The arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe could see Manchester United booted out of the UEFA Champions League
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, one of the richest men in Britain is expected to complete his 25 percent takeover of Manchester United but his arrival is likely to come with an unexpected twist.
The Red Devils returned to the UEFA Champions League this season but have struggled to make a name for themselves. Three losses from their first four games leaves them risking an early exit from Europe’s top competition.
Erik ten Hag’s men are still some ways off from challenging for major honours and are once again expected to make a play for a top four finish in the Premier League. But that might not be enough for us to return to the Champions League next season, if Ratcliffe’s takeover goes ahead without a hitch.
According to The Sun, the Red Devils risk being banned from the competition should OGC Nice also qualify while finishing in a position higher than Manchester United come to the end of the 2023-24 campaign.
UEFA’s multi-club ownership rules prevent two clubs owned by the same person from taking part in the same competition. Ratcliffe and INEOS own Nice, who continue to build upon a solid start to their Ligue 1 campaign.
The French side are currently in the second spot, behind defending champions Paris Saint-Germain in the Ligue 1 standings. Should that stay the same way come the end of the campaign, United could be privy to some unwelcome news.
With both France and England likely to be given a boost in terms of being handed additional Champions League spots, United do have reasons to worry. The scenario for both The Red Devils and Nice to participate in European competitions next season hinges on securing different slots—either one in the Champions League and the other in the Europa Conference League.
Should both teams secure positions in their country’s Champions League spots, the team achieving a higher rank would earn qualification, while the other would be prohibited from entering any European competitions.
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Unless the rules are changed or INEOS sell a stake at Nive, United could find themselves victim to an issue not of their own doing. Regardless of what transpires, Erik ten Hag and Co should be aiming to finish as high up as they can this season in the Premier League.