Premier League title race turns sour as Jose Mourinho hits back at Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini over Chelsea spending

‘Chelsea have FFP in mind. Other clubs do not’ says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho last night accused Manuel Pellegrini of getting his sums wrong as the row between the two over Chelsea’s spending escalated.

Pellegrini, the Manchester City manager, had said last week that Chelsea spent more than other teams – itself a response to Mourinho’s description of his Chelsea side as a “little horse” – and Mourinho insisted last night that the manager known as “the Engineer” had got his sums wrong.

“Pellegrini is a fantastic coach, and outside his football career, he’s an engineer by academic qualification,” Mourinho said yesterday, without much prompting. “I don’t think an engineer needs a calculator to know that Juan Mata’s fee of £37m and Kevin De Bruyne’s of £18m, that is £55m. Nemanja Matic cost £21m and Mohamed Salah was £11m. That’s £32m. And £55m minus £32m is £23m. So Chelsea, in this transfer window, generated £23m.”

Mourinho said that Pellegrini, with whom he has exchanged words before, must have known that he was wrong. “The message he wanted to pass out is that we are also big spenders like them, but that’s not true,” he said. “So instead of saying we’re the big spenders in the January market, it’s probably better to say we are the ones who made most money.

“I have no problems with Pellegrini. None at all. He’s doing his work. Obviously, he knows these numbers. Obviously, he knows that we had a big positive number in the transfer market. Obviously, he knows. But, obviously, he’s Man City’s manager and he’s doing his work and doing well.”

Mourinho insisted, not for the first time, that Chelsea were following Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules more rigorously than City, admitting that they had to pull out of planned moves for Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao last summer because of these restrictions. “It is easy to understand that this is working with Financial Fair Play, fair Financial Fair Play. There are no arguments against that. This is what we’re doing. Others aren’t doing the same. We are building a team for the next decade, if possible. They have a team to win now.”

Despite that, Chelsea are top of the league, and victory at West Bromwich Albion tonight – when they will have Fernando Torres available again after injury – would extend Chelsea’s lead over Arsenal and City. Mourinho remains resolutely long-term in his view, though, and even said it would be “not disappointing” if Chelsea were not to regain the title this season. “I would be disappointed if my team do not keep the evolution up in every aspect of the game,” he said. “Many things can happen. I would be disappointed if my team collapses. But if we keep this level, even if we lose points and matches and don’t win the league, I wouldn’t be disappointed.”

This long-term focus means that Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea feels different from his first, but he explained yesterday he enjoys these less immediate demands, of development and growth.

“People used to look at me as a guy who arrives at a club and attacks immediately the title. For me, this was a different profile of job: I was explained to about FFP, the style of football the team had to play, the young talented players we have here and on loan. Since day one, we are in the same direction.”

This direction is set by owner Roman Abramovich. “In this moment, I am not doing, we are doing,” Mourinho said. “It is not my philosophy, it is our philosophy. It’s not the way I want the team to play football. It’s the way we want them to play football. It’s a long-term project.”

This is a big task Mourinho has taken on – he described it as “even better and more enjoyable work” than heavy pre-FFP spending – and he admitted that he hopes this side will play more exciting football than his first Chelsea team, which won five trophies under him between 2004 and 2007, before going on to gain more after his departure.

“It’s not easy, because the other Chelsea team won a lot,” Mourinho said, when asked if this side might win more than that one. “The first objective is that this team, in terms of the quality and enthusiasm and flair of its game, is better than the previous team. The old team had qualities and personality, but the objective, because of the difference in profile, is that this team plays differently.”

Suggested Topics
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam