Manchester United has avoided a worst-case scenario. The Red Devils will not lose their narrowly won UEFA Europa League (UEL) qualification.

“UEFA has reversed its multi-club ownership rules,” the BBC reported on Wednesday. As a result, both Manchester City and Manchester United will be eligible to compete in European competition next season,” the BBC reported.

United ended the 2023-2024 season by lifting their 13th FA Cup trophy, beating City 2-1 in the final. In doing so, they punched their ticket to Europe, a seemingly impossible task. United finished eighth in the league, but their FA Cup run earned them a spot in the UEL next season.

But then the unexpected happened. Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group (INEOS), which owns a 27.7% stake in United, could be in breach of UEFA’s multi-club ownership rules. Ratcliffe is also the majority owner of French Ligue 1 side OGC Nice (5th in the league).

However, UEFA rules prohibit any organization or individual from having a “decisive influence” on the management of more than one club in the same competition. If only one of United or Nice could qualify for the UEL, the lower-ranked club would be relegated to the UEFA Europa Conference League (UECL).

The Telegraph claims that United may find it difficult to avoid relegation to the UECL unless structural changes are made to the Ineos Group. Lord Ratcliffe is not the majority shareholder of United. However, he was given full control of the club’s operations by the Glazers in February, including the power to hire and fire the manager, chief executive, board members, and players.

“Lord Ratcliffe is in complete control of United’s football operations,” the Telegraph reported. “An independent panel will rule on the matter before the start of the UEL qualifying rounds in mid-July,” the Telegraph reported, adding, “The Ineos Group owns two UEL-eligible teams, including Nice. If no solution is found, United will be relegated to the UECL.”

‘Manchester’s neighbors’ Man City were in a similar situation. City and Girona, both under the City Football Group umbrella, qualified for the UCL at the same time, so their ownership structure could be a factor. However, City were top of the Premier League, so unlike United, they were 안전놀이터 not in danger of being relegated directly to the UEL.

Nevertheless, the Ineos Group was confident that it could solve the problem. According to The Telegraph, they are in direct talks with UEFA and will avoid the scenario of United being relegated to the UECL.

This confidence was not unfounded. UEFA has temporarily tweaked the rules to allow sister clubs to compete in the same competitions. President Alexander Ceferin has already admitted that more thought needs to be given to the growing concept of multi-club ownership.

According to the BBC, UEFA has offered a “temporary alternative” to all clubs at risk of breaking the current rules for the 2024-2025 season. The move was made on “exceptional grounds” and is not a permanent solution. The 2024-2025 season will be a transitional 사설 토토사이트 period while the rules change.

There were also certain conditions. Nice and Girona must be transferred or assigned to a third party in a ‘blind trust’. This means that neither Lord Ratcliffe nor City Football Group will be directly involved in the management of the clubs, but will be held in trust through a third party. “UEFA believes this will allow decisions to be made by a third party with a duty to act in the interests of the clubs concerned,” the BBC explained.

Lucky for United. The UEL and UECL are also vastly different in terms of total prize money: £481 million and £243 million, respectively. Playing in the UEL means a guaranteed £12.8 million, while playing in the UECL means a minimum of £5.3 million. Financially, it’s a big deal.

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