José Mourinho has criticised the “unprofessional” organisation of the Premier League, saying the late postponement of Tottenham’s home game against Fulham on Wednesday reminded him of when he coached at under-13 level in Portugal.
The match was called off three hours before the scheduled 6pm kick‑off after Fulham reported a number of positive coronavirus cases. It has left Mourinho eyeing further fixture congestion but he has warned he will not tolerate a repeat of the scheduling that left Spurs playing four times in a week earlier in the season.
“I felt unprofessional but that’s the way it is or that’s the way it was,” Mourinho said, before the visit of Leeds on Saturday. “When I was coaching the under-13 and under-15 [teams] 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 for the game in one of the rare Portuguese raining Sundays and the referee didn’t report. The same almost happened to us – arriving in the stadium and not playing.
“When I say unprofessional … of course, I am not referring to Fulham, I am referring to the organisation.”
Mourinho would be unhappy at the distorting effect on the competition if, as seems certain, the Fulham game were rescheduled for the second half of the season. It would mean Spurs would not play each team once in the first 19 matches, a scenario he described as “not correct”.
He suggested it could have an impact on suspensions for accumulated yellow cards. Players who pick up five in the first 19 games are banned for one match.
Spurs were made to play four times between 27 September and 4 October, league matches against Newcastle and Manchester United bookending the Carabao Cup tie with Chelsea and the Europa League play-off against Maccabi Haifa.
“The situation that we had to go through … we have to refuse, at all, to go through it again,” Mourinho said. “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.”