Uefa president hints at rule change that could allow Sheikh Jassim to complete Man Utd takeover

Speaking to Gary Neville, Aleksander Ceferin hinted that Uefa could change rules to allow a Qatari takeover of Manchester United.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has hinted the rules surrounding multi-club ownership may be changed as Manchester United’s takeover enters its second stage.

Potential investors are set to hold meetings with United in the next few weeks, according to BBC Sport, with only two confirmed bidders coming forward so far: Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani. However, both parties may currently run foul of Uefa’s regulations surrounding multi-club ownership.

The current parameters do not allow clubs whose owners have vested interests to compete in the same Uefa competitions. “No club participating in a UEFA club competition may, either directly or indirectly, hold or deal in the securities or shares of any other club participating in a Uefa club competition, or be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management, administration and/or sporting performance of any other club participating in a Uefa club competition,” states the organisation’s regulations.

That poses issues for Ratcliffe, the owner of Ligue 1 side Nice, and Sheikh Jassim, with Qatar owning Paris Saint-Germain. However, speaking to Gary Neville on the latest episode of The Overlap, Ceferin said Uefa may have to ‘rethink’ those rules quickly.

“This multi-club ownership is an interesting question. I think we should think about it for the future and see what to do,” Ceferin told Neville. “From one point of view, it is true that if you are owner of two clubs and they play in the same competition you can say to one club to lose because you want the other to win.

“But for you as a football player, do you think it’s so easy to do that, to tell a coach to lose a match because you want the other to win? Or if you can’t play in the same competition, isn’t it logical that if you are close to being qualified in the Champions League that you intentionally lose in your national league? Because you say ‘if I win anyway I can’t play that competition’.

“We have to speak about this regulation and see what to do about it,” he added. “There’s more and more interest to this multi-club ownership and we shouldn’t just say no to the investment of multi-club ownership, but we have to see what sort of rules we set in that in that case because the rules have to be strict.

Asked whether United and PSG may not be able to play each other in the Champions League if there is vested interested from the owner, Ceferin explained: “Those are current rules, which we have to rethink.

“I think it has to happen quick because everything happens quick in football. But it wouldn’t be correct if I speak about something that we haven’t discussed much.

“We are not thinking about United only,” he continued. “We have five or six owners who want to buy another club. We have to see what to do, I don’t say what we will do but we first have to speak to the house and bring it to the executive committee and see. The options are a world that stays like that or we allow them to play in the same competition.”