HomeOTHEREPLReport: Multi-Club Ownership Gets Green Light from UEFA

Report: Multi-Club Ownership Gets Green Light from UEFA

UEFA’s Strategic Shift: Embracing Multi-Club Ownership Dynamics

In a landmark decision that is reshaping the contours of European football, UEFA has announced a significant relaxation of its rules concerning multi-club ownership. This development, astutely captured by Matt Slater of The Athletic, marks a pivotal moment in the governance of club competitions on the continent.

A New Era for European Competitions

“European football’s governing body UEFA has quietly relaxed its rules on multi-club ownership groups ahead of next season’s changes to its club competitions,” Slater reports. This move, set to take effect from the 2024-25 campaign, allows for clubs under the same ownership to participate in different UEFA competitions concurrently. It’s a change that underscores UEFA’s adaptability in the face of evolving football landscapes and the increasing prevalence of multi-club ownership.

Strategic Implications for Clubs

One of the most compelling aspects of this regulatory shift is its potential impact on the strategy of clubs and their owners. “For example, it is possible that one of Manchester United or Nice, both now under the control of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his company INEOS, could play in the Champions League, while the other plays in the Europa League or Conference League,” Slater elucidates. This opens up a new realm of strategic flexibility for clubs, allowing them to maximise their competitive and commercial opportunities across UEFA’s suite of competitions.

Navigating New Opportunities

The relaxation of these regulations is not merely a procedural tweak; it’s a strategic recalibration that acknowledges the complex ownership structures that now characterise the global football ecosystem. “From the 2024-25 campaign, clubs under common ownership that are prevented from playing in the same UEFA club competition will now be allowed to play in different UEFA competitions,” Slater notes, highlighting the forward-thinking approach UEFA is taking.

The Integrity of the Game

Despite the benefits, this rule change also raises questions about the integrity of competitions. UEFA’s challenge will be to ensure that the spirit of competition remains untarnished, even as it opens the door to more inclusive participation criteria. As Slater mentions, “With the number of clubs under common ownership growing each season, the integrity risks are obvious.” UEFA’s nuanced approach aims to balance these concerns with the realities of modern football ownership.

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