Manchester United have moved to improve relations with UEFA amid concerns that multi-club ownership rules could prevent them and Nice from competing in Europe next season. That follows the impending £1.2billion investment in United by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who also owns the French club.
UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis was a guest at Old Trafford for United’s 3-0 win over West Ham last Sunday, and Ineos representatives have also held talks with UEFA in Switzerland, where both groups are based.
Under current rules, United and Nice would be unable to compete in Europe next season unless one qualified for the Champions League and the other for the Europa Conference League.
United and Ineos are confident the matter can be resolved after Brighton and Aston Villa were given the green light this season despite being part of multi-club groups.
United would be the most likely to miss out if both clubs qualify for the Champions League as precedence is given to the team with the highest league position, with Nice currently second in Ligue 1.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s ownership of Nice and his stake in Man United may present a qualifying issue
The Premier League club is keen to navigate the challenges successfully, inviting UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis (right) to Old Trafford in a bid to develop the relationship
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Champions League plumps for Swiss system
The final round of Champions League group matches will take place on the same day for the first time next season due to concerns about integrity. UEFA are adopting the so-called Swiss system for the competition, with all 36 clubs competing against each other in one league table, so the final games will all kick off at the same time to ensure no team are given an advantage.
Cottagers’ Broja bargain
Fulham’s loan signing of Armando Broja could cost them only half of Chelsea’s original £5million asking price depending on the number of appearances the Albania striker makes for the club.
The west London clubs reached a compromise deal late on transfer deadline day valuing Broja’s five-month spell at Craven Cottage at £4m, but that figure will only apply if the 22-year-old makes a set number of appearances, with the base loan fee set at £2.5m.
Chelsea were happy with the deal as Fulham agreed to pay all of Broja’s wages. The Blues hope to sell him for £50m in the summer, which would be recorded as an immediate profit in their accounts as Broja is a homegrown player.
Everton’s ground for concern
The tension between Everton and the Premier League appears to have spilled over into the latter’s publications department, judging by the 2022-23 annual report which was published last week.
Details about Everton’s investment in their new £750million stadium at Bramley-Moore dock (above) have been omitted from of the Premier League’s annual 92-page report
The 92-page document highlights in detail much of the work carried out by Premier League clubs last season, including community, charity and public health projects as well as significant developments in broadcasting and international affairs, but there is no mention of Everton’s work on building a new ground.
The £750million Bramley-Moore Dock stadium is one of the biggest infrastructure projects taking place in any industry at present and its omission has raised eyebrows at Everton.