Man Utd and Man City given ultimatum by UEFA as European sister club ruling emerges

Both Manchester clubs have been awaiting their fate. (Image: Getty)

Manchester United and Manchester City will be able to compete in their respective UEFA competitions alongside their sister clubs this season but could be forced into major changes next year.

There had been fears that OGC Nice – owned by INEOS – and Girona – owned by the City Football Group – might cause an unwanted headache for chiefs at both United and City.

Nice finished fifth in Ligue 1, which earned the French side qualification to the Europa League – the competition United qualified for following last month’s FA Cup triumph.

Girona were one of Europe’s surprise packages this season as they secured a third-place finish in La Liga to book a spot in next season’s expanded Champions League.

While both are minority-owned by their parent companies, UEFA rules state a single organisation cannot have more than one club competing in the same competition.

It meant United were facing a situation that would’ve seen them relegated to the Europa Conference League, given they finished lower in the Premier League (8th) than Nice did in Ligue 1 (5th).

However, as per The Times, UEFA are expected to grant both United and City, along with Nice and Girona, access to their respective competitions next season.

The report claims UEFA’s Club Financial Control Board (CFCB) is set to release the ruling on Monday, which will detail its approval, as long as certain conditions are met.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS owns a stake in Ligue 1 side Nice. (Image: Getty)

The CFCB is also expected to inform organisations operating under a multi-club ownership model that the 2024/25 season will be viewed as a ‘transitional one’ and as much ‘leeway’ won’t be granted in the future.

This could prove problematic for Sir Jim Ratcliffe, given Nice have been a regular in European competition under INEOS’ stewardship.

In three of the last five seasons Nice have finished inside France’s qualification spots, meaning Ratcliffe might have to address INEOS’ relationship with the side from the south of France to avoid any further conflict.

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City and United aren’t the only Premier League clubs to have been impacted by UEFA’s rules on multi-club ownership. 

Last year Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise were forced to alter their ownership structure in order to play in the Europa League alongside Brighton & Hove Albion. 

While Aston Villa’s owners hold a minority stake in Portuguese outfit Vitoria Guimaraes, with the pair having both qualified for last season’s Europa Conference League.