Manchester United’s European Football Ambitions Under Threat Amid OGC Nice Ownership Complexities

Potential Clash with OGC Nice Raises Concerns Over European Competition Participation

Manchester United faces a potential setback in their pursuit of European football next season due to the recent involvement of British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe at the club. Ratcliffe, now a minority shareholder at Old Trafford, has brought his INEOS team to oversee all football operations at Manchester United, including transfer activities. However, Ratcliffe’s majority ownership of Ligue 1 club OGC Nice presents a complication that could jeopardize Man Utd’s European ambitions.

Under UEFA’s new regulations, clubs under the same ownership umbrella are permitted to participate in European football simultaneously. However, they are prohibited from competing in the same competition. As both Manchester United and OGC Nice are on track to qualify for the Europa League based on their league positions, a potential clash arises.

With Nice currently in a stronger position in Ligue 1 than Manchester United in the Premier League, the French side would take precedence, relegating the Red Devils to the Europa Conference League. Nevertheless, reports suggest that UEFA may consider relaxing their rules if both clubs qualify for the same European competition. In such a scenario, Man Utd and Nice would need to demonstrate their independent management structures to avoid disqualification.

Similar concerns arise with Manchester City and Girona, both likely contenders for the 2024-25 Champions League. These clubs must also prove their distinct identities to comply with UEFA regulations.

The situation echoes past investigations involving RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg in 2017. UEFA scrutinized the relationship between the two clubs but ultimately deemed their operational structures sufficiently separate. Manchester United and OGC Nice may face a similar scrutiny as they navigate the complexities of joint ownership in European football.

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