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Shock for Manchester United: FA Cup glory could lead to Conference League relegation!

Manchester United's stunning FA Cup final win over Manchester City has created a potential headache for UEFA

Manchester United

Manchester United secured a stunning, and richly deserved, FA Cup win over Manchester City at the weekend, beating the holders and Premier League champions 2-1 at Wembley thanks to goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo.

Amid the celebrations, it potentially created a problem for United, however, with suggestions they would not be able to take their place in the Europa League as planned.

It has been speculated that they may be demoted to UEFA’s third tier competition, the Europa Conference League, due to issues with their ownership.

So what is the problem?

UEFA’s rules restrict the influence any organisation can have over more than one club in the same competition. Ineos own Ligue 1 club Nice having purchased them in 2019.

They also bought a 27.7 per cent stake in United in February this year, acquiring the rights to run the football operations at Old Trafford.

Nice have also qualified for the Europa League for next season.

Has this happened before?

Yes. In the age of groups owning several clubs, it has, and will no doubt happen again.

Last season, Brighton owner Tony Bloom, who is also an influential figure at Union Saint-Gilloise, came to the attention of UEFA with both teams set to compete in the Europa League. It meant the Belgian side had to change its ownership structure for them both to be admitted.

It has also happened to Aston Villa and Vitoria Guimaraes while Manchester City are also likely to face questions given both they and fellow Champions League qualifiers Girona are part of the same club group.

What have Ineos said?

They released a statement which read: “We are aware of the position of both clubs and are in direct dialogue with UEFA.

“We are confident we have a route forward for next season in Europe.”

How are UEFA handling the situation?

An independent panel will rule on the United/Nice case in the coming weeks.

It is highly likely a solution will be found but, if not, United will be relegated to the Europa Conference League as Nice finished higher in their respective domestic league – fifth in Ligue 1 compared to United’s eighth.

What of this season’s Europa Conference League?

The final is tomorrow night in Athens with Olympiacos taking on last season’s beaten finalists Fiorentina.

Read our in-depth preview here and also receive the best betting offers

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.