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Manchester United co-owner INEOS looking to sell sister club OGC Nice

INEOS are looking for a long-term fix to UEFA’s multi-club rules.

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Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup Final secured United’s place in the Europa Cup for next season, granting the club European football next year, or so we thought.

However, complications arose with the club potentially coming into contention with UEFA’s multi-club rule whereby teams with the same owners can’t compete in the same European tournament.

The issue causing the complication was that United’s new minority owners, INEOS, also own French club OGC Nice who, after placing fifth in Ligue 1, secured a slot in the Europe League prior to United.

It was expected that as the rule only applies to owners who hold a stake of over 30 per cent in each club, and INEOS only own 27 per cent of Manchester United, both clubs would manage to compete in the Europa League, which ultimately has been UEFA’s decision, temporarily.

However, it has been reported that INEOS are looking to increase their ownership of the Red Devils, wanting to invest a further £235 million which would surpass the 30 per cent mark.

In a report from the Independent, INEOS are now looking to sell off sister club OGC Nice as a long term solution to comply with the multi-club ownership rules, showing a true priority on United.

With United being Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s childhood club, it’s no surprise that the INEOS owner wants to focus on the Red Devils.

The one-season fix that has allowed for Nice and United to compete together is expected to be that Nice are placed in a “blind trust”, which worked last season to allow Red Bird Capital’s ownership of AC Milan and Toulouse  get around this last season.

However, the UEFA governing of this rule is expected to become much more stringent meaning that this fix will not work past one season.

A complicating factor of the potential sale of Nice though is the collapse of Ligue 1’s domestic TV market, with no broadcaster agreed as of yet. Forecasts have fallen by half from potentially €1 billion deals €500 million. The situation is still awaiting a resolution, with concerns over how quickly an agreement can be set up ahead of the new season.

If INEOS can sell off OGC Nice, this would definitely mark a much clearer focus on the Red Devils from the club owners.

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