Mourinho – the champion of the fight against ref corruption, or a prat?

By Tony Attwood

When we look back from the perspective of history, season 2013/14 could have gone down as the year in which for the first time the owner of a league club admitted he lied about the status of a player in order to put another team off the scent.  And that  the captain of the same club, and of England, then admitted he had told Suarez who had just been banned, again, for biting, not to go to Arsenal because they were not good enough for him.

It could have been marked out for those events – but as they reflected poorly on Liverpool, they went by largely unnoticed.  A brief report, then it passes, rather than it being seen as a turning point in the way one club might treat another.

Instead last season is probably going to be remembered as the year in which suddenly it became rather ladddish to get fined by the FA for comments about referees.  Not because of Mr Wenger, of course, but because Mourinho turned his punishments into a joke, commenting that he had not told his wife about them.

He then repositioned himself as the man whom they could not silence.  The man who will always speak out against referee incompetence and errors.  The media loved it.

Indeed although wholly irrelevant to the story about his offences against the FA, and whether his comments should be considered offensive, it was the “don’t tell the wife” line that allowed the press to take a fairly jaunty view of Mourinho’s actions, in contrast to the censorious way in which any allegations against Mr Wenger are reported.

But the attitude of Mourinho raises a question because I think he was trying to pull a rather clever trick here – and given that he was talking to rather simplistic journalists, he got away with it.

I want to show what Mourinho has done – but I recognise of course that if we question Mourinho’s transgressions with the authorities in football, we also have to balance the issue by taking a look at Arsene Wenger who has indeed also been held to account for comments and actions.

I’m approach this topic because although it seems to me we should applaud managers who have the nerve to speak out about bad refereeing we should also look carefully at what they are charged with on each occasion.  For example, a manager who suggests that a ref has got a matter seriously wrong and is now trying to cover his incompetence, is being brave and serving football for highlighting such actions.  A manager who makes sarcastic or crude remarks about another manager isn’t doing much at all to help the game.

This is now quite an important issue, given the way PGMOL are calling in their pet poodles and giving them private briefings with the aim of counteracting the reports of their critics.  If managers cannot say a word against PGMOL then they too will start to do private briefings, and a conflict that should be fought in the open gets fought by proxy.

So first, I believe we need to be clear about the difference in style and approach between Mr Wenger and Mr Mourinho, when it comes to commenting on football and referees.  And to do this I am going to try and cover the major difficulties each has had with officialdom over the years.

To start with Arsene Wenger.

In August 2000, Mr Wenger was charged with “alleged threatening behaviour and physical intimidation” towards the fourth official after the opening match of the season at Sunderland.  I actually remember the match quite well, and was staggered to hear of the charge and that subsequently an FA disciplinary commission found Wenger guilty, giving him a 12-match touchline ban and a fine of four weeks’ salary.  

It seemed bizarre that a previously unblemished career should suddenly take such a turn.  However Mr Wenger successfully appealed the ban, but was instead reprimanded and fined £10,000 (largely I think costs, on the grounds that he had not put forward his case – the first he faced in England – in a particularly well organised way at the original hearing). Whatever the argument it was an extraordinary climb down from a ten week ban, by the FRA.  The full story is here.

What was also noticeable was that a separate case against Mr Taylor, the official involved in the alleged offence, was not heard until after Mr Wenger’s hearing – a case in which Taylor was accused of insulting comments against Notts County Sean Farrell.

Moving on, following the 2007 Football League Cup Final, Mr Wenger questioned the judgement of the assistant ref in saying that Adebayor tried to punch Lampard.  Mr Wenger was fined £2500 and warned.

In March 2011 Mr Wenger was charged with improper conduct by Uefa in relation to comments made about Massimo Busacca, the ref in the game in which Barcelona defeated Arsenal.  He was fined €10,000 and suspended for one match; however, the ban was later extended to a further two games, after Mr Wenger was found guilty of communicating with Arsenal’s bench while serving a touchline ban against Udinese.  Mr Wenger made the point that he was never forbidden from doing this in the original punishment, a point Uefa never answered, and on which they allowed no appeal.

Comments about the performance of referee Damir Skomina in 2012 following the defeat by Milan led to a £33,000 fine and a three match ban.

