Chelsea Could Still Qualify For Europa League Despite Manchester United Winning FA Cup

Chelsea Could Still Qualify For Europa League Despite Manchester United Winning FA Cup

Martin Moses
updated at June 4, 2024 at 7:04 AM
In this article:
Manchester United logo
Manchester United
FA Cup logo
FA Cup
UEFA Europa League logo
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Europa Conference League logo
Nice logo
Chelsea logo
  • Chelsea could be presented with an outside chance of qualifying for the Europa League
  • The Blues initially finished with a Europa League spot before the FA Cup final on May 25
  • Manchester United's win in the final relegated the Londoners to the Conference League

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Chelsea could still get a possible but highly unlikely route back to the Europa League next season.

The Blues saw their chance to play in Europe's second-fiddle competition vanish after Manchester United beat Manchester City to win the FA Cup.

Manchester United, who had finished eighth in the Premier League, needed to win the final on May 25 to qualify for Europe next season.

Chelsea, Europa League, Manchester United, Conference League, Todd Boehly
Chelsea are hopeful of a Europa League qualification despite Manchester United winning the FA Cup this season. Photo Credit: Gaspafotos.
Source: Getty Images

This, in turn, relegated Chelsea to the Conference League and kicked Newcastle out of Europe entirely.

However, there is growing speculation that Manchester United could forfeit their place in the Europa League due to UEFA's rules on multi-club ownership.

Why Manchester United could be relegated to Conference League

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the minority owner of the Red Devils, is also the majority owner of Nice. The French club finished fifth in Ligue 1, thereby qualifying directly for the Europa League, which is bound to cause issues with UEFA.

The aforementioned UEFA Act states that:

"No individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition, such control or influence."

INEOS have already confirmed that they are in talks with UEFA to find a solution to the challenge. United, as MEN reports, could get a temporary reprieve as Ratcliffe only owns 27.7% of the club.

For the multi-ownership rules to apply, one needs to have more than a 30% stake in a club. Ratcliffe has intentions of investing more.

If UEFA decline INEOS' request, United will have to drop to the Conference League, since Nice finished higher than them in their Ligue 1.

Chelsea could, therefore, swoop in and reclaim the Europa League spot.

Why Chelsea shouldn't bank on this

But again, the Blues would not be counting so much on this to come to fruition, given that clubs owned by the same entities have in the past been allowed to play in the same competition.

For instance, Manchester City and Girona will both play in the Champions League next season despite both being owned by CFG.

Red Bull clubs RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig have also played in the same competition in the past, same as AC Milan and Toulouse who are owned by RedBird.

As it stands, Chelsea will begin their Conference League journey via the play-offs phase in August.

Why Chelsea could opt out of Conference League

Sports Brief also previously reported on why Chelsea could reject the Conference League spot.

The Blues struggles with Profit and Sustainability Rules could bite them significantly in Europe.

The guidelines for clubs participating in European competitions are way stricter than the EPL's.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)