AC Milan general manager Marco Fassone said he is "surprised and very disappointed" by UEFA's decision to refer the Serie A club to the adjudicatory chamber of their financial control body for breaching fair play rules without being offered a settlement.
Milan risk being excluded from the Europa League next season and Fassone said he cannot understand why UEFA are considering sanctions.
"I was expecting UEFA to offer us a settlement agreement, because since fair play is in force, UEFA always offered such solution to all the clubs in a situation similar to that of AC Milan," Fassone said in a statement on Milan's website. "There was only one case of a Russian team, not really a top team, that was referred to the adjudicatory chamber immediately without UEFA offering a settlement agreement."
Fassone said that the club submitted financial statements to UEFA with the aim of reaching a settlement, but the organisation denied that request because of uncertainties regarding the restructuring of their debt -- and that "casts some doubts on the club's possible future after October 2018."
As a result, Fassone said, the club's reputation has been damaged and Milan are paying for mistakes made before they were bought by Chinese investors Rossoneri Sport for more than £600 million in April 2017.
"I am disappointed because, as AC Milan's CEO, I know that we did everything we could possibly do," Fassone said. "We submitted very detailed plans and dossiers, but UEFA has some doubts relevant to other aspects."
Fassone pledged that Milan would work with the adjudicatory chamber to ensure the organisation determines what he believes would be a fair outcome.
Among the many potential sanctions UEFA may impose could be an exclusion from Europe, and the revenue expected from a successful run in the Europa League, with Milan securing a place in the group stage via their Serie A placing, would be important for the club's future financial stability.
They committed over €200 million to signing 11 new players last summer but may now have to await the outcome of the chamber's deliberations before defining their transfer strategy this summer.
On Monday, Fassone admitted that Milan may consider allowing goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to leave the club this summer despite a four-year contract signed in July in order to help control their finances.