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Manchester United and the Football Association have moved to end their row over the publication of the written findings in the Patrice Evra disciplinary hearing.

United were already distinctly unimpressed by the decision to ban the French left-back for four games over an altercation with Chelsea's groundstaff following their Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge in April.

And their mood was not improved when a full transcript of the disciplinary panel's findings was made available on the FA's official website, in which they were highly critical of United assistant manager Mike Phelan, among others.

Old Trafford chief executive David Gill and FA chairman Lord Triesman have subsequently met to clear the air, with both parties issuing statements.
Regrettable

An FA statement on their official website read: "The FA regrets that those involved in providing evidence at the hearing concerning Manchester United's Patrice Evra's charge were not verbally advised that their words would be publicised before, and after giving evidence.

"Additionally, The FA has also made clear it is regrettable that it did not extend the courtesy generally provided to clubs, to advise Manchester United - in advance - that the written findings from the disciplinary hearing of 4/5 December 2008, would be made public.

"The FA acknowledges that it is has not been normal procedure for written findings to be published previously, and that there has only been a small number of cases when they have been.

"The FA has made it clear it stands by the decision of the Independent Commission, and the decision to publish the written findings of the hearing, although in this case a summary may have been more appropriate, due to those who provided evidence not being made aware that they would be doing so publicly and also that individuals reputations have been publicly called into question through doing so."

Consistent

And United responded on their own official website with a statement, which read: "Manchester United welcomes The FA's acknowledgement of its concerns over the handling of the publication of the recent disciplinary hearing findings.

"While the club's view of the sentence handed to the player is well-known, on this separate issue, it has been concerned on two counts: the effect on the reputation of some of its most highly regarded and respected members of staff and the possible effect on the willingness of people to assist the FA in the future with its investigations.

"The club acknowledges the desirability of more transparency in the disciplinary process, but only on a consistent basis - both in publication and in verdict.

"The club accepts that there was no intention to harm the reputations of Michael Phelan, Richard Hartis and others, but feels that the episode has potentially created an atmosphere in which people in the game will be reluctant to volunteer information if they believe their careers may suffer as a result of helping the FA.

"The staff involved have exemplary careers as professionals at the top of the game and Michael in particular has been associated with the club for most of the last 20 years and in that time he has consistently demonstrated himself to be a man of the highest integrity."

http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11667_4688196,00.html
 
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