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Manchester United Co-Owners Ineos Considering Sale of OGC Nice

Chemicals giant Ineos is reportedly considering selling Ligue 1 soccer team OGC Nice, according to The Independent. Ineos has owned Nice since 2019, and the team qualified for the Uefa Europa League last season following a fifth-place finish in the French top-flight. However, following the acquisition of a minority stake in Manchester United, Ineos and Ratcliffe are now contemplating selling Nice.

Earlier this month, The Times reported that UEFA, European soccer's governing body, is expected to allow both Nice and Manchester United to compete in the Europa League for the 2024/25 campaign under a transitional 'blind trust' solution. This mechanism was used last season to allow multi-club ownership groups, like AC Milan and Toulouse owned by RedBird Capital Partners, and Brighton and Union Saint-Gilloise, to compete in the same tournament.

The Independent suggests that Ineos is open to selling Nice due to potential future UEFA restrictions and Ratcliffe's desire to focus more on Manchester United, a long-held personal goal. However, Rivère insists that Nice is not for sale, stating, "The owner's objective is absolutely not to sell the club."

The situation is further complicated by Ligue 1's lack of a domestic media rights deal for next season, which could lead to a significant fall in revenue for clubs. French outlet L’Équipe also reports that Ineos is aiming to sell Nice, though Rivère reiterates that the club is healthy and not on the market.

Ineos also owns Swiss soccer club Lausanne-Sport. With the increasing popularity of multi-club ownership, UEFA faces challenges in ensuring competition integrity when clubs from the same group compete against each other. According to a federation report, more than 300 teams are currently part of multi-club networks.

While a temporary solution is in place for the upcoming season, Ineos and Ratcliffe might find it easier to sell Nice to avoid further restrictions. Ratcliffe appears increasingly involved with Manchester United, leading major decisions such as exploring a revamp of Old Trafford and determining the future of the team's manager, Erik ten Hag.

Given the uncertainties surrounding Ligue 1's domestic rights deal, any potential sale of Nice may be delayed as interested parties await further developments.


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