Ownership issues pose a threat to RB Leipzig's Champions League aspirations.
RB Leipzig’s CEO has said he is unconcerned by the prospect of a ban from European competition for having the same owner as the Bundesliga outfit’s sister club, Austrian side RB Salzburg.
A report in Salzburger Nachrichten hinted that UEFA has indicated that only one Red Bull club will be permitted to play in Europe next season if both sides were to qualify.
RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg are both owned by Austrian energy drink company Red Bull, which also owns New York Red Bulls.
UEFA rules state that “no individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition,” and that if two or more clubs fail to meet the criteria “only one of them may be admitted to a UEFA club competition.”
Currently, RB Salzburg are on course to win the Austrian Bundesliga while newly-promoted RB Leizpig are second in the German Bundesliga, eight points clear of third place and seemingly on course for a place in next season’s Champions League. The club has polarised opinion in Germany where most clubs are 50 percent owned by its members.
UEFA rules say “the club which was best-ranked in the domestic championship” would be allowed access to the relevant competition.
Responding to the report in Salzburger Nachrichten, Oliver Mintzlaff, the head of global soccer at Red Bull and CEO at Leipzig, told SID: “At RB Leipzig, there is no nervousness and there are no alleged ‘signals’ from UEFA.
“Should we qualify for a European competition, there’d be no reason to doubt that we’d play internationally next term.”
A UEFA spokesperson called the report “speculation” on Wednesday, adding that a decision will only be made after the season when the association has received the competition entry forms from the national football associations.