Newcastle Could Be Barred From European Competition

Mike Ashley’s involvement with both Newcastle United and Rangers means that one of the clubs could be stopped playing in Europe in the future if both happen to qualify.

mike ashley 9876

Mike Ashley – Newcastle United owner

UEFA have today confirmed that both Newcastle and Rangers will not be allowed to play in European competition together – even if they qualify for different competitions.

Mike Ashley has essentially taken control of Glasgow Rangers and he owns Newcastle United outright, and should both Rangers and Newcastle qualify for Europe – maybe even that could happen for next season – only the highest ranking club will be allowed to participate.

And the plot thickens,  because if one qualifies for the Champions League and one qualifies for the Europa League that was thought to be OK because they wouldn’t play each other.

But according to UEFA only the highest ranking club would be allowed to enter the competition because it’s possible that a Champions League teams misses the knock-out rounds and qualifies for the Europa League.

In that case the two clubs could play each other,  and that’s  not allowed under UEFA rules, which seem to be stronger than it seemed the Newcastle owner had realized.

The problems with the UEFA rules on dual ownership is that they have never really been tested,  but the UEFA announcement means that when (not if) Rangers are back in the Scottish Premier League and qualifying for Europe every season, only the highest ranking of the two clubs would be allowed to enter the competition.

It’s not as if Mike Ashley is too fond of the Europa League in any case, since there are lots of games in the competition and not much money to be made.

But it’s not as if both clubs qualify for Europe then Mike Ashley would have a choice of which club enters the competition – interpretations of the rules by UEFA say that only the highest ranking club gets to play in Europe.

Currently Newcastle United are ranked by UEFA at number 65 and Rangers are ranked at 101 – but the Rangers ranking is likely to improve a lot once they are back in the Scottish Premier League.

Real Madrid are currently ranked number one, Barcelona two and Bayern Munich three in the rankings, with Chelsea next at number four.

It’s likely Rangers could be ranked close to Celtic once they are back in the SPL and competing in Europe every season – and Celtic are currently ranked at number 50 by UEFA – above Newcastle United.

It seems that Mike Ashley may have made a miscalculation.

Comments welcome.

You can follow us on our three social media sites below:

18 comments so far

  • optimistic prime

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #1


    Not really sure what to think regarding this Rangers Europe thing.
    It’s not going to effect us for a couple of years as I can’t see Rangers being in Europe for another couple years.

    Is this conformation Ashley’s doesn’t want a cup win or Europe in any capacity?

    Ashley did say he wouldn’t sell us for another couple seasons which would be around the time Rangers could be back in Europe via SPL. I’ve said a while I can’t see Ashley selling us to buy Rangers unless there’s something I’m missing.

    Are the advertising rights in Europe up for review? What about tv money in SPL etc?

    I suppose SD could sponsor Rangers kit, same colours etc.

  • LGFUAD21

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #2

    optimistic prime

    Ashley will have a plan.

    If not I’m sure the league can get involved or legal action can be taken that could essentially force Ashley to sell up.

    I believe in certain circumstances this can be done if the ownership is threatening the good of the company.

    Yet again another area whether English football screwed up by selling out to Murdoch.

    If we had a system like the NFL this would never happen.

  • Graeme

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #3

    Ed, your information is wrong.

    If both qualified, the highest ranking team would be allowed to play at the expence of the lower ranked team. At the moment NUFC are ranked far higher than Rangers.

  • Sazzer

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #4

    I’m sure Ashley will find a way around this.

  • Reyantoon

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #5

    Some of them start to make waves!
    They didn’t gave up,just tired typing things on the blog because they are getting old…lol !

  • BandB

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #6


    If they both qualify for the Champions’ League, the team with the higher co-efficient rating is eligible. If Rangers qualify for the CL and we qualify for Europa League, we can’t take up our place.

