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INEOS, from Nice to Manchester: What can United and OGC Nice fans expect?

Julien Farhat

INEOS OGC Nice Manchester United
INEOS OGC Nice Manchester United

On December 24, 2023, the INEOS group, which holds ownership of OGC Nice, FC Lausanne-Sport, and Racing Club Abidjan, made a startling move by officially acquiring a 25% stake in Manchester United. While this development is undoubtedly positive news for Manchester United fans, it prompts consideration of the potential impact on the other clubs within the INEOS portfolio, beginning with OGC Nice.

I- INEOS Presentation

INEOS is a global chemical company comprised of 36 businesses with 194 sites throughout the world. The company extends its reach to include consumer brands and sports investments as well. Its involvement in sports encompasses Formula 1, cycling, sailing, football, rugby, and running. Focusing on Football, before the acquisition, INEOS owned FC Lausanne-Sport, Racing Club Abidjan, and importantly OGC Nice, which was acquired in 2019 for about 100 million euros.

  1. Value reported by several media such as Euronews, BBC, Les Echos.

  • - Industry (chemicals, polymers, oil and gas, businesses and markets)

  • - Sports (Sailing, F1, Cycling, Football, Rugby and Challenges)

  • - Consumer brands (INEOS Grenadier, INEOS Hygienics, and Belstaff)

  • - FC Lausanne (2017)

  • - OGC Nice (2019)

  • - 194 sites

  • - 36 businesses in 29 countries since 1998

  • - Global chemical company INEOS

  • - RC Abidjan (OGC Nice partner)

INEOS OGC Nice Manchester United
INEOS OGC Nice Manchester United

II- OGC Nice Key Numbers

Concerning OGC Nice's sporting and transfer policies over the years, a distinct shift is evident when comparing the pre- and post-INEOS eras:

  1. I. From a sporting performance standpoint, the post-INEOS era has not surpassed the pre-INEOS era. The highest ranking attained under INEOS ownership was 5th, compared to the 3rd position in the pre-INEOS era.

  2. 2. In financial terms, since the INEOS takeover in 2019, there has been an expenditure of approximately 272 million euros on new players, with an inflow of about 135 million euros from player sales, resulting in a net loss of -137 million euros. In contrast, the pre-INEOS era witnessed lower spending (73 million euros over four seasons) and modest sales (119 million euros over four seasons), with a substantial profit of 45 million euros.

The summarized figures are presented in the following table:

INEOS OGC Nice Manchester United
INEOS OGC Nice Manchester United

III- Deal Details

Regarding the specifics of the agreement, they can be summarized with bullet points:

  • - Acquisition of 25% of the Class B shares held by the Glazer family.

  • - Offer to acquire up to 25% of all Class A shares.

  • - The Glazer family and Class A shareholders will receive the same price of $33.00 per share.

  • - Further investment of $300 million in the Club intended for investment into Old Trafford, comprising $200 million paid upon the closing of the transaction and a further $100 million by the end of 2024.

  • - INEOS delegated responsibility for management of football operations, including all aspects of the men's and women's football operations and Academies, alongside two seats on the

  • - Manchester United PLC board and the Manchester United Football Club boards.

  • - Completion of this deal is subject to receiving all necessary regulatory approvals, including from the Premier League.

IV- Questions

a. UEFA Guidelines for Clubs Owned by the Same Entity:

UEFA's strict guidelines on club ownership and conflicts of interest need to be carefully considered. The participation of both OGC Nice and Manchester United in the same European competition could potentially violate these regulations, leading to penalties and financial sanctions.

b. Owning shares of Manchester United at the expense of OGC Nice, FC Lausanne-Sport, and Racing Club Abidjan?

Being part of the same group as Manchester United offers significant opportunities for the other INEOS-owned clubs. This collaboration could extend to valuable assets like training facilities, scouting networks, backroom staff, and players, enhancing overall efficiency. However, there might be challenges in ensuring the individual aspirations and needs of each club are met.

c. Managing football operations without full control of transfer funds:

INEOS will oversee football operations, leveraging global knowledge and expertise within the INEOS Sport group. However, the question arises whether INEOS has the financial resources needed to enhance sporting performance and fulfill the aspirations of the fans.


INEOS's acquisition of a 25% stake in Manchester United marks a new era in football ownership, connecting clubs from Nice to Manchester within the INEOS portfolio. While the potential for shared resources and experiences is evident, questions about financial strategies, performance outcomes, and UEFA guidelines arise. The future holds a narrative of collaboration and challenges, impacting not only Manchester United but also the interconnected clubs under INEOS ownership. The journey from Nice to Manchester unfolds, promising an intriguing chapter in the story of football ownership.


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