Newcastle face UEFA probe for breaking Champions League rule before Milan clash
Newcastle face a warning from UEFA after breaking Champions League rules by turning up late in Milan for their first Champions League game in 20 years.
Eddie Howe’s squad were still flying over France when their official press conference was supposed to start at the San Siro.
They were due to take off at 2.30pm from Newcastle Airport but after a delay their Boeing 737 private jet took off at 4.45pm, 15 minutes from Sandro Tonali and Howe were due to preview their big game.
United were given special dispensation by UEFA NOT to train at the San Siro on the evening before the clash with AC Milan, which is the usual practice of travelling teams.
But they are duty bound by Article 73 of UEFA regulations to hold a press conference between noon and 8pm the day before the match. Newcastle missed that deadline on Monday night with their plane only landing by 8pm.
Exceptions have to be agreed by UEFA, but there was no communication of any changes at the San Siro on Monday night from officials, and no advanced warning to the media by the club.
UEFA sources say the Geordies could escape a fine but be given a warning. It was hardly ideal prep for the Toon squad who got to their hotel late in the evening for their 6.45pm kick off on Tuesday.
Some flights bound for Milan were being delayed because of torrential rain and a thunderstorm.
Article 73 of the UEFA regulations state: “Each club must hold a pre-match press conference the day before the match.
“Each press conference must be attended by the head coach of the team and at least one player. If the head coach is suspended for the match, clubs have the option of replacing him at the pre-match press conference with the assistant coach.
“The two press conferences must be arranged by the two clubs and UEFA together, so that the media can attend both. Press conferences must start between 12.00 and 20.00 local time. Exceptions to these timings must be agreed in advance with UEFA.
“Press conferences may be broadcast live regardless of location, and clubs must provide facilities for such live broadcasts, including cable routes and parking for TV vehicles.”
Howe and Sandro Tonali were tonight racing from their charter flight to the San Siro to fulfil their duties, while the squad went straight to the hotel.
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