Manchester United’s Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘set deadline’ over Europa League ban

UEFA has thrown down the gauntlet to Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his company INEOS whose stake in French club Nice, threatens to relegate Manchester United from the Europa League next season.

Despite United’s FA Cup triumph on Saturday, there’s a risk of getting the boot from the competition due to Nice, another INEOS-owned club, having a higher league finish.

Ratcliffe, who snapped up a 27.7% slice of the Red Devils pie in February, now wields considerable clout at Old Trafford but has been

READ MORE: Man Utd ‘could face relegation from Europa League’ despite FA Cup heroics

INEOS took the reins at Nice back in 2019, and the French outfit secured their Europa League ticket with a fifth-place Ligue 1 finish. On the flip side, United endured a nightmare Premier League season, plummeting to an all-time low of eighth place, missing out on European qualification.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been given a deadline of July to plead his case, The Telegraph reports

But Erik ten Hag’s lads turned the tables by nicking a 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Wembley, bagging their 13th FA Cup and with it, Europa League entry.

However, their European dreams could be dashed unless they can convince UEFA with a solid argument for competing alongside Nice.

UEFA’s strict rules on multi-club ownership forbid any single entity from having a “decisive influence” over more than one club in the same tourney.

The Telegraph reports that an independent panel will deliver the final word to United before the Europa League’s early rounds kick off in July.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Nice’s higher finish in Ligue 1 entitles them to the Europa League over United

If the outcome goes against United, they will drop into the Conference League since they finished lower than Nice in their respective division.

That would leave Tottenham Hotspur as England’s sole entrants in the Europa League, with United and Chelsea flying the flag in the Conference League.

However, INEOS have held direct talks with UEFA and are “confident” they will find a solution that, in line with the governing body’s latest guidances, ensures the integrity of the competition.

The Telegraph add that INEOS could surrender their day-to-day control at Nice, limiting Ratcliffe’s involvement to being the club’s primary investor.