As per current UEFA regulations, no individual or entity “may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA competition”. The rule was imposed to keep the competition as fair as possible not allowing multi-club owners to influence the competition in any way possible. Manchester City owners, the figurehead of the City Football Group, hold a major stake in La Liga contenders Girona. Similarly, after the United’s recent advancement with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos group, the Red Devils will have a co-owner who has major stakes in another club – French Ligue One team OGC Nice. New changes would benefit both these teams should they qualify for Europe’s elite competitions. Premier League 2023–24: Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea Face Fire and Doubts at Manchester City Before Carabao Cup Final.

UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis confirmed Europe’s top brass are actively discussing a rules revamp for next season. Theodoridis said: “It’s a difficult issue and there are continuous discussions, with club representatives and with European Club Association representatives as well. We have to decide what we must do moving down the line because there is a change in our competition.”

How will the change of rules affect Manchester United and Manchester City?

Defending champions Manchester City is aiming for the treble this season also. With their recent success in both domestic and European competitions, there are massive chances of Pep Guardiola’s side making multiple appearances in Europe’s top competition – the Champions League. But the rise of Girona in La Liga raised concerns, as the Spanish club also shares the same ownership as that of City.

Even if Girona stay second in Spain - they are five points ahead of third-placed Barcelona – Manchester City would be sure of taking part in the competition next season by retaining the trophy or winning the Prem for a record fourth year running. But if they fail to deliver on any of those fronts, they might have to let go of their Champions League participation, depending on Girona’s rise. UEFA Champions League 2023–24: Kylian Mbappe, Bradley Barcola Power PSG To Win Over Real Sociedad.

With recent advancements in Manchester United, Sir Jim Ratcliffe – Owner of League One side, OGC Nice, the Red Devils are facing similar issues. Under the current regulations, United would have to finish higher in the Prem than Nice did in France to be allowed to play in the Champions League, with the French side then not being allowed in any competition. If they finished lower in the Prem, United could only play in Europe if they qualified directly for a specific competition - by their final league position or winning the FA Cup. But all these possibilities apply to old rules.

As per multiple reports, UEFA's Club Financial Control Body is looking to relax its rules on multi-club ownership. Other than Manchester Giants many teams like Aston Villa and Vitoria Sport Clube, Brighton & Hove Albion and Royal Union Saint-Gilloise, plus AC Milan and Toulouse had proceedings opened against them due to a potential conflict with the multi-club ownership rule back in 2023. The rule change will benefit these clubs also.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 16, 2024 05:33 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website