Thursday, June 13News That Matters

Man Utd could be relegated from Europa League after FA Cup win

Manchester United’s spot in the upcoming Europa League season is at risk despite their recent FA Cup victory, and the concern arises from INEOS’ stake in French club Nice.

The Red Devils secured the FA Cup, marking their second consecutive year of lifting a trophy, with a 2-1 win over Manchester City on Saturday, May 25.

This triumph guaranteed them a group stage berth in the Europa League, even though they only managed an eighth-place finish in the Premier League.

Yet, UEFA’s regulations against multiple clubs under a single entity participating in the same competition puts United’s European campaign in doubt.

INEOS, led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, currently holds a 27% share in Manchester United and has plans to inject an additional £245 million, potentially increasing their stake beyond 30%.

This move would breach UEFA’s ownership rules, given that INEOS is also the full owner of Nice, who earned their Europa League spot by finishing fifth in Ligue 1.

If INEOS doesn’t navigate this ownership conundrum, it could see either Manchester United or Nice demoted to the UEFA Conference League.

Typically, Nice would retain their Europa League status based on their superior league position. However, it’s uncertain which club might be relegated to the tertiary European competition, should the situation remain unresolved.

Despite the controversy, INEOS remain confident of a “solution”. They said to RMC Sport: “We are aware of the position of the two clubs and we are in direct dialogue with UEFA. We are convinced that we have a solution for next season in Europe”.

UEFA has previously taken a hard stance on multi-club ownership, and they described it as having “the potential to pose a material threat to the integrity of European club competitions, with a growing risk of seeing two clubs with the same owner or investor facing each other on the pitch”.


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