International Soccer

Man Utd owners to sell sister club following threat of UEFA ban

Manchester United minority owners INEOS will look to sell French club Nice in part due to an agreement with UEFA, according to a report.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder, chair and CEO of INEOS, purchased a 27% stake in United earlier this year, while he has also owned Nice for the last five years.

But this conflict of interest has come under scrutiny from UEFA. United and Nice are both due to play in next season’s Europa League, but two clubs under the same ownership cannot compete in the same European competition under their governing rules.

Though Ratcliffe’s stake in United is in line with UEFA’s 30% threshold, he has nevertheless been given one season to transition away from one of the clubs he is involved with.

The Independent report he has decided to put Nice up for sale. Ratcliffe is also said to want to focus more on his role at United, who he grew up supporting.

Rugby World Cup France 2023 Venues

Nice’s location could help find a buyer / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

A stumbling block in the sale of Nice is French football’s free-fall having failed to secure a TV rights deal for the 2024/25 campaign, but there is hope that the club’s Mediterranean location will prove appealing when trying to find a buyer.

Several Nice players have been linked with exits amid projections that Ligue 1 could lose half of its previous €1bn broadcast revenue. Jean-Clair Todibo has long been a target for United, while midfielder Khephren Thuram and goalkeeper Marcin Bulka have also been tipped to leave the Allianz Riviera.

United, meanwhile, are still deliberating over the future of manager Erik ten Hag. Reports previously claimed he would be sacked after the FA Cup final, but after surprisingly beaten Manchester City, he remains in a job and the club have not yet made a decision on whether he will stay on.

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