Mourinho attacks Dein over fixture list

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The Independent Online

In an attack that suggested Mourinho had still not come to terms with the £200,000 fine handed to him by a Premier League commission over his role in the Ashley Cole tapping-up scandal, his criticisms about the new season's fixture list could earn him yet another disrepute charge. His suggestion that Arsenal's run of weekend home games after midweek Champions' League fixtures was the result of Dein's influence will cause outrage at the Premier League.

Mourinho was furious that Chelsea will have to play away in the Premiership after five of their six Champions' League group stage games - while the reverse is the case for Arsenal - and he also questioned the probity of Arsenal's pursuit of Seville's Brazilian striker Julio Baptista. In a typically barbed comment he pointed out that he had gone to Brazil that summer for a "holiday", not "to chase players and to speak to players behind the backs of clubs".

While Arsenal now appear to have failed in their pursuit of the £11m-rated Baptista, Mourinho was keen to draw attention to the reputation that Arsène Wenger's club enjoy. The Chelsea manager deployed one of his famous one-liners, one that is sure to shape the rivalry between Arsenal and Stamford Bridge this season, when he made an appeal for the two clubs not to be defined exclusively as "devils and angels".

Mourinho said: "Some are treated as devils and some are treated as angels and I don't think we are so ugly to be treated like devils or Mr Wenger and Mr David Dein and so on are so beautiful that they should be treated like angels.

"When I read the papers it's completely different. It's the devils and the angels. After Champions' League games, Chelsea always play away from home and after Champions' League games Arsenal always play at home. Do you have nothing to say about it? Jose Mourinho is the only one who can look at the fixtures and find something very strange? Don't you find it strange? Is there nothing to write on that?"

He attributed both an unsatisfactory fixture list and, indirectly, the £500,000 worth of fines over the tapping up of Cole to Dein and called for an end to the service of four elected Premiership representatives on the FA's main board. For his chief executive Peter Kenyon, who covets a seat on the FA board, that will make for an interesting observation. "A person who works in a club should not work in the FA," Mourinho said. "The FA is the FA and clubs are clubs. I think with the money [in fines] I had to pay them last season they should sign somebody for his job.

"I understand everything. I am not the most intelligent man in the world, but neither am I the most stupid. Since I arrived I have understood things and they don't change. I have a five-year contract with Chelsea. Maybe in 2009 or 2010, Mr Dein will not be in the FA and I can have a different season. Or maybe Mr Kenyon will be working at the FA. We don't know, maybe it will happen."

He had already left the stage by then, but the arrival of Asier Del Horno, Chelsea's new £8m signing from Athletic Bilbao, was overshadowed by another of his new manager's outspoken attacks on the English football hierarchy.

On his transfer plans this summer, Mourinho suggested that the return of Hernan Crespo and Carlton Cole from loan spells could preclude the need to sign a new striker.

Mourinho would not discuss the arrival of Lyon's Michael Essien but said that he was pleased by the Ghanaian midfielder's comments this week that "in his heart" he had already signed for Chelsea. Manchester City, meanwhile, are still awaiting an official bid from Chelsea for Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Preferential treatment?



Arsenal Mon 19, Everton (H)

Chelsea Sat 17, Charlton Athletic (A)


Arsenal Sun 2 Oct, Birmingham City (H)

Chelsea Sun 2 Oct, Liverpool (A)

* 18-19 OCTOBER

Arsenal Sat 22, Manchester City (H)

Chelsea Sun 23, Everton (A)


Arsenal Sat 5, Sunderland (H)

Chelsea Sun 6, Manchester United (A)

* 22-23 NOVEMBER

Arsenal Sat 26, Blackburn Rovers (H)

Chelsea Sat 26, Portsmouth (A)


Arsenal Sat 10, Newcastle United (A)

Chelsea Sat 10, Wigan Athletic (H)