Man City face being KICKED OUT of the Champions League to the benefit of Man Utd

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 11 Dec 2023 09:18 GMT
  • 3 min read
Pep Guardiola, Man City, Champions League
© ProShots

Manchester City face the prospect of being kicked out from the 2024/25 competition thanks to the excellent form of Girona in LaLiga - a move that could open the door for rivals Manchester United to qualify for the competition.

Under UEFA’s current laws, two clubs owned by the same entity cannot compete in the competition Both City and Girona are owned by the City Football Group.

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CFG would not get to pick which team would feature in the Champions League, with UEFA instead deciding based on their league finish.

City are enduring a surprisingly difficult campaign in the Premier League as they struggle in fourth place, having had to come from behind to beat Luton Town 2-1 on Sunday, while Girona have been one of the sensations of European football as they lead the way in Spain.

Michel’s side, who are 47% owned by CFG, incredibly defeated Barcelona 4-2 away from home on Sunday to move two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga. Furthermore, they are seven points clear of Atletico Madrid in third, albeit having played a game more.

This puts into sharp focus the pressure that is suddenly on 2023 Champions League winners City, who may not get the opportunity to play in the competition next year if they cannot outperform Girona.

Could Erling Haaland be denied Champions League football next season?
© ProShots - Could Erling Haaland be denied Champions League football next season?

Champions League format change

The Premier League will probably have at least five automatic qualifiers into the Champions League next season, with the format of the competition changing to the Swiss Model. Four teams will definitely quality, while England is likely to receive at least one bonus place.

This means that any club in the top five should quality, yet if Man City were to be excluded, that would be to the benefit of the team in sixth, which is presently Erik ten Hag’s Man Utd.

As things stand, therefore, City are poised to be kicked out of the competition and Man Utd invited in.

Jim Ratcliffe's takeover at Man Utd is another complicating factor
© ProShots - Jim Ratcliffe's takeover at Man Utd is another complicating factor

But there is also a complication looming for the Red Devils thanks to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s minority takeover of the club. He will imminently buy 25% of Man Utd but he is also the current owner of Nice.

Man Utd could, therefore, face the same issue as City do because Nice are second in France’s Ligue 1 and looking good for Champions League qualification on their own merits.

In this instance, if there is no rule change, the final Premier League spot would go to Newcastle United.

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