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Man Utd 'may have to give up Europa League spot' after winning FA Cup

Manchester United's place in the Europa League group stage next season remains uncertain, despite their FA Cup triumph over Manchester City at Wembley


  • May 27 2024
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Man Utd 'may have to give up Europa League spot' after winning FA Cup
Man Utd 'may have to give up Europa League spot' after winning FA Cup

Manchester City v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Final

Manchester United's FA Cup win saw them earn a spot in the Europa League (Image: Getty)

could be forced to give up their spot in next season's Europa League following their FA Cup triumph, due to INEOS' ownership of French outfit Nice.

The Red Devils celebrated lifting the trophy after overcoming Manchester City 2-1 in Saturday's (May 25) final. This victory secured their berth in the group stage of the European contest next season, despite a disappointing eighth-place finish in the Premier League.

Yet, their place in the tournament remains uncertain due to UEFA's rules on multi-club ownership, which aim to prevent two clubs owned by the same entity from competing in the same competition.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe's INEOS holds a 27 per cent stake in United but L'Equipe report that the group have plans to pump in an additional £245m, pushing their ownership stake above the 30 per cent threshold set by UEFA's multi-club ownership rules.

Meanwhile, they are the sole owners of Ligue 1 team Nice, who clinched fifth place in France's top-tier league, earning them a spot in next season's Europa League.

If INEOS fails to rectify this issue, one of their clubs could be demoted to the UEFA Conference League. Typically, Nice would retain their Europa League spot due to their superior league finish of fifth, compared to United's eighth.

Manchester City v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Final

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's ownership of Nice could cause a problem for United (Image: Getty)

However, it remains unclear which club, if any, would be relegated to Europe's third-tier competition.

INEOS remain unfazed by the current controversy, expressing optimism about reaching a "solution".

RMC Sport quoted the group as saying: "We are aware of the position of the two clubs and we are in direct dialogue with UEFA. We are convinced that we have a solution for next season in Europe."

UEFA has been clear about its concerns regarding multi-club ownership, stating it could significantly compromise the integrity of European competitions.

They've highlighted "the potential to pose a material threat to the integrity of European club competitions, with a growing risk of seeing two clubs with the same owner or investor facing each other on the pitch".

In light of the situation, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere weighed in after the team's game against Lille on May 19, remarking: "Adjustments would have to be made. I won't go into the details but it doesn't pose an issue".

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