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Giampaolo Pozzo is owner of Udinese Calcio in Italy and Granada CF in Spain.

What would happen if both teams were to qualify for the same European competition (for example, Europa League) ?

In the past, has there ever been a situation like this?

2

The issue you've highlighted is addressed in the Article 5. Integrity of the Competition of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League Regulations, 5.01:

5.01. To ensure the integrity of the UEFA club competitions, the following criteria apply:

  • no club participating in a UEFA club competition may, either directly or indirectly:

    • hold or deal in the securities or shares of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition,
    • be a member of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition,
    • be involved in any capacity whatsoever in the management, administration and/or sporting performance of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition, or
    • have any power whatsoever in the management, administration and/or sporting performance of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition;
  • [...]

If two or more such clubs were to qualify to CL or EL, only one of them would be admitted according to 5.02:

5.02. If two or more clubs fail to meet the criteria aimed at ensuring the integrity of the competition, only one of them may be admitted to a UEFA club competition, in accordance with the following criteria (applicable in descending order):

  • the club which qualifies on sporting merit for the more prestigious UEFA club competition (i.e., in descending order: UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League);
  • the club which was best-ranked in the domestic championship giving access to the relevant UEFA club competition;
  • the club whose association has the highest association coefficient ranking, drawn up in accordance with Annex D.

Regarding your last question:

In the past, has there ever been a situation like this?

At the end of 2016/17 season German Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig and Austrian Bundesliga champions RB Salzburg (both de-facto owned by Red Bull conglomerate) qualified to 2017/18 Champions League, but the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) has decided to accept the admission of both clubs to the tournament, stating that:

Article 5 (Integrity of the competition) of the competition regulations is not breached.

Following a thorough investigation, and further to several important governance and structural changes made by the clubs (regarding corporate matters, financing, personnel, sponsorship arrangements, etc.), the CFCB deemed that no individual or legal entity had anymore a decisive influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition.

The CFCB will continue to monitor both clubs to ensure that integrity rules are respected going forward.

Here you can find the full decision of the aforementioned case.

3

Apparently it is not allowed.

I can't find anything at the moment in official UEFA documentation, but in the past week a few mentions were made of it in the Belgian press.

Vincent Tan owns three clubs in Europe: Cardiff City, FK Sarajevo and KV Kortrijk.

There was a chance that FK Sarajevo and KV Kortrijk teams would qualify for the Europa League, but is no longer the case. Anyway, it states explicitly in the article (in Dutch, can't find anything in English) it is not allowed for clubs with the same owner to play in the same UEFA competition. However an investigation could be necessary to prove the link between clubs and owner(s).

The rule on deciding who gets the spot would be the team with the highest ranking in the national division, if tied UEFA Club ranking would be taken into account.

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AFAIK there is no rule against such situation yet, as explained by a journalistic article I read (I think it's on Guardian but currently I can't find exactly where). Maybe there will be future rules preventing conflict of interest, but not now.

Actually, Pozzo also owns Watford in England in addition to these two teams, and he already operated a lot of player transfers between the clubs to work around financial fair play restrictions. I don't think he was in any way punished or is in the danger of being punished because of those operations.

  • Watford is "owned" by his son Gino, so it is more difficult to create rules in this particular case – Ale Apr 27 '16 at 9:15

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