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Man Utd could be BARRED from Europe next season as Uefa refuse to change club ownership rules after Ratcliffe takeover

MANCHESTER UNITED face being BARRED from Europe next season after Uefa stuck to their ban on clubs under the same ownership competing against each other.

Uefa have finally published their new regulations about ‘multi-club ownership’ issues.

Manchester United could be barred from Europe as a result of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's takeover

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Manchester United could be barred from Europe as a result of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s takeoverCredit: Getty
The Red Devils could face a season without any European competition

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The Red Devils could face a season without any European competitionCredit: AP

While clubs under the same ownership umbrella CAN play in Europe if they are in different competitions, the ban on clubs taking part in the SAME one remains in place.

And that is where Nice’s recent slump in France’s Ligue 1 could end up preventing United from playing in ANY competition next season.

Nice are fully owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos group, while the petrochemicals billionaire confirmed he would be “delegated responsibility for the management of United’s football operations” as part of his minority buy-out of shares from the Glazers.

Only last month, Ratcliffe claimed he had been told by Uefa there were “no circumstances” in which his ownership of Nice would prevent Man Utd from playing in Europe.

But Uefa have now confirmed there IS a blanket ban on clubs under the same ownership taking part in the same competition despite a revision of its rulebook.

Asked to confirm the situation, a Uefa insider told SunSport: “It is correct that Manchester United and Nice cannot play in the same competition.

“They could play in different competitions, as there is no ‘feeding’ between competitions any more.”

Sixth-placed United appear destined for a Europa League place next season, even if English clubs earn an extra Champions League spot through their performances in Europe this season.

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Nice have dropped out of the Champions League qualification places which could present a problem for Man Utd

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Nice have dropped out of the Champions League qualification places which could present a problem for Man UtdCredit: Alamy

But Nice’s shocking form in 2024 could massively complicate that.

They seemed certain of a Champions League spot at the end of January before a horror run of just one win in seven which has dropped them to fifth.

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If United and Nice finished in their current positions, both clubs would qualify for the Europa League.

However, according to the rules, Nice would take precedence as the club “ranked highest in the domestic championship”.

That would change if United won the FA Cup, which would give them precedence and send Nice to the Conference League instead.

Similarly, should United and Nice both qualify for the Champions League, whoever finish higher in their domestic competition would get the spot, with the other dropping in the Europa.

That’s unless Nice finish fourth, which is only good enough for a Champions League play-off, in which United would get the spot.

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If both clubs finish in the same position domestically, and qualify for the same competition, then United would get precedence because of England’s position at the top of Uefa’s five-year “access list”.

But, depending on the winners of each country’s domestic cup, there remains a scenario in which United and Nice each qualify for the Conference League but the French side take the spot due to a higher league position – leaving United with nothing.

Uefa are scrapping the traditional group stage of the three competitions from next season, replacing it with three single leagues, with clubs eliminated from any of them out of Europe altogether.

It is understood that any issues if both Manchester City and Girona – currently third in LaLiga – qualify for the Champions League would be ended if the Catalan club lost its representation on the City Football Club board.

Ratcliffe could propose a new venue on the land next to the current ground
Ratcliffe could propose a new venue on the land next to the current ground

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