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27th May 2024

Man United could be forced to play in Conference League despite FA Cup triumph

Callum Boyle

Put the ice on hold, maybe

Manchester United could be barred from the Europa League, just days after securing European football.

After a disappointing league campaign that saw them record their worst-ever Premier League finish, and miss out on continental football, Erik ten Hag’s side beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo both scored in the win against their local rivals and by doing so, confirmed that the Red Devils will be playing in next season’s Europa League.

But, that could change.

Man United could still play in Conference League

United may be gearing up to play in the Europa League next season but due to UEFA rules, they may not be allowed.

As part of the governing body’s multi-club ownership rules, teams who are owned by the same organisation are prohibited from competing in the same tournament.

Alongside their minority stake in Man United, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s company INEOS are also owners of French side Nice.

Ratcliffe currently holds a 27 per cent take at Old Trafford but plans to invest even more to take that to a total of 30 per cent – which is above UEFA’s threshold.

Nice have also qualified for the Europa League by finishing fifth in Ligue 1.

Man United Europa League

If INEOS choose not to resolve the situation, United will be demoted to the Conference League since they finished in a lower position (eighth in the Premier League) than Nice did in the French top flight.

Despite that, INEOS are confident that they can reach an agreement. They told RMC Sport: “We are aware of the position of the two clubs and we are in direct dialogue with UEFA. We are convinced that we have a solution for next season in Europe.”

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