So one allegation of threatening behaviour and intimidation, which bizarrely transmuted itself from a massive punishment to the sort of punishment for comments about a ref, and a couple of comments about referees and a row over whether he could send messages from the stand to the touchline  – that is the sum of Mr Wenger’s major transgressions.

Such offences might be compared with Mourinho who in November 2010 was fined £33,500 and banned from the touchline for two matches (one suspended) for instructing Alonso and Ramos to get second yellow cards for time wasting. The result of this meant they were suspended for the final group match.

However because of results thus far Real Mad, whom Mourinho managed, were already certain to top the group.  So, because of the rules, Real Mad entered the knock out round without any accumulated yellow cards.  

This was thus nothing to do with referees but rather a cynical manipulation of the rules. 

Earlier Mourinho accused referee Anders Frisk of breaking Fifa regs by having a consultation with opposition manager Frank Rijkaard at half time.  Mourinho said as a result the ref was persuaded to send off Drogba.  Now this is a very different matter.  Not a question of poor refereeing, but an outright allegation of very poorly concealed wholesale corruption.

As a result Frisk then received death threats from Chelsea fans and retired from the game.   The Uefa head of referees called Mourinho “the enemy of football”.

Mourinho was given a two-match touchline ban and fined.

In 2005 Mourinho was fined £200,000 for meeting A Cole in January when Cole was an Arsenal player, in breach of Premier League rules. His fine was reduced to £75,000 on appeal.   That year he called Arsène Wenger “a voyeur”.

On 17 August 2011, in the final of the Supercopa de España, Mourinho was seen on TV gouging the eye of Barcelona’s assistant coach Tito Vilanova during a brawl at the end of the game. After the game Mourinho did not comment on the incident except to claim that he did not know who “Pito” Vilanova was.  Pito is Spanish slang for penis.

Mourinho and Vilanova were subsequently given two- and one-match suspensions respectively, although neither ultimately served their bans following an amnesty granted by the president of the Spanish FA, Ángel María Villar!   The matter was resurrected when in February 2012 he was taken to the public court for affray, but I am not sure what happened to that case.

Most recently the FA have fined Mourinho £10,000 for comments about officials and he was fined £8000 for his conduct in relation to Chris Foy after a defeat by Villa in which he stepped onto the pitch and approached the ref.

He was also fined for his sarcasm about Mike Dean and Mike Riley following the loss against Sunderland.
Now my point here is that the majority of Mourinho fines have nothing to do with criticism of referees – and even in the latest situations one of his offences was entering the field of play.
And yet by making his comment about the wife not knowing about his fines, Mourinho cleverly links all his offences together as one.  By suggesting he will not be silenced he suggests that all his offences have to do with trying to improve bad refereeing.
It is a clever trick by a wholly scurrilous man, a man who thinks nothing of breaking any rule he feels like breaking for his own benefit.  But also a man who has the press in his pocket.  When he speaks on any topic we should be careful to read the sub-text, and I suspect anything he says about refs is going to be utterly self-serving an not helpful in our battle to improve refereeing standards and expose the bizarre practices of the PGMOL.


37 Replies to “Mourinho – the champion of the fight against ref corruption, or a prat?”

  1. Hi Tony, nice write up. Didn’t AW get banned/fined for the Pardew spat at Westham a few years ago? Maureen is definitely the dark enemy of Football.

  2. I have a great liking for Mourinho, his self styling, attitude, boasting, demeanour and general nastiness. Why?
    Because it all guarantees that he will never, ever, play a part in the governance of Arsenal FC…which is such good news for our future.

  3. I’ve always thought Mourinho was one of the most cynical of modern football managers. And didn’t he benefit when manager of Porto from the fact that his club had been bribing referees? I seem to recall that the club president was charged with criminal behaviour. He doesn’t charm the media in the way that AW does but ultimately he is a negative influence on the game in many ways, whereas Wenger will eventually retire having made a hugely positive contribution.

  4. PS: Sorry – I meant Mourinho DOES charm the media in a way that AW doesn’t, but ultimately he has been a negative influence on football.

  5. He does charm the media like the fictitious devil does, to lure his victims into his beautifully wrapped boxes only to find them filled, filled with many foul things.

    As Nicky says, he will never be manager at Arsenal.

