Sir Jim Ratcliffe’ plan to prevent Man Utd from Champions League ban | Football | Sport

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the imminent minority owner of Manchester United, is reportedly ready to take measures to prevent UEFA from potentially expelling the club from the Champions League next season due to his involvement in another club. This concern has arisen from Ratcliffe’s ownership of Ligue 1 side Nice, which could lead to repercussions for the Red Devils.

UEFA rules do not permit two clubs owned by one body to compete in the same European competition, casting doubt on United’s involvement next year. They could qualify for the premier competition if they finish fifth in the Premier League, thanks to the new coefficient rules brought in for next season.

However, if the governing body believes that an individual has “control or influence” over more than one club playing in the same tournament then one will be banished.

The team that finishes lower in their respective division will be dropped to the Europa League to avoid any conflict of interest, which currently would be United if the Red Devils and Nice are investigated as the French side sit third in their table and Erik ten Hag’s side sixth.

The Telegraph claim that Ratcliffe has a plan to curb any potential hiccups as INEOS may surrender direct day-to-day involvement at Nice. The Brit plans to hold talks with UEFA before the end of the season to assess his options, but the new United 28.9 per cent owner may leave Nice as a standalone entity and remain purely as a silent major investor.

Ratcliffe’s right-hand man Sir David Brailsford has already taken a step back from Nice duties and instead spends his time focusing on United. Instead, Jean-Pierre Rivere and Fabrice Bocquet oversee operations in France.

UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body will likely assess the link between United at Nice at the end of the season if both qualify for the same European competition. If such investigation concludes that individuals at INEOS share control over both clubs and are unwilling to make necessary changes to their operations, the team that finishes lower in their domestic league will be banished from the Champions League.

Aston Villa and Brighton have already had to reduce their stakes in sister clubs Vitoria de Guimaraes and Royale Union Saint-Gilloise respectively after qualifying for the same European competitions, while Manchester City are also under threat of falling foul of the same UEFA rule as United.

City Football Group own a 47 per cent stake in La Liga side Girona, who currently sit second in the table and would need to make the same adjustments as Ratcliffe if they finish in a higher position than Pep Guardiola’s outfit.


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