Man United’s Europa League Future at Risk Over Ownership Clash

Manchester United

Manchester United’s triumph in the FA Cup final over Manchester City has left fans celebrating, but the club’s future in the Europa League hangs in the balance. Despite securing a spot in the competition, uncertainties loom over their eligibility due to conflicting ownership interests.

The 2-1 victory at Wembley Stadium secured Manchester United’s place in the Europa League alongside Tottenham Hotspur under the helm of manager Erik ten Hag. However, a potential ownership clash with INEOS, the conglomerate that holds a significant stake in both Manchester United and French club Nice, threatens their participation.

UEFA’s stringent multi-club ownership regulations prohibit entities with ownership stakes in multiple teams from competing in the same tournament. With INEOS poised to bolster its investment in Manchester United by an additional £245 million, pushing its ownership stake beyond the 30% threshold, regulatory hurdles emerge.

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INEOS, led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, currently holds a 27% stake in Manchester United while maintaining sole ownership of Ligue 1 side Nice. The stakes are high as Nice clinched a fifth-place finish in the French league, securing their Europa League berth for the upcoming season.

Should INEOS fail to navigate the ownership conflict satisfactorily, dire consequences await. According to UEFA guidelines, one of the clubs under their ownership could face relegation to the UEFA Conference League, the third-tier European competition.

In this scenario, Nice would retain their Europa League status, benefiting from their superior league finish compared to Manchester United’s eighth-placed standing in the Premier League. The intricacies of club ownership and regulatory compliance now cast a shadow over Manchester United’s European campaign, leaving supporters and stakeholders anxiously awaiting resolution.

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