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28th May 2024

Man United and INEOS given deadline to avoid Europa League axe

Callum Boyle

man united europa league

United could be demoted to the UEFA Conference League

Manchester United’s minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS group have been set a deadline to prove to UEFA that both they and Nice should be allowed to play in the Europa League.

The Red Devils’ shock 2-1 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup final over the weekend saw the club qualify for UEFA’s second-tier competition.

This also pushed Chelsea into the UEFA Conference League, but there’s a possibility United may end up joining them because of UEFA rules.

Earlier this season, Ratcliffe purchased a 27 per cent stake in the Old Trafford club. His company INEOS are also the owners of Nice though, and the French club managed to qualify for the Europa League this season through their league position in France.

UEFA rules state clubs owned by the same owners will not be allowed to compete in the same UEFA competitions. Because Nice achieved a higher league position this season, they would be allowed to stay in the Europa League and United would be pushed down into the Conference League.

According to The Telegraph, INEOS have now been told that they have until Monday (June 3) to argue their case and prove why they should both be allowed to compete in the same compeition.

Confident that they “have a solution” for next season, INEOS have released a statement.

The statement read: “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.”

Ratcliffe is planning further investment in United which would take his ownership stake above the 30 per cent threshold which triggers the multi-club ownership rules.

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