Mallorca to appeal Europa League exclusion

MADRID - Financially troubled Spanish club Real Mallorca are preparing an appeal against their exclusion from this season's European competition by governing body UEFA.

Mallorca finished fifth in La Liga last campaign and qualified for the Europa League but UEFA said on Thursday it had decided the club had not fulfilled the admission criteria as the requisite licence had not been granted.

UEFA did not explain the reasons behind the decision but Mallorca said in May they had applied to go into voluntary administration in an effort to sort out their finances.

"...the licence of the club was not granted in accordance with the UEFA Club Licensing Regulations, 2008 edition, and the club has not fulfilled its obligations as defined in these regulations," UEFA said in a statement on its website.

Mallorca said in May they had applied to go into voluntary administration in an effort to sort out their finances.

The club's lawyer, Luis Huerta, said in a statement on Friday an appeal would be lodged once more was known about UEFA's decision.

Huerta noted that the Spanish judge overseeing Mallorca's administration process had asked UEFA and the domestic football federation (RFEF) not to revoke the club's licence as this would complicate the financial reorganisation effort.

"This (UEFA) decision is seriously harmful to the club's administration process as there were a series of revenues expected ... that would have allowed payments to creditors," Huerta added.

Like many Spanish clubs, Mallorca have been slipping further into the red due to spiralling wage and transfer costs. A recent University of Barcelona study indicated they had debts of around 85 million euros.

World number one tennis player and Mallorca native Rafa Nadal became a shareholder in the club this month and his uncle, former football professional Miguel Angel Nadal, is assistant to new coach Michael Laudrup.

"I am optimistic," Laudrup said on the club's website on Friday. "It doesn't seem logical that this could happen. I don't think we'll stay out."

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