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Man United must resolve INEOS structural issues before Monday or face Europa League axe

Manchester United have been given until Monday to convince UEFA that the club and OGC Nice can simultaneously compete in the Europa League next season, according to the Telegraph.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS group are racing against the clock to demonstrate they comply with UEFA’s multi-club ownership (MCO) regulations.

An independent panel will make the final call before the Europa League qualifiers kick off in July.

Ratcliffe owns stakes in both United and Ligue 1 club Nice. He holds a 27.7% stake in United, while he has been the majority shareholder at Nice since acquiring the French club in 2019.

UEFA’s MCO rules do not allow any entity to have a decisive influence over more than one club participating in the same competition to ensure integrity.

If INEOS cannot find a solution, United could be demoted to the Europa Conference League after finishing lower than Nice this season.

However, INEOS are talking with UEFA and believe they can find a resolution. They could relinquish direct involvement at Nice to appease UEFA. Ratcliffe may become a passive investor.

Manchester City and Spanish club Girona, under the City Football Group umbrella, also face a similar challenge before the Champions League deadline.

UEFA acknowledges the tight timeframe and offers a potential solution if selling shares is necessary.

UEFA will accept ‘the transfer or the assignment of all its shares in a club to an independent third party’ such as a blind trust. This trust will act solely in the club’s best interest.

With the Monday deadline looming, INEOS has crucial decisions to make to ensure Man United and Nice can participate in the Europa League next season.