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Man United May have to ‘give up’ Europa League spot after FA Cup triumph



Man United May have to ‘give up’ Europa League spot after FA Cup triumph

Manchester United’s FA Cup triumph could yet spell issues for their Europa League participation next season as the Red Devils may potentially be forced to withdraw from the competition

Manchester United’s participation in next season’s Europa League is under some threat following their FA Cup success – and it’s due to INEOS’ ownership of French club Nice.

The Premier League giants enjoyed winning silverware for the second year running after defeating Manchester City 2-1 in Saturday’s (May 25) final.

That confirmed their place in the group stage of the European competition next season, despite finishing down in eighth in the Premier League table.

However, their participation in the tournament is still in jeopardy due to UEFA’s multi-club ownership rules. They are meant to prohibit two clubs owned by the same organisation competing in the same tournament.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS has a 27% stake in United but possess plans to invest a further £245m which would take their ownership stake in the club to more than 30%, which is above the threshold for UEFA’s multi-club ownership rules while being the sole owners of Ligue 1 side Nice.

They finished fifth in the French top-flight to secure a place in next season’s Europa League.

Should INEOS fail to resolve the issue, one of their clubs could be relegated to the UEFA Conference League. Usually Nice would maintain their Europa League position due to their higher league finish of fifth, compared to United’s eighth-placed finish. However, it remains to be seen which club, if any, would face the drop down to Europe’s third competition.

Despite the controversy, INEOS remain confident of a “solution”. They said to RMC Sport: “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 previously taken a hard stance on multi-club ownership, describing it as having “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”.

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