Manchester United face controversial Europa League exit before kicking a ball - opportunity for Newcastle?

Manchester United minority owner Sir Jim RatcliffeManchester United minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Manchester United minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe faces a problem given his links to Manchester United and Nice

Manchester United are yet to convince UEFA that they should be able to compete alongside Nica in the Europa League next season.

Competition rules state that “no individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in the competition”. The legislation has strict guidelines on parties or people who “hold a majority of the shareholders’ voting rights” or “have the right to appoint or remove a majority of the members of the administrative, management or supervisory body of the club”.

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe acquired a minority stake - around 27 per cent - of Man United in February. But this included being given sporting control of all sporting affairs, a responsibility that has resulted in him revamping the boardroom.

One of his targets has been Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth - currently placed on gardening leave while the two clubs agree on compensation. However, Ineos, Ratcliffe’s multi-billion-pound chemical company, also own Ligue 1 outfit Nice.

The French outfit qualified for the Europa League by finishing fifth - triggering uncertainty within UEFA. Man United’s FA Cup final win over Manchester City also ensured a spot in Europe’s second-tier competition next season.

The Telegraph report that Ineos must prove by June 3 - this upcoming Monday - that the Red Devils and Nice have not breached the multi-club rule. Failure to do so could result in Man United dropping to the Conference League.

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Unfortunately for Newcastle, there appears no possibility that they may be given a European spot as a result. The Magpies were cruelly denied Conference League football despite finishing above Man United due to their FA Cup win.

The report suggests Ineos are confident they have not broken any regulations. Man City, Brighton and Aston Villa have also met hurdles in recent years given their ownership structures.

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