  • BandB

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #7


    These matters are in the public domain and should of interest to most Newcastle fans, including people with genuine differences of opinion, like tequilamag and myself.
    That it offends your sensibilities doesn’t change that.
    Enjoying your use of the exclamation mark by the way.

  • Graeme

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #8

    BanaB as I read it, if they both qualified for any UEFA competitions, only one would be allowed to compete and that would be the one with the higest ranking, which is NUFC.

  • LGFUAD21

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Comment #9


    Not quite.

    Only if they both qualify for the same competition.

    If one qualifies for CL and other for EL both get excluded as they could meeting in EL later on.

  • AncientC

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Comment #10

    If we do not qualify for Europe this season, we will be in a direct race with Rangers the following season.

    Rangers are not going to hang around as soon as they are in the top tier, they have a huge advantage over other clubs with the size of their stadium.

    Ashley may own more of Newcastle than Rangers, but he has an easier path to Champions League via Scottish Football.

    So, to add to the Debt (stagnating from free advertising & Ashley getting us relegated), Free Advertising still in place, Embarrassing Wonga Logo, Wonga paying for St. James’ to retain its name from being SD-Stadium, Cherry Picking Press Questions etc we now have European Competition being snatched away from the club.

    There is no point asking for clarification from the club, they will as per norm, treat the fans like idiots.

    The recent run of wins is starting to look pointless.

    This is hardly going to help the club recruit new players either. Sissoko has consistently talked about pushing Newcastle up the table and playing European football at our club, unless his agent gets some clear answers, he may want to start looking for another club.

  • Graeme

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #11

    LGFUAD 21 – One of them will be barred, the other one will be allowed to participate, depending on their respective UEFA Ranking.

  • welshgeordie9

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #12

    i think some of you are jumping the gun reguarding newcastle playing in Europe, there’s a long way to go yet

  • Sazzer

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #13

    6.20 – Southampton scouting set up and interview with the guy Tottenham recently recruited from them.

  • Reyantoon

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #14

    BandB…I do start now as one of them start enjoying it lol!..(B).

  • LGFUAD21

    Nov 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #15

    optimistic prime

    Ultimately it is about the coverage for Sports Direct.

    The TV revenue isnt important and Ashley doesnt benefit from. That income belongs to Newcastle as a company which is a separate entity to Mike Ashley.

    The real benefit he gets is the exposure of his brand on TV and to supporters that visit St James.

    If he feels he has saturated that with the premier league he may feel it is best to concentrate on Rangers.

    If he can get Rangers into Europe he can use that to showcase his brand growing his Company in European markets is something on the agenda for him.

    Given that Rangers wont realistically qualify until the end of next season earliest and that is when MA wont sell until suggest he has thought about it.

    Should it happen then the uprawr, not just from Newcastle fans but I imagine a lot of other fans and the media will be bad for SD so it will force his hand.

  • Mag52

    Nov 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #16

    Surely as the owner of the team which wins the European Cup, Ashley, and thus his business, would have a high profile throughout the continent – exactly what he wants.
    Whereas the odds of getting NUFC even to qualify are stacked against him, Rangers in Scotland is a very different matter.
    We would be the big losers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if MA made a serious assault on that cup, with the purchase of those quality players it would take, once Rangers get back to the top flight in Scotland.

  • LocalZero

    Nov 27, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    Comment #17

    Nufc would likely have a higher ranking than rangers though if we actually qualified for Europe. Rank is partly based on the league you’re in and the premier league is much better than the SPL. All the big prem clubs are above Celtic just now.

  • Toon69

    Nov 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #18

    Not sure what MA is thinking because as with the European Cup, he wasn’t allowed to advertise SD at the ground & had to cover up all of the signs, that will be the same in the EL or CL. as their official sponsors won’t want some cheap shopkeeper taking their glory imo. As for us playing Rangers in Europe, they’ll not get promoted this season & even if they do, they’re not finish near the top of the SPL for a few more season, so our Uefa ranking will still be higher than there’s for a wee while 🙂


You must log in to post a comment.