Girona and Manchester City’s dodge to play in the UEFA Champions League
Yeray Vergara
July 8, 2024

The First Chamber of the Club Financial Control Committee has accepted the admission of Girona FC and Manchester City to the UEFA Champions League as well as Manchester United and OGC Nice to the UEFA Europa League. The case suggested a conflict with the multi-club ownership rule provided for in Article 5 of UEFA’s club competition regulations, but the clubs’ owners – in their case Girona-City, and United-Nice – have maneuvered to make it all legal.

After some significant changes by the investors of Girona FC and OGC Nice, the first chamber of the CFCB accepted the admission of Girona FC and OGC Nice into the Champions League and Europa League, respectively, alongside Manchester City and Manchester United. City and Girona share the same shareholding, as do United and Nice.

The clubs have been able to demonstrate that the changes brought them into compliance with the multi-club ownership rule, considering that no one is simultaneously involved – directly or indirectly – in the management of more than one club participating in the competition and does not have decisive control over more than one club participating in the competition.


The affected investors have transferred their shares to independent trustees through a blind trust structure established under the supervision of the CFCB. Accordingly, it applies that the effective control and decision making of these clubs rests with the trustee. This trustee appointed new directors to the board, the investors have no ability to influence sport-related decisions or the club through veto rights or contractual agreements entered into with other shareholders, they are limited in their ability to provide subsequent financing and the financial statements of the club are deconsolidated from the investors’ holding company.


In addition, the clubs, in order to prove their independence undertake not to transfer players to each other from July 2024 until September 2025, will not enter into any cooperation agreements and will not use any joint scouting or any databases.

As of July 1, 2025, the shares of Girona FC and OGC Nice will be transferred back to their respective investors. The CFCB First Chamber will continue to monitor the above situations to ensure that the multi-club ownership rule continues to be complied with during the 2024/25 season.

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