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Mourinho Warns Chelsea Board

  • Telegraph, Thursday, January 18, 2007 4:40 PM
For a manager who claims that no individual is greater than the team, and that not even he matters, only the club matters, it's ironic to see Chelsea's Jose Mourinho try to hold its owners hostage by declaring that he will only stay with the Stamford Bridge club if the board starts treating him to "real support and complete respect." This no doubt is a euphemism for "Let me do exactly what I want or I'm leaving," but Mourinho nevertheless was at his public relations-best Thursday when reporters queried him mercilessly about the perceived rift between he and owner Roman Abramovich. Significantly, the Portuguese manager has the backing of both the players and chief executive Peter Kenyon, who desperately want to see him stay at the club. As Kenyon said, "The board are fully supportive of Jose. He is fully committed to seeing the job out." To which a satisfied Mourinho answered: "I like to hear that. It's important for a manager to know and to feel that the club wants him, likes him and supports him." He stressed that this doesn't just mean giving him the necessary funds to get the job done-though that's an important part, too. God forbid Mourinho ever has to work at a cash-strapped club-like a spoiled trophy wife, he probably would no longer be able to return to the real world after working at a club like Chelsea. Nevertheless the petulant manager couldn't resist publicly warning the board that it must treat him better, or he will walk: "If that support is real support - again not about money - but is about real support and complete respect...then I will be very happy to see out my contract until the end."

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