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Manchester City and Manchester United will be able to face Girona and Nice respectively in Europe next season after multi-club ownership conditions set by UEFA were met.

UEFA said on Friday that “significant changes” in the ownership arrangements at Girona and Nice meant they could now face the Manchester clubs in the Champions League and Europa League.

Girona and City are part of the City Football Group while Ineos – which has been in control of football operations at United since earlier this year – is the majority owner of Nice.

UEFA said CFG’s shareholding in Girona and Ineos’ stake in Nice had been transferred to independent trustees in a ‘blind trust’ structure.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos group controls football operations at Manchester United, and owns a majority stake in Nice (Peter Byrne/PA)

UEFA revealed in May that, on an exceptional basis for next season only, blind trust arrangements would be acceptable.

United co-owner and Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirmed last month that a blind trust would be used to comply with the rules for next season, but said it was not Ineos’ intention to sell its stake in Nice.

UEFA also said the clubs had agreed not to transfer players between them, permanently or on loan, or directly or indirectly, between now and September 2025.

The only exception will be deals agreed prior to UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) opening proceedings against the clubs.

The clubs also agreed not to conclude any co-operation, joint technical or commercial agreements between them or use any joint scouting or player database.

The shares will revert to the City Football Group and Ineos on July 1 next year, UEFA said.

Girona announced earlier this week that Simon Cliff, John MacBeath and Ingo Bank had stepped down from the club’s board. Three partners in UK law firm Wiggin Osborne Fullerlove – Matthew Shayle, Edward Hall and Paul Hunston – were approved as their replacements.

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