Marseille forfeits $2M prize money in UEFA finance case

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Marseille must pay UEFA 2 million euros ($2.24 million) for breaking financial fair play rules monitoring spending on player transfers and wages.

UEFA’s club finance panel reached agreement with Marseille to also withhold a further 4 million euros ($4.48 million) in prize money if financial targets are missed through June 2023, the European soccer body said Wednesday.

Since being bought in 2016 by former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Marseille has reached the 2018 Europa League final but mostly underachieved.

UEFA’s panel will allow Marseille a “maximum break-even deficit” of 30 million euros ($33.7 million) next season.

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The French club is out of European competition after a fifth-place finish in Ligue 1, despite an attack that includes Mario Balotelli and France internationals Dmitri Payet and Florian Thauvin. That cost coach Rudi Garcia his job.

Andre Villas-Boas, the former Chelsea, Tottenham, Zenit St. Petersburg and Shanghai SIPG coach, was hired last month on a two-year contract.

For both of those seasons, Marseille has accepted to limit its wage bill in proportion to revenue, UEFA said.

In two other settlement deals Wednesday, UEFA said CFR Cluj of Romania and Kairat Almaty of Kazakhtsan will both pay 200,000 euros ($224,000) from their competition prize money and aim to reach break-even on FFP calculations.

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