Mourinho set to break silence


Published: Thursday 5th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is scheduled to end his vow of silence on Friday.

The 52-year-old has not spoken publicly in 10 days after avoiding media duties around last weekend’s draw with Manchester City.

It is expected he will plan to bite his tongue on controversial topics ahead of Saturday’s match at Aston Villa at Friday’s pre-match media conference.

The Premier League would likely take a dim view of his absence prior to and after the City game, which Chelsea drew 1-1, after promoting the contest as a record breaker.

Twenty-six television crews were present for the top-of-the-table clash, broadcasting to 650 million homes in 175 countries, but they were unable to speak to the Chelsea manager, one of the most charismatic figures in the world game.

The current multi-billion pound broadcasting deal includes a host of media regulations, some of which were broken by Chelsea as a result of Mourinho’s non-attendance.

It is understood the decision was made as Chelsea believed the fine imposed by the Premier League for Mourinho’s absence would be less than the disciplinary sanction if he had spoken.

Mourinho, who last week was fined £25,000 for saying there was a “clear campaign” against Chelsea, was outraged by striker Diego Costa’s three-match ban for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can.

Immediately after the Liverpool contest, on his most recent public appearance, Mourinho said Costa’s actions were “absolutely accidental”.

The Premier League does not comment on individual cases, but its media working group is likely to write to Chelsea for an explanation of the rule breach.

If the explanation is unsatisfactory, the issue can be escalated to the Premier League board, who can rule on whether a punishment can be imposed and what it would be.

It could be some time before Mourinho discovers if he will be punished – and it may never be disclosed publicly – while his non-attendance for the media commitments surrounding the January 10 fixture with Newcastle could also be taken into account. Assistant boss Steve Holland addressed the media instead.

Every case is assessed on its own individual merits, while the former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be relieved to no longer be involved under the current media regulations.

Ferguson regularly skipped media duties and had a long dispute with the BBC.

Chelsea enter this weekend’s fixtures with a five-point lead from City in the standings, but they return to a venue where their record is poor.

Mourinho was sent off as Chelsea lost at Aston Villa last March.

The Portuguese has never won at Villa Park in four attempts and will again be without Costa, who will serve the second game of his three-match ban.

Cesc Fabregas (hamstring), Filipe Luis (calf) and John Obi Mikel (head) have been injured in recent matches and could again be out, while Mourinho could be tempted to restore Petr Cech in goal after Thibaut Courtois’ uncharacteristic mistake in the build up to City’s equaliser.

But he could hand transfer deadline day signing Juan Cuadrado his debut.

Published: Thursday 5th February 2015 by The News Editor

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