UEFA confirm West Ham or Sparta Prague will face a European ban if Daniel Kretinsky completes a full Hammers takeover as is being reported.

It has been the elephant in the room ever since Kretinsky bought into West Ham a couple of weeks ago.

As highlighted by Hammers News previously, should Kretinsky – who already owns his boyhood club Sparta Prague – complete a full West Ham takeover – as is being reported by The Evening Standard today – then both clubs would not be allowed to play in UEFA competition under his ownership.

Hammers News contacted UEFA for clarification over the multi-club ownership situation.

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Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI AFP via Getty Images

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

UEFA confirms West Ham or Sparta Prague face European ban if Daniel Kretinsky completes full Hammers takeover

And Europe’s governing body has responded by pointing to Article 5 of its constitution which strictly states that ‘no individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition’.

Some fans assume this would give Kretinsky a tough choice to make should he remain a person of influence at Sparta Prague having completed a full takeover of West Ham.

But that is not the case at all. Because should he remain in control at both clubs, he would have no say.

Czech billionaire investor Daniel Kretinsky watches West Ham beat Liverpool at the London Stadium. Photo: Sky Sports

UEFA has a set of distinct rules which dictates which club would be banned from Europe and it may not bode well for West Ham.

UEFA’s criteria is laid out in order below. If Kretinsky wants to be in charge of both clubs then the odds are very much weighted in Sparta’s favour in the first two criteria.

Given Sparta would arguably be more likely to have the chance to qualify for the Champions League than West Ham most seasons, it could mean the Hammers miss out at the first hurdle.

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UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI AFP via Getty Images

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):

  1. the club which qualifies on sporting merit for the most prestigious UEFA club competition (i.e., in descending order: UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League or UEFA Europa Conference League);
  2. the club which was ranked highest in the domestic championship giving access to the relevant UEFA club competition;
  3. the club whose association is ranked highest in the access list (see Annex A).

Should both Sparta and West Ham make the Europa League, again it is likely Sparta would have finished higher in their domestic league to do so given the Czech top flight has less European qualification spots.

If somehow West Ham are level with Sparta in both those criteria only then would they trump Kretinsky’s Czech side as England is a higher ranked association on UEFA’s access list.

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Imagine the situation. West Ham manage to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League. But Sparta win the Czech league and qualify for the same competition and suddenly West Ham are ruled out.

It is a very real issue West Ham face if the club has ambitions – like David Moyes – to regularly compete for, and in, Europe.

And quite simply if Kretinsky does want to complete a full West Ham takeover then something will have to give with his ownership of Sparta Prague.

Given he is not universally popular at his hometown club, Kretinsky may well decide to withdraw or sell up before completing a full takeover of the Hammers – if he can find a suitable buyer of course.

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Photo by TOLGA AKMEN AFP via Getty Images

There was no suggestion that he is ready to give up on his beloved club when he spoke about Sparta in an open letter to West Ham fans in The Evening Standard.

But he is a highly intelligent man and will no doubt be well aware of the UEFA rules which will require him to plan accordingly.

“We do not have any comment to make regarding specific cases,” a UEFA spokesman told Hammers News on Friday.

“We kindly refer you to relevant article 5 of the competition regulations concerning multi-club ownership (see full text below).”

UEFA’s Article 5 rules – which can be viewed in full below

West Ham fans have been loving their European adventure this season and are buzzing after Moyes’s side made it into the hat for last 16 with their 2-0 win over Rapid Wien on Thursday night.

Hammers fans will not stand by and see their chances of European qualification forfeited.

Kretinsky’s takeover may not happen for another 18 months yet. That should give him enough time to get his situation at Sparta sorted.

Rapid Wien v West Ham United: Group H - UEFA Europa League
Photo by Christian Hofer Getty Images

Because the UEFA rules – which you can view in full here and below – are very clear.

UEFA Article 5 Integrity of the competition / multi-club ownership

5.01

To ensure the integrity of the UEFA club competitions (i.e. UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League), the following criteria apply:

  1. No club participating in a UEFA club competition may, either directly or indirectly:
    1. hold or deal in the securities or shares of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition;
    2. be a member of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition;
    3. 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
    4. have any power whatsoever in the management, administration and/or sporting performance of any other club participating in a UEFA club competition.
  2. No one may simultaneously be involved, either directly or indirectly, in any capacity whatsoever in the management, administration and/or sporting performance of more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition.
  3. No individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition, such control or influence being defined in this context as:
    1. holding a majority of the shareholders’ voting rights;
    2. having the right to appoint or remove a majority of the members of the administrative, management or supervisory body of the club;
    3. being a shareholder and alone controlling a majority of the shareholders’ voting rights pursuant to an agreement entered into with other shareholders of the club; or
    4. being able to exercise by any means a decisive influence in the decision-making of the club.

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):

  1. the club which qualifies on sporting merit for the most prestigious UEFA club competition (i.e., in descending order: UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League or UEFA Europa Conference League);
  2. the club which was ranked highest in the domestic championship giving access to the relevant UEFA club competition;
  3. the club whose association is ranked highest in the access list (see Annex A).

5.03

Clubs that are not admitted are replaced in accordance with Paragraph 4.09.5.04

This article is not applicable if any of the cases listed under Paragraph 5.01 happens between a club directly qualified to the UEFA Champions League group stage and one qualified for any stage of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

More West Ham news:

Behind closed doors game highlighted something fascinating about Areola.

Mixed night for West Ham co-owner Kretinsky as conflict of interest avoided.

Reported Moyes striker target sparks speculation over West Ham move.

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