UEFA has excluded Dynamo Moscow from European competition for a season for breaking financial fair play rules.
“I can’t say that the UEFA decision came as a big surprise for us,” billionaire club president Boris Rotenberg said in a statement.
“We’re sure that, under the terms of a necessary cut to the wage bill, Dynamo will still be able to fight for top places. I don’t doubt that next summer we’ll be back competing in Europe.”
The club’s place will likely pass to Rubin Kazan, which finished fifth in the Russian league, one place behind Dynamo. In a brief statement, UEFA confirmed Dynamo was barred from Europe, but did not state whether Rubin would take the spot.
Dynamo had been under investigation for overspending after the club spent more on player transfers and wages than its football-related revenue in 2014 financial accounts.
The club said on Friday it began taking “painful steps” to cut costs, and its performances on the field were suffering as a result.
“We didn’t sign a single new guy in the winter, and that was reflected in Dynamo’s performances in the spring part of the season,” Rotenberg said. “At the same time, the club is getting the chance to pay closer attention to its own youngsters.”
UEFA did not impose any fines or transfer restrictions in addition to the exclusion, Dynamo said.
Russian clubs have been in financial difficulty due to a fall in the value of the ruble, which made transfer fees and wages, typically paid in euros, much more expensive.
Dynamo is the only club to have been excluded from European competition this year after financial fair play investigations. Another 10 clubs, three of them Russian, accepted various UEFA sanctions last month. Last year, Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade was excluded from the Champions League for breaking financial fair play and licensing rules.