Why does Manchester United face potential ban from UEFA Champions League next season even if they finish in the qualification spot?

The Premier League giants Manchester United appear to have their domestic season back on track, securing two consecutive wins after a turbulent start. The club impressively finished third last season and qualified for this edition of the Champions League. 

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s potential minority share acquisition for Manchester United could pose a threat to their Champions League spot. The Red Devils might face a ban if they qualify for the competition even with a top-four finish.

Why Manchester United face potential ban from UCL next season?

Manchester United currently stands at 6th on the table, with recent Premier League wins having elevated their position on the league points table. Eric ten Hag aims to replicate last season’s performance to secure a spot in the European competition.


In contrast to domestic positive results, the Red Devils have narrow chances to progress through to the UCL round of 16 following back-to-back losses, as they are placed at the bottom of the group A table. Yet the club captain Bruno Fernandes remains optimistic about the qualifications. 

In the mix, there’s another issue emerging for the Premier League side as a potential Ban from the Champions League competition even though they qualified for it. The grounds on which a ban will implemented are under the UEFA’s ‘multi-club ownership’ regulations.


This ‘multi-club ownership’ rule restricts a single entity from having direct control of more than one club in the European competition. The INEOS group is set to be announced as 25% owners of the club, the same group owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owns the French club OGC Nice as well.

How can INEOS solve the potential sticky situation?

The Glazer family, owners of Manchester United, has agreed to an INEOS Group offer for a 1/4th share of the club for £1.25 billion, which is soon to be officially announced. With this takeover, the INEOS Group will gain control over the club’s sporting operations, a move highly appreciated by Red Devils fans.

However, the anticipation of bringing new hopes for the fans could potentially work against their favor in terms of interim European competition participation. As the Jim Ratcliffe consortium owns various sports ventures and teams under their umbrella, including OGC Nice, only one club would be eligible to qualify for the Champions League.

In the present scenario, Nice is currently second in the French League and could secure a direct slot in the European competition for the next season. Thus, only one of them would be allowed to take part in the competition, whether it’s Manchester United or Nice.

SZ Desk

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