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SportsMan Utd, Nice owner Ratcliffe bemoans UEFA rules barring player transfer among...

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Man Utd, Nice owner Ratcliffe bemoans UEFA rules barring player transfer among the two clubs

Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has revealed that UEFA’s regulations on multi-club ownership have hindered the club from acquiring a player from Ligue 1 team Nice.

Ratcliffe’s company, INEOS, acquired Nice in 2019 and later secured a minority stake in Manchester United earlier this year.

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Although transferring players between clubs with shared ownership isn’t outright banned, the qualification of both Nice and Manchester United for next season’s UEFA Europa League has complicated their ability to engage in transfer dealings with each other.

UEFA rules state: “No individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition,” with control defined as: “Being able to exercise by any means a decisive influence in the decision-making of the club.”

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Sources have it that United were interested in signing Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo.

“They’ve said we can sell him to another Premiership club, but we can’t sell to Manchester United,” Ratcliffe, who did not name the player in question, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “But that’s not fair on the player and I don’t see what that achieves.”

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Sources have told ESPN that United have decided that Erik ten Hag will stay on as manager after a season in which the club recorded its lowest ever Premier League finish but won the FA Cup.

Ratcliffe said that he is more focused on creating the right “environment” at the club, rather than personnel, as he attempts to take United back to the summit of English and European football.

“The coach isn’t the central issue at Manchester United,” the INEOS boss said. “It’s a sports club. It needs to be competitive, it needs a degree of intensity, but with a supportive side to it because you are dealing with players who are relatively young. It hasn’t had that type of environment historically.”

Ratcliffe expressed his support for Manchester City after the club launched legal action against the Premier League over Associated Party Transaction rules (APT).


The Premier League’s APT rules, originally introduced in 2021 following the Saudi Arabia-backed takeover of Newcastle United, were tightened in February in an attempt to regulate clubs signing lucrative sponsorship deals with companies linked to their owners.

“I can understand why they are challenging it,” Ratcliffe said. “You can understand why they would say that they want an open market, free market.”

The Labour Party has committed to establishing a new football regulator if they win the upcoming UK general election. This regulator would aim to impose stricter controls on club spending to prevent financial mismanagement and protect the interests of fans.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe voiced his opposition to the proposed legislation and also criticized the “anchoring” system that Premier League clubs plan to test next season.

The “Top to Bottom Anchoring” system restricts spending to a multiple of the lowest projected combined prize money and TV rights revenue a team is expected to earn.

“If you’ve got a government regulator at the end of the day they will regulate and that won’t be good,” he said.
“‘What would anchoring do?’

It would inhibit the top clubs in the Premiership. The last thing you want in the Premiership is for the top clubs in the Premiership not to be able to compete with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and PSG.”

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