Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City & Man Utd boosted by UEFA changes to multi-club qualification rules

  • UEFA confirm changes to qualification rules for clubs with same owners
  • Previous laws stated only one club of an ownership group could compete in Europe at a time
  • Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City's shareholders all have stakes in other clubs, while Liverpool want to form multi-club model

UEFA have changed their rules
UEFA have changed their rules / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

UEFA have relaxed their rules regarding multi-club ownership, meaning two teams controlled by the same entity would be able to qualify for European competition at the same time.

For 20 years, UEFA have decreed two sides under the same ownership group would not be allowed to compete in Europe simultaneously, with the lower-ranking team losing their spot for the next season to the next available club from their federation.

But UEFA have quietly changed these rules, allowing two associated clubs to compete in Europe but in different competitions.

Manchester United and OGC Nice are both under control of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, while Manchester City are the flagship club for the City Football Group, which also includes La Liga high-flyers Girona. Meanwhile, Chelsea's BlueCo owners operate Ligue 1 side Strasbourg.

Ratcliffe has stakes in Man Utd and Nice / VALERY HACHE/GettyImages

Liverpool have also outlined their intentions to form a multi-club model and too will be boosted by news any potential feeder side would not be barred from competing in Europe at the same time as them.

These new rules, which fall under Article 5 of UEFA's competition regulations, come into effect on May 1.

United and Nice stakeholder Ratcliffe insisted in February he was not worried about UEFA's previous rules regarding multi-club ownership anyway, revealing there would have been workarounds to circumnavigate the issue.

"There are no circumstances upon which an ownership of Nice would prevent Manchester United from playing in the Champions League. I'll be crystal clear on that," Ratcliffe said.

"It says you have to change the ownership structure. So it's all about influence and positions on the board and that sort of thing. A: the rules are changing, and B: there are shades of grey not black and white. Manchester City will probably have the problem before we have the problem because they’ve obviously got Girona."