UEFA, CFG in talks over Manchester City and Girona’s Champions League participation


City Football Group (CFG) and UEFA are in dialogue over a solution which will allow Manchester City and Girona to both compete in the Champions League next season.

CFG — the parent company of City — has a 47 per cent stake in La Liga side Girona, who qualified for the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history earlier this month.

UEFA has presented the investment group with divestment options that would enable both sides to participate in next season’s revamped 36-team competition while adhering to integrity rules for teams that share owners.

Should they fail to comply with UEFA rules on multi-club ownership they face being demoted to the Europa League.

CFG must comply by June 3 to avoid possible penalties, which include one club being put into European football’s second-tier competition.

As first reported by The Associated Press, CFG has two options to avoid failing to comply with UEFA rules on multi-club ownership.

European football’s governing body has rules that allow it to ban clubs if owners have “decisive influence” over two clubs which qualify for the same competition.

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CFG can either transfer all shares in either City or Girona to an independent trust managed by a panel appointed by UEFA. The Abu Dhabi-based investment organisation can also sell shares to an separate third party that reduces one ownership stake to below 30 per cent.

CFG currently owns 100 per cent of City and 47 per cent of Catalan club Girona — along with stakes in 11 other clubs worldwide.

In 2017, UEFA ruled that RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg — both of whom are associated with energy-drink maker Red Bull — were allowed to play in the Champions League.

UEFA ruled “no individual or legal entity had a decisive influence over more than one club” and it did not affect the integrity of the competition.

CFG is the majority owner of Australian side Melbourne City, MLS’ New York City FC, India’s Mumbai City, Uruguay’s Montevideo City Torque, France’s Troyes, Belgium’s Lommel, Italy’s Palermo and Brazil’s Bahia.

It also has shares in China’s Shenzhen Peng City and Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos.

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(Alex Caparros/Getty Images)



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