Ineos reveals Uefa talks to enable Man Utd and Nice to both play in Europa League next season

Manchester United qualified for the Europa League (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Manchester United qualified for the Europa League (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Ineos is confident Manchester United will not be relegated to the Europa Conference League for a breach of Uefa’s rules.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s petrochemicals company owns a 27.7% stake in United and runs the footballing operations at Old Trafford, and also owns French club Nice.

Both United and Nice have qualified for next season’s Europa League and an independent panel is considering whether the issue is against Uefa’s rules, which restrict one person or entity having control over two clubs in the same European competition.

Because United (eighth) finished below Nice (fifth) in their domestic league last season, Erik ten Hag’s side would be forced to drop down from Europa League to its sister competition, the Conference League.

“We are aware of the position of both clubs and are in direct dialogue with Uefa,” Ineos said in a statement. “We are confident we have a route forward for next season in Europe.”

Manchester City are facing a similar problem with Spanish side Girona, who are owned by the City Football Group, after both clubs qualified for next season’s Champions League.

The owners could be forced to restructure their hierarchies in order to comply with Uefa rules, as was the case with Belgian club Union Saint-Gilloise when it qualified for the Europa League in the same season as Brighton and Hove Albion, both owned by casino supremo Tony Bloom.