  6. Family Enclosure man

    You’re right, Mourinho knows that the media loves him so plays up to them, but Arsène refuses to suck up to anyone, indeed he knows how to put down the irritating journos which certainly hasn’t endeared him to them, but a recent presser was a pretty good indication of how it could/should work between manager & press.

  7. Hi Tony, I am pretty sure that the August 2000 incident with Arsene Wenger followed his 2nd instance of turning down the “England Job” and was a result of the FA’s “How Dare He!!?” reaction. At the time Arsene was crystal clear that he would fight the case through every court in the land and beyond and the FA, fearing exposure of their corrupt, bullying tactics quickly climbed down from the huge touchline ban and £30k fine to just the £10k fine.
    The PGMOL decided the league last year and if you will recall there was a stunning amount of key goals at key times that were scored against Man City and subsequently disallowed despite all the evidence showing they were good. My personal favourite was the offside decision against Liverpool when the player was about 8 yards onside. The decision was obviously insane but Man City needed the rescue and the broadcasters only glossed over it as invested accomplices are wont to do. The PGMOL do their business behind closed doors because if they did it in the open they would end up in jail.

  8. I don’t have much time for the self centered poisonous dwarf. The fact that despite an obnoxious personality and dubious history he can apparently charm the UK media says all one needs to know about the latter.

  9. There is no denial that Mr Mourinho is a good manager. However, in my humble and truth opinion, he will never be considered as a Great manager in the football fraternity. As far as he is concerned, he will do everything that he can, with whatever leeway that he can find, to achieve his targets. That, in my view, is not what defined greatness. For the record, and anyone can quote me, Winning Is Not Everything to me. Honestly, if there is a day when a person of his characters being appointed to the Manager of our beloved Club, I will relook at my status as a supporter of the Club since 1983!

  10. bjtgooner
    Exactly right, as the saying goes ‘It takes one to know one’.
    It makes my blood boil that that cretin Mourinho gets respect and admiration whilst Wenger gets ridicule and mockery.

  11. Another very interesting analysis Tony. I did not know about the attack on Arsene Wenger as early as the year 2000 – I can’t have been paying attention at the time! The contrast between the principled Wenger and the unprincipled Mourinho is a stark one and yes, it says everything about the press that they prefer Mourinho.

  12. media love such @#$^heads dont they. Oops…..

    Sorry Tony, coudnt resist.

    Whoever wanted us to sign him as the manager. Sic.

  13. Bjtgooner
    I couldn’t have said it better, an utterly utterly despicable individual. Can’t decide who’s worse, him or suarez.

  14. Mourinho is an odious little man. The press like him because he says and does inappropriate things that make the journo’s headlines write themselves. He plays the game.

    In other news, looks like that target on Ozil’s back is still there.

    Headline makes it out that its Arsenal fans criticising him, then reports that he actually got booed by German supports in a pre-world cup friendly. No mention of him playing in all Germany’s World Cup games, and being praised highly by the German manager.

  15. Did not the Football Writers Association hold a dinner (I think at The Savoy) for Mourinho on his return to Chelsea last year? They do indeed love him because he does their job for them by giving them ridiculous quotes and moments of extreme arrogance that they know their readers will lap up.
    But when he slips up (as he will without a bottomless pit of money to call on) they will leap on him like a pack of wolves. And there will be even more readers reading that!

  16. This self proclaimed special one is nothing more than a piece of shit. Any one who has an ounce of brain matter can see what a liar and hypocrite this asshole really is. The British Media lap up his bullshit as if it were titty milk, But then again who said the British Media had any brain matter to begin with. The little douche-bag whines when Fat Sam parked the bus against Chelsea last season, While this motherfucker is the biggest practitioner of bus parking the game has ever seen. His unwarranted verbal slurs toward Arsene Wenger is out of pure unadulterated jealousy. Our manager comports himself with dignity and class of which the little asshole knows nothing about. All his arrogance and self-bravado is just a mask for the little snot-nose’s insecurities. Warning do not turn your back on the little motherfucker or he will sneak up behind you and attempt to gouge your eye out. He is much to cowardly to try it face to face. This piece of fucking shit is the world’s biggest hypocrite and liar. In my book a hypocrite is just a MOTHERFUCKNG PIECE OF SHIT LIAR with a holier than thou attitude. Do not be taken in by this motherfucking charlatan. BELIEVE ‘DAT.

