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“No circumstance…” – Sir Jim Ratcliffe puts Manchester United rumour to bed amid concerns



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Sir Jim Ratcliffe has put to bed the idea that Ineos’ ownership of Ligue 1 side OGC Nice could impact Manchester United’s ability to qualify for the Champions League.

Ineos and Ratcliffe are the sole owners of the Ligue 1 team, and there had been concerns raised that this would harm United’s ability to qualify for UEFA competitions following Ratcliffe’s 27.7 per cent stake in United being confirmed.

Despite these fears, when quizzed on whether Ineos’ full ownership of Nice will impact United’s chance of playing in the Champions League, Ratcliffe rebuffed the idea that the Premier League side would be negatively affected:

“There are no circumstances upon which an ownership of Nice would prevent Manchester United from playing in the Champions League,” Ratcliffe told the Manchester Evening News. “I’ll be crystal clear on that.

“It says you have to change the ownership structure, you know. So it’s all about influence and positions on the board and that sort of thing. A: the rules are changing, and B: there are shades of grey not black and white. Manchester City will probably have the problem before we have the problem because they’ve obviously got Girona.

“We have spoken to UEFA, and I have to say the conversation wasn’t directed at, ‘You have to solve this problem and you know we don’t like it’. We have an issue, and we might have to change some things.

“But what they do recognise is that the multi-club model, in many circumstances, benefits the smaller club quite a lot. They do have a concern that if they stop the multi-club model, then you take away quite a lot from the smaller club. Because the smaller club benefits a lot from the bigger club. So that’s a good thing.

“But what they’re worried about is if there’s ever an accusation that somebody influences the result of a game – lack of integrity. That’s the most concerning thing. 

“We’ve never spent time really understanding the benefits of a multi-club. But we’ve got Omar [Berrada], obviously, who’s been intimately involved in a really successful multi-club, which is Manchester City. So we need to spend a bit of time with Omar trying to understand it a bit better before we finish up with a view.

“I think my inclination is positive towards multi-clubs, not negative towards multi-clubs. We haven’t spent enough time understanding all the details of it yet. Also, the UEFA thing is changing so you have to do it in the light of where you think UEFA is going to finish up, what the handicaps are.”