Man Utd’s Sir Jim Ratcliffe needs a big favour from Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City | Football | Sport

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Manchester United’s transfer plans could hinge on how well their Premier League rivals perform in Europe this season, with the Red Devils’ first summer under Sir Jim Ratcliffe under threat from financial fair play restrictions. It comes after Ratcliffe’s minority takeover was confirmed on Tuesday night, with the British businessman acquiring a 27.7 per cent stake.

Ratcliffe, owner of multinational chemicals company INEOS, splashed just over £1billion on the deal and has vowed to take United ‘back to the top of world football’. But, the 71-year-old is already suffering transfer headaches in the build-up to the summer window.

That’s because according to The Telegraph, United’s transfer budget for the 2024/25 season will be squeezed to the max, should the three-time European Cup winners miss out on Champions League football. United are currently sixth in the Premier League table, five points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa, meaning boss Erik ten Hag has a tough task ahead to cut the gap and qualify for the Champions League.

It could be made much easier though, should United’s Premier League rivals offer them a helping hand this season. If English clubs perform well in European competition, there is a chance the Premier League will be handed a fifth Champions League spot as part of the competition’s reforms.

An extra place in Europe’s most prestigious tournament is awarded to the two leagues with the strongest coefficient record. In order to boost the coefficient, clubs already in Europe have to win matches and progress deep into the competitions.

That’s why rivals Manchester City winning back-to-back Champions League titles and Liverpool lifting the Europa League could actually be beneficial to United. In doing so, it would boost England’s UEFA coefficient, leading to an extra Champions League place being awarded to the Premier League.

The bad news for Ratcliffe right now is that England have slipped to third place in the coefficient standings, behind Italy and Germany. As things stand it would mean the Premier League only receives its usual four spots in the Champions League, which could pose huge financial problems for United’s transfer window.

It isn’t time to panic yet though, with plenty more football left to be played in Europe this season. All three of West Ham United, Liverpool and Aston Villa are already through to the last-16 of their respective UEFA competitions, while both City and Arsenal look well-placed to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

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