UEFA have handed Toulouse the permission to participate in the group stage of next season’s Europa League, after the multi-club ownership saga with AC Milan was resolved.
This is coming following uncertainty regarding their place in the continental competition, which arose after their French Cup triumph.
Toulouse defeated Nantes in the final of the Coupe de France by 5-1, pipping the previous champions to the crown.
There were initial multi-club ownership concerns as they apparently shared the same owners with AC Milan.
However, UEFA have offered the go-ahead that they can compete in the Europa League next term.
The rules of UEFA stipulate that two clubs owned by the same entity could not be assured of entry into continental tournaments like the Europa League.
RedBird Capital Partners were understood to be owners of AC Milan and French Ligue 1 side Toulouse.
Les Violets decided to make needed changes in their executive hierarchy in order to convince UEFA that RedBird no longer have total control regarding decision making at the club.
Also, the financial arrangements were enough to guarantee their autonomy from AC Milan.
The San Siro club will be amongst the four teams from Italy, who will be playing in the Champions League next season.
It looks like Toulouse gave substantial reasons to UEFA and they have received permission from the European football governing body.
RedBird made several decisions aimed at setting both teams apart, which included changing the club’s ownership structure in addition to changes at the board level.
Due to Toulouse Multi-club ownership saga, Gary Cardinale resigned from the club
RedBird Capital Partners founder Gerry Cardinale resigned from his duty as a board member at Toulouse FC opting to focus solely on AC Milan.
Cardinale’s decision to quit in June didn’t come as a shock given the fact that he is the owner of the private investment company that also owns a majority share in AC Milan.
Meanwhile, UEFA have requested that both clubs do not sell or loan players to each other until September 2024.
The governing body of European football said in a statement which reads: “The clubs will not transfer players to each other, whether permanently or on loan, directly or indirectly, until September 2024”.
They must also ensure the autonomy of their recruitment teams, who will certainly have a busy summer ahead.
UEFA has multi-club ownership guidelines on ground to protect the integrity of its tournaments when teams of same ownership are drawn to compete against each other.
AC Milan and Toulouse were not the only club under scrutiny, as Brighton – Union Saint-Gilloise; and Aston Villa – Vitoria also got investigated.
However, following the investigations conducted, all the clubs involved have now been given the permission to feature in the continental competitions they qualified for.
European football’s governing body expressed that the changes made by these clubs resulted in their “compliance with the multi-club ownership rule”.