The value of Premiership’s overseas TV rights package doubled yesterday, and an additional 50 million pounds to the champions might be all you need to know about the intense pressure faced by the incumbent, Chelsea quote machine Jose Mourinho. From the Independent’s Sam Wallace.
As the Premiership approaches a crucial weekend of games, Chelsea’s trip to Anfield tomorrow again found itself edged off the agenda as the club’s politics took centre stage. Appropriately, Mourinho was speaking at an event in Parliament to launch his club’s partnership with the children’s charity Right To Play, and the Chelsea manager spelled out his vision of a team run along the lines of his own absolute rule.
At the heart of Mourinho’s strife with the Abramovich ruling entourage over the last few weeks has been the suggestion that the Israeli coach Avram Grant will be brought in without the manager’s blessing to mentor Andriy Shevchenko. The form of Chelsea’s struggling £31m striker has been the cause of Abramovich’s concerns and yesterday Mourinho made it quite clear that he would not need the help of anyone beyond his tight circle of coaches.
With suggestions that the only Englishman on his staff, Steve Clarke, may be a casualty if Grant comes in, Mourinho launched a strident defence of his own autonomy. “The coaching staff is my responsibility,” he said. “I choose my assistants. If I am not happy with my assistants, I tell the club to sack them or to change them. But my coaching staff is my responsibility. That’s a fact. It’s not a quote, it’s a fact.”
ESPN’s Jim Rome took great delight in sharing news about the L.A. Galaxy holding open tryouts this weekend, suggesting in his own pithy way that allowing walk-ons to share the same field as David Beckham was kinda bush league. I can’t disagree — it’s almost as bad as “Dream Job”.