Toulouse Could Miss Out On Europa League Because Of Shared Ownership With AC Milan

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Toulouse laid their hands on the Coupe De France for only the second time in their history on Saturday night after a smashing 5-1 victory over previous holders Nantes.

Les Violets who were absent from the Ligue 1 for two campaigns and gained promotion back to the top flight in the 2021/22 season have had a remarkable campaign as they currently sit 12th on the Ligue 1 table.

Every season, winners of the Coupe De France are given a guaranteed slot in the UEFA Europa League, if they are not already qualified for the continental tournament through their league standings.

Toulouse defeated Nantes to win the Coupe De France
Toulouse defeated Nantes to win the Coupe De France

Nantes who were annihilated in the final also gained qualification to the Europa League via this same process last season and they got to the knockout stages of the tournament before they were subdued by Juventus.

Toulouse owners are also the owners of AC Milan

The defending champions of the Coupe De France have the exact majority stakeholder as AC Milan.

Both clubs are owned by American Investment fund RedBird Capital, and UEFA do not give room for two clubs that are owned by one company or individual to compete in the same continental showpiece.

This regulation also applies to other tournaments, taking into consideration that AC Milan could finish third in a Champions League group and fall to the Europa League knockout phase halfway through the campaign.

L’Équipe highlighted that RedBird will have to carry out structural changes in the ownership of one of the two teams just like Red Bull did in 2017 for both Leipzig and Salzburg to play in Europe.

Red Bull did that within a very short period of time for their clubs to move further in the tournaments.

7-times UEFA Champions League winners AC Milan would have the priority ahead of Toulouse in all parameters used by UEFA ranging from league ranking, country coeffiecient, and the bigger competition, if they make it to the Champions League.

AC Milan would have the priority over Toulouse in all parameters used by UEFA
AC Milan would have the priority over Toulouse in all parameters used by UEFA

Les Violets would only have the upper hand if the Serie A giants finish in UEFA Europa Conference League positions.

If Toulouse do not find a way to sought the issue out, their position would be given to the team who finish 5th-place in the current Ligue 1 season.

RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg found their way around it but it is uncertain how Toulouse would be able to solve the puzzle as they are yet to make a public reaction over their qualification for next season’s Europa League.

Additionally, things may end up being more tough for other clubs following similar route with UEFA speaking vehemently on multi-club ownership in its yearly financial study for 2022.

The European football governing body stated: “The rise of multi-club investment has the potential to pose a material threat to the integrity of European club competitions, with a growing risk of seeing two clubs with the same owner or investor facing each other on the pitch.”

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