Failure of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s UEFA strategy could exempt Manchester United from the Champions League

If Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s proposed plan fails, Manchester United could be barred from the Champions League for the upcoming season, according to a report from sportbible. With thirteen games remaining, United are sixth in the Premier League standings, five points behind fourth-place Aston Villa.

They may still be able to qualify for the Champions League via England’s 2023/24 UEFA coefficient classification if they finish fifth, but that method is not yet secure. In recent weeks, an additional concern has emerged regarding the impending takeover of a 25 percent stake in the club by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, which would entail authority over footballing operations.

Although the British magnate has initiated favourable developments, such as selecting former Manchester City manager Omar Berrada as the organization’s new CEO, there remains a potential obstacle that must be surmounted. This is due to the fact that INEOS presently possesses a majority stake in Nice, a Ligue 1 club positioned third in France’s premier league. Presently, Nice is on track to qualify for the Champions League for the upcoming season.

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UEFA ownership regulations dictate that in the event that both Nice and United qualify for Europe’s premier competition, only one of them may be enrolled to participate. That would only work against United if Nice finished in a lower position than them. United would qualify if they finished in the same position, given that England is the highest-ranked country on UEFA’s “access list.”

Ratcliffe is reportedly cognizant of the potential predicament that may emerge should both clubs qualify for the Champions League, and it has been a subject of contemplation since the initial stages of negotiations with the Glazer family regarding the purchase of a stake in United.

The report adds, however, that the team representing the British oligarch is “committed to meeting with UEFA to find a solution” that is acceptable to both clubs and the governing body of football. Thus, in the event that a resolution cannot be achieved and the fictitious scenario materialises, Ratcliffe and INEOS may be confronted with additional challenges that must be surmounted.

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