UEFA’s Previous Decisions Over Red Bull Teams May Make Way For Manchester United’s Potential Takeover


Published By: Sports Desk

Last Updated: March 31, 2023, 16:09 IST

The takeover of Manchester United has raised confusion regarding the UEFA regulations designated to protect football from the integrity risks of owners having control of multiple clubs. A Qatari investor, headed by Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani, has shown interest to acquire the Premier League giants and has made a couple of official bids so far.

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The potential sale, however, has given birth to complications because Sheikh Jassim has a close connection with the Qatari Investment Authority (QIA), which has ownership of the Paris Saint Germain. His father Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani aka HBJ has been the chairperson of QIA for a long period. Sheikh Jassim, however, has denied his relationship with PSG, while also ensuring his independence from the QIA.

The fact restricting the United takeover is that the UEFA doesn’t permit two clubs owned by the same person or group to participate in the major European competitions including the Champions League, the Europa League and the Europa Conference League. Article 5 of the rules in each UEFA tournament underlines integrity and multi-club ownership.

Individuals and legal organizations are not supposed to own or control more than one club, nor are clubs allowed to hold shares in or managerial control over another club competing in a UEFA competition. For a reason, the governing body says that it would “influence the decision-making of the club,” causing a threat to its individuality.

According to UEFA, the team that qualified for “the most prestigious” tournament must succeed the other team. Which club placed higher in its domestic competition serves as another tiebreaker. If one club qualified straight for the Champions League and the other for the Europa Conference League, there would be a way to allow both clubs to participate. In that case, the two squads, however, could not compete against one another.

Earlier in 2017, UEFA allowed RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig to take part in the Champions League even though both clubs have a close tie with energy drink giants Red Bull, having the company’s logo in their emblem. The link threatened Leipzig’s participation as they were second in the Bundesliga table while Salzburg finished at the top of the Austrian elite flight.

After the two German clubs submitted the required applications for the allowance, UEFA confirmed that Red Bull owns Leipzig but they are just the official sponsor of Salzburg.

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