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UEFA make Manchester City participation decision following ‘significant’ ownership, governance and financial changes

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Manchester City have been given permission to play in the UEFA Champions League next season alongside sister-club Girona FC.

Pep Guardiola will bid to win the UEFA Champions League for a second time with Manchester City during the 2024/25 campaign, with the competition being newly-formatted for the upcoming season.

UEFA announced major changes to the competition from August, with the extension of the group phases until January, and clubs playing eight matches against eight different opponents as part of a new 36-team league format.

Manchester City, who will also compete in the expanded 32-team FIFA Club World Cup in the United States next summer, are additionally going to be bidding to win a fifth consecutive Premier League title next season.

The Sky Blues won the Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup last season, as well as reaching back-to-back Emirates FA Cup Finals at Wembley Stadium.

City were knocked-out of the Champions League on penalties at the quarter-final stages however, suffering a heartbreaking last-eight exit to Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium, following a 4-4 aggregate draw.

Guardiola had guided the Blues to a maiden Champions League trophy in 2023, beating Inter Milan in Istanbul as part of an historic treble success, as Rodri’s second-half strike secured a landmark European triumph.

Manchester City will be able to pursue similar success again this season, after UEFA approved for both the Sky Blues and sister-club Girona to play in the 2024/25 edition of the Champions League despite initial compliance concerns.

Both City Football Group clubs qualified for the Champions League, with Girona securing an historic third place finish in La Liga, and having even been early title contenders in the Spanish top-flight.

ESPN report that UEFA have approved a model for both CFG clubs to compete, following “significant changes to the ownership, governance, and financial support of the concerned clubs.”

The shares held in Girona have been transferred to independent trustees “through a blind trust structure established under the supervision of the CFCB” until the end of the 2024/25 season.

Manchester United have faced a similar problem to Manchester City, after INEOS-owned Nice also qualified for the UEFA Europa League next season.

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