Manchester City hold peace talks with UEFA as Aleksander Ceferin and Khaldoon Al Mubarak meet after hostile FFP battle… with both parties expressing ‘a keen desire to work closely together going forward’
Peace talks have been held between UEFA’s president and Manchester City’s chairman in the wake of the bitter battle between the pair.
Sportsmail can reveal that, following City’s victory over the governing body which saw their two-year European ban lifted on Monday, Aleksander Ceferin and Khaldoon Al Mubarak held clear-the-air talks.
It is understood that the conversation — initiated by Al Mubarak — went well, with both men committed to ushering in a new era of friendship after what has been an incredibly hostile period between the two sides.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has spoken to Man City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Al Mubarak initiated the peace talks, with insiders saying a ‘cordial conversation’ followed
On Monday, the dispute between the pair was settled in the Premier League club’s favour at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
In February, UEFA issued the ban and fined City €30million (£26.9m) for what they claimed were ‘serious breaches’ of their Financial Fair Play regulations.
However, City immediately launched an appeal and were successful when CAS found there had been insufficient evidence to prove the allegations and that some of them were ‘time-barred’ as they fell outside the five-year time limit.
Manchester City’s two-year European ban was dropped and their fine was reduced to £9m
City’s fine was reduced from €30m to €10m (£9m) for a failure to co-operate with UEFA’s investigation, but the verdict was viewed as a resounding success for Pep Guardiola’s club.
Sources in Switzerland have disclosed that Al Mubarak initiated the contact within hours of the publishing of the verdict on Monday. What followed was a ‘cordial conversation’, according to insiders.
The call, between two of the most powerful men in European football, was said to be ‘positive’ with both parties expressing ‘a keen desire to work closely together going forward’.
City’s supporters have consistently booed the UEFA anthem before Champions League matches amid a strong feeling that the club was being persecuted by European football’s governing body.
Pep Guardiola celebrated Monday’s verdict at the CAS with his backroom staff at Man City
The club was first punished by UEFA in 2014, when they were fined £49m, with £32m suspended, after being found to have breached FFP rules.
Within the walls of the Etihad Stadium, officials are keen to ensure that they are seen as humble, despite their landmark victory.
While at this stage it is only words, there is a view held on both sides that the relationship needs to be repaired, and there is a willingness to develop a stronger, more constructive bond.