United’s new minority owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is also a majority stakeholder in Ligue 1 club Nice. This arrangement could pose a problem for both clubs as UEFA tightens its rules to prevent individuals from exerting “control or influence” over multiple teams in the same UEFA competition.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has expressed the need to “rethink” their strategy to address this issue. UEFA’s regulations mean that Nice and Manchester United, currently second in Ligue 1 and sixth in the Premier League respectively, may not be able to compete in European competitions next season unless they qualify for different UEFA competitions.
The club’s confident the issue will be resolved, pointing to precedents where other clubs in similar ownership groups were allowed to play in Europe. Manchester City’s ownership group, the Abu Dhabi-backed City Football Group, also face a similar predicament with their stake in La Liga’s Girona.
If both Girona and Manchester City qualify for the Champions League, UEFA might intervene. Aleksander Ceferin has highlighted the “perception” as the “biggest problem” with multi-club ownership, expressing concerns about the potential for accusations of fixed competitions.
He emphasized the importance of not allowing full control of two or more clubs by the same owner, acknowledging the absence of a concrete solution at present.