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25th Mar 2024

Man United could be banned from competing in Europe

Callum Boyle

Bad news for Ten Hag.

Manchester United could be banned from playing in any European competitions next season.

United are in contention to qualify for one of the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League but due to a UEFA ruling, they may not be able to play at all due to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority stake acquisition earlier this year.

As well as United, Ratcliffe also owns French side OGC Nice, who currently sit fifth in Ligue 1.

UEFA rules mean that clubs ran by the same owner mean that they would not be allowed to compete in the same competition.

The European football governing body have altered the rules slightly and now allow these types of clubs to play in Europe so long as they are in different competitions.

“It is correct that Manchester United and Nice cannot play in the same competition,” a UEFA insider told the Sun. “They could play in different competitions, as there is no ‘feeding’ between competitions any more.”

Man United

What happens if both clubs qualify for the same competition?

There is a likely chance that United and Nice both qualify for the same European competition. If they do, the side that finishes highest in their respective league will be the one awarded the place.

Ratcliffe however played down these claims and insisted that the rules would not affect United.

Back in February he said: “There are no circumstances upon which an ownership of Nice would prevent Manchester United from playing in the Champions League – I’ll be crystal clear on that.

“Because we would have to find a solution. The rules are changing, and the rules are shades of grey, not black and white. We have spoken to UEFA and I have to say the conversation wasn’t directed at ‘you have to solve this problem and we don’t like it’.

“We might have to change some things but what UEFA recognises is that the multi-club model, in many circumstances, benefits the smaller club quite a lot. It says you have to change the ownership structure.

“So it’s all about influence and positions on the board and that sort of thing. So, a) the rules are changing, and, b) there are shades of grey, not black and white. Manchester City will probably have the problem before we have the problem because they’ve obviously got Girona who are doing well in the Spanish La Liga.”

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