Man Utd, City cleared to play European football

Manchester City and Manchester United have been cleared to take part in European competition next season by UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB).

Doubts had been raised after both Man City and LaLiga side Girona, who are both part of the City Football Group, both qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Manchester United, meanwhile, earned a place in the Europa League by winning the FA Cup along with Nice, the Ligue 1 club which is also under the control of Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group.

Two clubs under the same ownership being in one European competition creates a potential conflict with UEFA’s multi-club ownership rules, and changes had to be made at board level for all four clubs to be admitted.

UEFA confirmed on Friday that there had been “significant changes made to the ownership, governance, and financial support of the concerned clubs” which would “substantially restrict the investors’ influence and decision-making power.”

The shares held in Girona and Nice have been transferred to independent trustees “through a blind trust structure established under the supervision of the CFCB.”

The measure applies only to the 2024-25 season, after which the shares will transfer back to City Football Group and INEOS.

Ratcliffe acquired a 27.7% stake in United in February while INEOS, the chemical company he founded and now runs as CEO, bought Nice in 2019.

A source has told ESPN that United have already been blocked by UEFA in their attempts to sign Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo.

“They’ve said we can sell him to another Premiership club,” Ratcliffe said in an interview last month.

“But we can’t sell to Manchester United. But that’s not fair on the player and I don’t see what that achieves.”

UEFA said on Friday that United and City have agreed not to transfer players to or from their sister clubs, Nice and Girona, respectively, until September 2025, meaning Todibo cannot join United. It also rules out any player moves between the clubs in the 2025 summer transfer window.

However, a source has told ESPN that City are expected to sign Sávio this summer.

The winger was on loan at Girona last season but the deal will be done with parent club Troyes, who have not qualified for the Champions League.

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