proportionality. The Appeals Body particularly agreed with the considerations of the CEDB regarding the behaviour of Olympique Lyonnais’ supporters. The Appeals Body considered that although it is clear that having so many supporters of the Visiting Club in the stadium did not help matters but, the fact that there is a large away support at a match should never be used as an excuse for violent behaviour by the home supporters. In this scenario, the Appeals Body decided that, considering the specific circumstances of the case, a combination of a fine and an exclusion was clearly appropriate.
Chairman: Pedro Tomás (Spain)
Michael Maessen (Netherlands)
Björn Ahlberg (Sweden)