Manchester United Faces Champions League Ban Amid Ownership Transition

UEFA Regulations Pose Hurdle as Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Acquisition Progresses

Manchester United finds itself at risk of being excluded from the Champions League next season if complications surrounding Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition plan persist, a recent report reveals.

With Manchester United currently occupying the sixth position in the Premier League standings, the prospect of securing a Champions League spot remains uncertain. Despite being five points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa with 13 games remaining, the club’s qualification through England’s UEFA coefficient ranking is not guaranteed.

The impending transition in ownership, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS poised to acquire a 25% share in the club and assume control over footballing operations, introduces a new layer of complexity. While Ratcliffe has initiated positive changes, such as appointing former Manchester City executive Omar Berrada as the new CEO, a significant obstacle looms.

INEOS’s majority ownership of Ligue 1 outfit Nice, currently positioned third in France’s top division and poised for Champions League qualification, presents a conflict under UEFA ownership regulations. If both Nice and Manchester United secure Champions League berths, only one club can be registered to participate.

This predicament would potentially disadvantage Manchester United if they finish below Nice in their respective league standings. However, if both clubs finish in equivalent positions, United’s qualification would be secured as England holds the top position on UEFA’s ‘access list’.

Reports from The Athletic indicate Ratcliffe’s awareness of this potential issue since early negotiations with the Glazer family. Ratcliffe’s team is reportedly committed to engaging in discussions with UEFA to devise a solution amenable to both clubs and the governing body.

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In the absence of a resolution, Manchester United faces the looming threat of a Champions League ban, posing additional challenges for Ratcliffe and INEOS as they navigate the intricacies of the ownership transition.

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