UEFA make decision on Man Utd Europa League ban - report

  • Man Utd's place in Europa League put in jeopardy by INEOS' ownership of Nice
  • Red Devils could be relegated to Conference League
  • Man City's ownership of Girona also scrutinised
Man Utd are set to return to the Europa League
Man Utd are set to return to the Europa League / David Rogers/GettyImages

Manchester United will be allowed to compete in next season's Europa League despite concerns over Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS' ownership of fellow participants Nice, according to a report.

The Red Devils looked set for a 2024/25 campaign without European football after finishing eighth in this year's Premier League - their lowest return in 34 years. However, their surprise victory against Manchester City in the FA Cup final booked them a Europa League spot.

Reports last week claimed that United's place in the competition was in jeopardy as minority shareholder Ratcliffe is also the owner of French side Nice, who qualified for the Europa League thanks to a fifth-place finish in Ligue 1.

UEFA rules decree two teams under the same ownership cannot compete in the same competition, and as Nice had recorded a higher league finish, United were in danger of being relegated to the Conference League.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Alicia Ratcliffe
Ratcliffe's ownership of Man Utd and Nice came into question / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

A statement from INEOS last week revealed a dialogue was ongoing with UEFA over the issue, and The Times now report that United and Nice will both be allowed to partake in the Europa League.

UEFA's Club Financial Control Board (CFCB) will confirm this decision over the next fortnight after the deadline for submissions for multi-club ownerships passed on Sunday.

City faced a similar problem to United with sister club Girona qualifying for next season's Champions League, though they too will be given the all-clear to compete together.

However, UEFA are expected to inform United and City they will not be allowed such leeway in future instances. Current regulations decree two competing clubs cannot have over 30% of same ownership groups - Ratcliffe's stakes in United and Nice do not violate such rules, but City Football Group's ownership in Girona stands at 47%.

UEFA may look to tighten these rules in future, as revealed in a leaked document seen by The Times.