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Manchester United shareholder Ineos is seeking to sell Nice

Manchester United shareholder Ineos is seeking to sell Nice

According to The Independent, Manchester United shareholder Ineos is seeking to sell Nice to ensure that Manchester United's participation in European competitions is not affected.

It is reported that Ineos Group, a shareholder of Manchester United, is looking to sell Nice, and it is expected that UEFA will grant the two clubs a one-season transition period to participate in this season's European competitions. Another factor is that Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants to focus on Manchester United, fulfilling his ambition related to the club he loved as a child.

One issue is that French football is currently in financial trouble because Ligue 1 has failed to secure a broadcasting deal for the next season. However, Nice is considered a special case due to its attractive location. The plans are currently at an early stage, but many sources indicate that Ineos is considering selling Nice.

The Ineos Group, led by Ratcliffe, completed the acquisition of a 27.7% stake in Manchester United earlier this year, having previously acquired Nice in 2019. They are now facing the first complex situation of multi-club ownership, as both teams have qualified for the 2024-25 Europa League. UEFA is currently facing a significant challenge from the spread of multi-club ownership worldwide and is still working to resolve the regulatory issues related to such relationships.

The expected interim solution for next season is to place Nice into a "blind trust," a method used last season to navigate RedBird Capital's ownership of AC Milan and Toulouse. However, this is seen as only a temporary measure, as UEFA has warned that the rules for the 2025-26 season will be stricter.

In this context, Ineos remains open to selling Nice. A major complicating factor is the collapse of the domestic television market for Ligue 1, with no broadcasting agreement reached so far. It is predicted that Ligue 1's rights could fall from a potential €1 billion to just €500 million. The situation remains unresolved, and there are concerns about how quickly a new agreement can be reached.

Other takeover plans have stalled, and French clubs have lowered their revenue expectations. However, some believe now is an opportunity to buy a club with great potential, especially given Nice's highly attractive location on the French Riviera.

Ineos also owns Swiss club Lausanne-Sport, but they have not qualified for European competitions.
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