  17. Bill

    Welcome back.

    Beautifully and eloquently put as usual.

    Mrs Jambug was particularly impressed with your wide vocabulary. She found the ‘titty milk’ reference especially enlightening. I fear she’s falling in love with you Bill.

    She’s always had a thing about ‘bad boys’.

  18. Oh dear…

    ….It seems Mrs Jambug is so impressed with your “lap it up as if it was titty milk’ comment that she has resolved to use at work tomorrow in general conversation.

    I have pointed out to her that should she indeed find an opportunity to use said phrase, especially to her boss as she intends, that this could result in this being her last day of employment with the aforementioned boss.

    Alas this minor inconvenience has failed to lessen her enthusiasm for it’s use one iota.

    Thanks Bill.

  19. Thinking about it, she could of resolved to use the MOTHERFUCKING PIECE OF SHIT LIAR phrase, which would be a whole different ball of wax.

    So it’s not all bad 🙂

  20. Arsenal have had a few successful appeals…the one mentioned here, as well as the Eduardo incident. These authorities don’t like being proven wrong, and there is always a price to pay of you are Arsenal.
    Seems the press and football establishment are taken in by Jose…..or maybe some of the clubs he has managed. Real, inter and Chelsea do get their favours…..can you imagine what Jose would get away with if he ended up at Utd?

  21. Just seen that sunderland ref was Taylor….was wondering if any relation, but the ref in this game was Enfield born arch Spud Paul Taylor.
    Maybe just as well the pgmol don’t allow refs from the South East any more!

  22. Just seen that Bill, superb! As you point out, for all he is, for all he acts, for all he has won, he is clearly ridden with insecurities. In his mind, he will always be the translator……not that there is anything wrong with translators of course.
    Mark my words, this current Chelsea stint will end in tears…..and very quickly if the specialist in failure goes a third year without a trophy….especially if his brand of football again bores RA.

  23. Jambug, Please give Mrs. Jambug a smooch on the lips for me. I’m almost positive that Mrs. Jambug is far too beautiful and much too smart to ever think about getting involved with a rouge and part-time raconteur from the Big, Mean, Wicked, Island of Manhattan. As I only have a tenth grade education I am not nearly erudite enough to ever fill your capable shoes. But if you don’t treat Mrs. Jambug in the proper manner, Please tell her that I then can be persuaded to give it some thought. Best wishes for you and the lovely Mrs. Jambug.

  24. Sign outside Restaurant:

    We serve

    Food : as HOT as your Neighbour’s wife…


    Beer: as COLD as your Own wife…!

  25. Bill

    Mrs Jambug, Beautiful, smart !!

    First time I’ve ever seen all those words in in the same sentence !!

    Mark my words Bill, SHE wont be seeing them any time soon. Very easily impressed is Mrs J, hence my fortunate, if rather precarious, place at her side 🙂

  26. @Jambug,
    Whole of Nicky household desperate to hear of the outcome when Mrs J used her new phrase for the first time at work.
    Or did she lose her bottle. 😉

  27. nicky

    I too await with baited breath.

    Mark my words, if she gets the chance she will, as the saying goes, slip it in, at some point.

    Mrs Jambug, Fearless, Fiesty.

    Now those 3 words I have seen together !

  28. Bill,

    I know Brooklyn guys are notorious, but you slashed them all. All I wanted to say about Mouringo, you said it perfectly. I love you, man. Now believe tat!

  29. Sad to report Mrs Jambug failed.

    Timing is everything she assures me.

    So maybe tomorrow.

  30. Tony you cant have it both ways – Mourinho alleges that referees cheat. So? They do in my opinion and the evidence is pretty clear (though of course the set up means it can never be 100% proven)
    He is just being honest. You can not condone the physical violence though or the disrespect that Mournnho shows to Wenger (and other managers).
    However I wish all managers and players would say it like it is. If they all were open about the corruption in football then the FA would be powerless – they would be on the back foot with the PGMOL and you would see cheating start to subside to avoid further suspicion.

    Let’s hear more managers say what they believe to be true and lets not let corrupt money hungry greedy cheats spoil the greatest game on the planet.

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