Europe's football governing body UEFA have announced that Spanish Primera Division side Real Mallorca will not be given permission to play in the Europa League in the 2010-11 season.
Mallorca finished fifth in the Spanish top flight last season and by rule were supposed to feature in the upcoming Europa League campaign. However, the Balearic club has been struggling financially and UEFA have now decided that the Islanders do not meet the criteria to play in the competition.
UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body met in Nyon on Thursday to come to their decision. A statement on their website reads:
"On the basis of all expert reviews which have been undertaken, the Control and Disciplinary Body ruled that the club does not fulfil the necessary admission criteria (Article 2.07 of the Regulations of the UEFA Europa League), as 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."
It is expected that Mallorca will launch an appeal against this ruling. If Mallorca fail in their appeal, then fellow Spanish side Villarreal could take their place in the Europa League.
Update 22:11 CET: Real Mallorca have responded to their ban from continental play with a statement on their official website. Indeed, the club hint at appealing the suspension.
"Uefa's decision is quite surprising in substance and form," read the release.
"The club will consider legal steps to follow upon receipt of the resolution in its entirety.
"RCD Mallorca deeply regrets the disappointment that Uefa's decision (which is unprecedented and not understandable) will cause our fans."