Manchester City owners handed major UEFA ultimatum amid Europa League demotion threat

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Redaction Simon Brett with Harry Winters
Published on 2024-05-15 17:30:00

UEFA has issued an ultimatum to the City Football Group regarding their participation in the Champions League next season, with both Manchester City and Girona FC qualifying for the 2024/25 edition of the competition. Manchester City won their first UEFA Champions League in 2023, but were eliminated in the quarter-finals this season by Real Madrid. Despite this, they have already secured qualification for next season. Girona also secured Champions League football for next season, but may face demotion to the Europa League due to strict integrity rules imposed by UEFA.

The City Football Group’s ownership, based in Abu Dhabi, has been given until June 3rd to address the issue. They need to reduce one ownership stake to below 30% or transfer all shares in one club to a blind trust overseen by UEFA-appointed panel. With Manchester City expected to be given the Champions League spot ahead of Girona if no resolution is found, the CFG faces a crucial decision in the coming weeks. The CFG’s 47% share in Girona, as well as the ownership by Pep Guardiola’s brother, complicates the situation even further.

The potential consequences for the City Football Group are significant, as they risk losing out on participation in the Champions League. With their ownership structure under scrutiny by UEFA, the CFG must find a solution before the deadline to avoid any further penalties or sanctions. If Manchester City is awarded the Champions League spot over Girona, it could have far-reaching implications for both clubs and their future in European competitions. Overall, the situation highlights the challenges faced by football clubs with complex ownership structures in adhering to strict regulations imposed by governing bodies like UEFA.

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