Sheffield United: Blades hold Europe talks

Bramall Lane could stage Europa League games next season � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Bramall Lane could stage Europa League games next season � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Sheffield United are “confident” they will comply with UEFA legislation governing participation in European competition next season if they secure a place in the Europa League, writes James Shield.

Nigel Clough’s side will enter the qualifying rounds of the tournament if they beat Hull City in tomorrow’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and Arsenal overcome Wigan Athletic but finish no lower than fourth in the Premier League.

Clough, the United manager, confirmed on Thursday that officials at Bramall Lane have been in dialogue with their UEFA counterparts since the draw was made.

One source told The Star last night that United anticipate “no problem” meeting the strict financial criteria imposed on those hoping to play EL and CL games.

City are subject to the same scrutiny with experts suggesting their accounts for the 2011/12, 2012/13 and present campaign will be analysed.

“We are confident that, if Sheffield United do find themselves in Europe, then there will be no issues,” the source said. “However, there is a long way to go before they can contemplate that.”

UEFA retain the power to withhold prize money owed to those in breach of the regulations should they fail to take part in either competition the following year.

*Twitter: @JamesShield1