Man Utd running out of time to convince rivals to alter Champions League rules and could face impossible task to qualify

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EUROPE’S top clubs are split over a possible Champions League ban for Manchester United.

SunSport revealed how Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s ownership of French side Nice, who sit second in Ligue 1, means United might have to WIN the Prem to qualify for next season’s competition.

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Man Utd may have to win the Premier League to make next year’s Champions LeagueCredit: Getty
Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to buy 25 per cent of Man Utd

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to buy 25 per cent of Man UtdCredit: AFP

This is because of Uefa “integrity” rules.

Ratcliffe hopes to own chunk of United by next season.

He is currently finalising a deal to buy 25 per cent of the club for £1.3billion.

Meanwhile, some clubs want Uefa bosses to rewrite the rulebook to allow “multi club ownership” teams to play in the same competition.

That includes a number of sides in the powerful European Club Association, which has board members — including Manchester City’s Ferran Soriano — who are part of multi-club organisations.

But other ECA clubs are resisting changes — with the idea of clubs under the same umbrella being able to only meet in the knockout stage being seen as a step too far.

And finding a solution in time for next season is seeming increasingly unlikely.

NERD NELSON

FORGET “sexy football” as Irish FA chief Patrick Nelson thinks VAR is  football’s eye-catcher.

Most of Tuesday’s Heathrow session of the International FA Board was about what Welsh FA boss Noel Mooney described as the “cancer” of poor player behaviour and its impact on refs.

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Nelson added: “We often get tied into the sexy stuff here about semi-automated offside technology or referees announcing decisions after a VAR on-field review.

“But a lot of what we talked about was behaviour and culture in the game.”

“Sexy”? Not even for nerds like me.

REBEL CLUBS’ RULING HOPE

SUPER League rebels are still hoping for salvation from next month’s European Court  ruling — which  is expected to sound the project’s death knell.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and their PR arm, A22, believe the 12-month wait for  the final verdict of the Luxembourg court means there could still be a change from the “non-binding opinion” of its advocate general.

That argued almost entirely in favour of Fifa and Uefa and their right to sanction clubs who tried to create a breakaway competition.

The insurgents, though, believe the December 21 final ruling may give them some leeway to go it alone without the fear of punishment.

GAME ON

UEFA’S latest win over Fifa has come off-pitch in the virtual realm.

Fifa’s three-decade partnership with EA Sports on the world’s best-selling football video game ended last season, with it now going under the game makers’ name.

That has left a gap for Euro chiefs with “Uefa Euro 2024” to be a free update for EA Sports FC 24 before next summer.

PACK YOUR BAGGIES

FORMER Chelsea, West Brom and Reading chief exec Ron Gourlay is tipped as English football’s next export to Saudi.

The Scot, who left the Baggies in the summer, is lined up to join Pro League high-fliers Al-Ahli.

The squad includes Roberto Firmino, Edouard Mendy, Riyad Mahrez and Allan Saint-Maximin.

It’s a long way from Dundee, Ron.





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