Unlimited ownership of multiple clubs across different countries is becoming more common in modern football. However, this practice can raise questions about the integrity of competitions and the potential for conflicts of interest.
For instance, if a Qatar-based group owns Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), both of which qualify for the Champions League, the group may have to choose which team to compete with. UEFA’s rules on the “Integrity of the Club Competitions” were introduced in 1998 to prevent such situations.
These rules stipulate that no two clubs participating in a UEFA competition can be directly or indirectly controlled by the same ownership group. This is determined by the majority voting rights of shareholders or the power to appoint or dismiss the majority of directors in a competing club. Additionally, the majority voting rights of shareholders through shareholder agreements in a competing club are also considered.
Therefore, if a Qatar-based group owns Manchester United while also having a stake in PSG, they may have to choose which team to compete with in the Champions League. These rules were introduced to protect the integrity of competitions and prevent any potential conflicts of interest.
It is important to note that the reported bid for Manchester United is said to come from individual Qatari investors, rather than Qatar Sports Investment. However, this would need to be verified through any relevant ownership checks to assess potential relationships between the two.
In conclusion, while unlimited ownership of multiple football clubs may provide certain advantages, it can also raise ethical concerns and threaten the fairness of competitions. UEFA’s rules serve as a safeguard against such situations and aim to maintain the integrity of club competitions.