Newly-promoted Toulouse clinched the crowning achievement of their impressive campaign on Saturday night, lifting the Coupe de France for only the second time in their history after a comprehensive 5-1 win over holders Nantes.
Every year, France’s cup winners are handed an automatic place in the Europa League, if they are not already qualified for continental competition via their league placing – Nantes, this year, went all the way to the knockout stages before losing to Juventus.
But Les Violets’ spot in Europe next year will now depend on how the Serie A season plays out. Toulouse have the same majority stakeholder as Milan, American investment fund RedBird Capital, and UEFA do not allow two teams that share an owner to take part in the same continental competition. This also applies to different competitions, given that the Rossoneri could drop down from the Champions League group stage into the Europa League knockouts midway through the season.
L’Équipe have contacted Toulouse on the subject, to no avail. The outlet also points out that RedBird will have to carry out structural changes in the ownership of one of the two clubs – as Red Bull did in 2017 for both Leipzig and Salzburg to play in Europe – within a very short timeframe for their teams to proceed in the competitions. Milan would have the priority over Toulouse in all criteria used by UEFA – league ranking, country coeffiecient, and the more prestigious competition, if they qualify for the Champions League. Toulouse would only have the advantage if the Serie A side drop down to the Conference League. In any other case, their spot would be handed over to Ligue 1’s 5th-place finishers.
GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin