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Jose Mourinho says Premier League ‘unprofessional’ over Fulham postponement

Jose Mourinho File Photo
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has accused the Premier League of being unprofessional over the handling of their postponed match with Fulham.

Mourinho’s side saw the game called off less than three hours before kick-off due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Cottagers’ camp and he compared the situation to ones he used to encounter as a youth coach in Portugal.

Mourinho was left frustrated by the lack of communication from the league, having assembled his squad at the club’s training ground expecting the game to go ahead.

“I don’t want to speak too much about it,” Mourinho said. “Just to say I felt (it was) unprofessional, but that is the way it was.

“When I was coaching the under-13s and under-15s 30 years ago, or something like that, sometimes we go to the game at 9.30am and the opponent was not there.

“Or sometimes you arrive in the game in one of the rare Portuguese raining Sundays and you arrive there and the referee didn’t report.

“I grew up with these situations and was very frustrated for everyone, especially for the kids that you want to play football and don’t play football and you only know in the last minutes.

“Almost happened the same to us. Almost happened us arriving in the stadium and not playing.

“The day before the game the press was full of the game is going to be postponed.

“Even foreign players were coming to me saying that in their own countries the news was very clear that the game was going to be postponed and myself as their boss and Mr (Daniel) Levy (the Spurs chairman) as my boss, we couldn’t tell them anything.

“When I say unprofessional, maybe it’s not the right word.

“Of course I am not referring to Fulham, I am referring to the organisation.

“I don’t think it’s possible (to have) a situation like that. I don’t think it’s possible.”

With Spurs still challenging on four fronts, they are set for a congested fixture list in the second half of the campaign and that is before any more possible disruption that Covid-19 could bring.

Mourinho’s side were playing four games in eight days in the early season as they made their way through the Europa League qualifying rounds, but the Portuguese has promised they will not be made to do that again.

“The extreme situation that we had in pre-season and nobody spoke a lot about it because probably people thought, ‘OK, it’s a Europa League play-off match, Tottenham has two teams, Tottenham can play against Maccabi with the second team and still win it,” Mourinho said.

“But the situation that we had to go through…we have to refuse to go through again at all.

“It’s impossible, it’s inhuman. We cannot accept at all if any Einstein comes with the idea of us playing four matches in one week, to do the same that we did before – of playing Premier League, second game, third game and fourth game with one day in between. Impossible.

“So I think this is the Premier League. This is a league with big responsibilities in the world.

“This is the league with, of course not everybody but in general terms, with the best coaches, with the best clubs, with the best players.

“With very good referees. I think we have to be good in everything and all be professionals.”