Man Utd 'could be kicked out of competitions' after Sir Jim Ratcliffe buys 25 per cent stake

Man Utd Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Man Utd superfan Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to buy a 25 per cent stake in the club

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 23/11/2023

- 08:18

The INEOS chief is poised to take charge of football operations at Old Trafford

Manchester United could be banned from Europe next season once Sir Jim Ratcliffe buys a 25 per cent stake in the club, reports say.

The British billionaire is poised to take charge of football operations at Old Trafford, with a deal with the Glazers close to completion.

Ratcliffe is keen to bring the glory days back to United, who have toiled since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement back in 2013.

He has fended off competition from Qatar's Sheikh Jassim, who had been hoping to buy the club in its entirety.

Man Utd Nice

Man Utd could be banned from Europe next season because Sir Jim Ratcliffe owns Ligue 1 side Nice


Yet while Ratcliffe coming in at United will give the club a boost, there could yet be a blow that accompanies his arrival.

The Sun say that the 71-year-old's ownership of Nice may mean the Red Devils being booted out of Europe next season.

Ahead of next season's expanded Champions League, Ligue 1 sides are set to be given three automatic spots and one play-off place.

The Premier League, contrastingly, will get five direct berths.

Yet UEFA's 'multi-club ownership rules' means both United and Nice would be unable to play in Europe at the same time next season.

The only way to prevent that would be if one team seals an automatic Champions League spot and the other qualifies directly for the Conference League.

Should both United and Nice finish in the Champions League slots, the team that finishes higher will get the place.

The other team would, however, reportedly then be banned from Europe.

If United and Nice do finish in the exact same position, Erik ten Hag's side will get the nod for the Champions League.

Nice would only then be able to play in domestic competitions, instead of Europe.

Another possible scenario is that, if Nice finish fourth, the potential of the team playing in the Europa League would mean United being barred from the Europa League.

That's regardless of whether they finish sixth or win the FA Cup.

A UEFA source is quoted as saying: “As the rules stand, it’s a clear situation. Ineos own Nice and are set to have a significant role in running United.

“Unless the regulations are changed, or Ineos sell one of their stakes, they cannot both play in European competitions, unless one is in the Champions League and the other in the Conference League.”

Ratcliffe's purchase of a 25 per cent stake in United is yet to be completed.

However, an end to the saga is in sight with an agreement set to be reached over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Ferguson was recently asked about the imminent arrival of Ratcliffe at Old Trafford.

And he said he was 'optimistic' the INEOS chief would be able to turn the club around.

“I am still a director of the club," said the 71-year-old.

"I know Jim [Ratcliffe] well. We shall have to see what he does. But I am optimistic.”


Man Utd the Glazers

Man Utd owners the Glazers have agreed to sell 25 per cent of the club to Sir Jim Ratcliffe


United are next in action against Everton on Sunday (4.30pm).

The Toffees will be fired up for that showdown, however, after recently being slapped with a points deduction.

United beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park last season, with Antony and Cristiano Ronaldo on target.

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