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FA Cup | Final
May 25, 2024 at 3pm UK
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Man City
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Man Utd

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Manchester United 'could be banned from Europa League despite FA Cup win'

Man Utd 'could be banned from Europa League despite FA Cup win'
© Reuters
Manchester United may reportedly be excluded from the Europa League competition next term as UEFA remains steadfast in enforcing its regulations on multi-club ownership.

Manchester United may potentially be excluded from the Europa League competition next season as UEFA remains steadfast in enforcing its regulations on multi-club ownership, according to a report.

United were poised to miss out on European football next season after finishing eighth in the 2023-24 Premier League standings, but everything changed when Erik ten Hag's side pulled off a surprise 2-1 victory against Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

However, despite their triumph, a technicality could still prevent the Red Devils from participating in Europe's second-biggest club competition next term.

UEFA has strict rules regarding multi-club ownership, designed to prevent two clubs owned by the same organisation from competing in the same tournament.

Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe is pictured at Old Trafford in Manchester, Britain, March 17, 2023© Reuters

UEFA to ban Man United from Europa League in 2024-25

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a part-owner of the Red Devils, and his ownership stake could threaten United's hopes of competing in Europe next season.

In addition to owning a share of Man United, the British billionaire also owns Ligue 1 club Nice, who qualified for the 2024-25 Europa League by finishing fifth in the French top flight this season.

Ratcliffe's INEOS currently owns 27% of United but plans to invest a further £235m, which would increase their ownership stake to over 30%.

According to the Mirror, UEFA will not allow teams with owners who control more than 30% of each club to compete in the same competition.

Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho celebrates scoring their first goal on May 25, 2024© Reuters

Ratcliffe to delay further investment in Man United?

Therefore, unless Ratcliffe finds a solution to meet the UEFA guidelines, then either United or Nice will likely be relegated to the Europa Conference League, UEFA's third-tier club competition.

Typically, Nice could be granted the spot in the Europa League, having managed to achieve a higher finish in their domestic league competition. However, the report adds that United's FA Cup win could take precedence and result in Nice dropping into the Conference League.

An apparent solution would be for Ratcliffe and INEOS to delay increasing their investment and subsequent stake in United until after next season, which will allow both clubs to compete in the Europa League.

That scenario does seem unlikely, though, given INEOS's clear prioritisation of their United project in recent months, as evidenced by reduced investment in Nice.

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag shakes hands with co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe after winning the FA Cup on May 25, 2024
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