Does INEOS owning Man United and Nice affect their Champions League chances next season?


Man United stepping into sixth place in the Premier League with high hopes of qualifying for UEFA-related competitions, questions have been asked as to whether their recent change in ownership would affect their chances of featuring in these competitions, especially the Champions League.

Following the official confirmation of INOES as shareholders in Man United questions have been raised as to how Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe owning shares in both Manchester United and the French Ligue 1 side, Nice would affect the clubs' chances of playing in any UEFA competition most especially the Champions League in the 2024/2025 season.

With the approval of Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe buying into Manchester United and becoming a shareholder, the Red Devils have seen their side technically become a part of a multi-club system as the English billionaire is the major shareholder and owner of the French Ligue 1 side, Nice who are currently in third place on the table with one point behind the second-placed Brest.

UEFA has strict laws guarding clubs in a multi-club system when it comes to their competitions to ensure all fairness and also maintain the integrity of the tournament.

These laws are as follows:

  • No UEFA club participating in any club competition holds or deals in securities or shares of any other club, directly or indirectly.
  • No club is a member of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition;
  • No individual or organization can have any power or involvement in the management, administration, or sporting performance of more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition, directly or indirectly.
  • No individual or organization can control or have significant influence over more than one club in a UEFA club competition.

With INEOS taking control of football activities under Manchester United football affairs as a minority stakeholder at the club, the chances of the organization not also playing a huge role in the decision-making process at the club can not be ruled out as well.

At a recent staff meeting, the INEOS interim Chief Executive, Patrick Stewart, shared that their involvement in matters of football will be more extensive than previously assumed. While it was expected that INEOS would only have a say in matters related to football, its responsibilities will be more far-reaching. INEOS will also be working closely with the Glazer family, who remain the majority owners, on broader business matters. As a result, it is no longer realistic to expect a clear separation of roles and responsibilities between the two parties.

These laws may apply to Manchester City in the coming days as Girona FC in the Spanish La Liga is also poised to return to European football.

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