Despite modifying the management personnel at the club, Toulouse’s participation in European competition next season remains in doubt, according to L’Équipe.
Toulouse qualified for the UEFA Europa League next season having beaten FC Nantes 5-1 in the Coupe de France final back in April. However, their participation in the tournament is threatened due to the club’s ownership. RedBird own both clubs and with AC Milan qualifying for the Champions League, there is a hypothetical chance that the two clubs, owned by RedBird Capital Partners, could meet in the Europa League, should the Rossoneri finish third in the group stages of the Champions League. Article 5 of UEFA’s regulations states that two clubs, under the same ownership, cannot participate in the same competition.
As reported by Les Violets earlier this week, Toulouse have attempted to anticipate the issue. RedBird Capital founder Gerry Cardinale stepped down from his position on Le TéféCé’s board, however, three RedBird representatives remain on the administrative council (Alec Scheiner, Isaac Halyard, Niraj Shah). None possess shares in the club.
However, the changes, according to L’Équipe, don’t indicate that RedBird no longer have decision-making capacity at both clubs and therefore the conflict of interest, should the two teams be drawn against each other, would still exist. Toulouse could take further measures to prove RedBird’s disengagement from Toulouse, but the timeframe to do so would be short. There are no plans to change UEFA’s regulations, and a decision on Toulouse’s participation is due at the end of the month. Should Toulouse be prohibited from participating in the competition, AS Monaco, who finished sixth in Ligue 1, could be the benefactors, with fifth-place Lille OSC potentially being promoted from the Europa Conference League, to the Europa League.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle