Man Utd co-owners INEOS ‘looking to sell club’ as UEFA force Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s hand | Football | Sport

Manchester United co-owners INEOS are reportedly preparing to sell Nice, partly due to issues linked with multi-club ownership in UEFA competitions. Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also said to be keen on fully focusing on restoring United to the summit of world football after completing his investment in his lifelong club this year.

INEOS bought Nice in 2019 but have encountered multi-club ownership problems for the first time since purchasing a stake in the Red Devils.

Ratcliffe’s group splashed £1.3billion to become 27.7 per cent stakeholders at Old Trafford in February and have spent recent months pushing significant change.

In the background, concerns over UEFA’s rules regarding two clubs helmed by the same individual or organisation competing in the same competition have lingered.

Nice qualified for the 2024/25 Europa League by finishing fifth in Ligue 1. Meanwhile, United finished eighth in the Premier League but booked a spot by beating Manchester City to lift their 13th FA Cup in May.

It sparked questions about whether UEFA would allow both clubs to compete in the Europa League and whether it could be United facing expulsion, having finished lower in their respective domestic league.

According to the Independent, there’s an expectation that UEFA will give the two clubs a one-season transition, which would involve Nice being placed in a ‘blind trust’ as a temporary fix.

The governing body used the same measure last season to navigate around Red Bird Capital’s ownership of Serie A giants AC Milan and Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse.

However, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has previously acknowledged the rising difficulties stemming from multi-club ownership across Europe.

And the rules are set to become more strict from the 2025/26 season onwards, potentially forcing Ratcliffe and INEOS’ hand.

The Independent report that INEOS are in the early stages of plans to walk away from Nice to avoid any conflict down the line.

It’s claimed that Ratcliffe’s desire to focus on driving success at United is another factor in the decision, understanding the magnitude of the project on his hands in M16.

INEOS have been approached for comment.

United will enter the first transfer window of the INEOS regime on June 14 amid an ongoing off-field upheaval that could include manager Erik ten Hag.

Ratcliffe and his group are currently undergoing a season review while forming recruitment plans for the summer.

They are yet to decide on the Dutchman’s future two weeks after he lifted the FA Cup, his second major trophy in as many years.

Source link