Portugal’s Vitoria Guimaraes are among six Europa League clubs being investigated by UEFA over their capacity to meet financial obligations.
The club, who currently sit third in Group I and recorded an impressive 1-1 draw in Lyon on matchday two, have been referred to the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), along with the already eliminated Skonto, Slask Wroclaw, Pandurii Targu Jiu, Petrolul Ploiesti and Metalurh Donetsk.
Chaired by former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, the CFCB is set to decide whether the clubs should face sanctions, with a decision expected next month.
And UEFA have confirmed to Perform that punishments could be as severe as disqualification from competitions in progress or exclusion from future events, but that each club would be judged on a case-by-case basis.
The six teams were among an initial list of 31, but the governing body revealed 25 of those cases have now been closed.
According to a statement on the UEFA website: “The introduction of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations has already had a very positive impact on the scale of overdue payables towards clubs, employees and social/tax authorities, as they have decreased from €57m in June 2011 to €9m in June 2013.
“A similar trend was observed in September 2013.”
Malaga and Rapid Bucharest were handed bans from European competition in similar circumstances last season.