Paul Scholes accuses Jose Mourinho of trying to influence referees

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Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has said that Jose Mourinho’s attempts to influence football’s decision-makers is not working and it could have actually made things worse for Chelsea.

Mourinho has been very vocal this season about the way that Chelsea are being treated, which in his opinion, has been unfair. He has often spoke about the way that big decisions are not going Chelsea’s way and it is making him think that the powers that be are conspiring against them.

The Chelsea manager also recently refused to speak after games to Sky Sports as he believes they were responsible for getting Diego Costa banned for three games after their game with Liverpool. He appeared on Goals on Sunday and ripped into Sky for the way that they portray his players on their programmes, which then influences key decisions.

In Scholes’ column for The Independent, he talks about the way that his former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, used to deploy similar tactics in terms of talking about decisions or the media in the hope of putting pressure on them for Manchester United’s games.

Scholes said: “As the most successful manager in the Premier League and its biggest name now that Sir Alex Ferguson has gone, it should be no great surprise to see Jose Mourinho doing his very best to influence the decision-makers in the game, from referees to the Football Association.

“The problem for the Chelsea manager is that I just don’t think it is working for him.It is inevitable that he would try.

“All the top managers do it, and I suppose he should be applauded for making the effort to get himself into a television studio and engage in some kind of debate, as he did on Sunday. Everything he does is for the good of his team and I understand the reasons he does it.”

Making things worse

As Scholes says, it isn’t working for Mourinho and his team, in fact it could actually be making things worse. There are definitely examples of situations this season in which Chelsea have been very hard done by.

As Scholes says in his article: “I don’t think Nemanja Matic should have been sent off against Burnley. I believe that Cesc Fabregas should have been given a penalty against Southampton and I don’t think that Diego Costa should have been banned retrospectively for stepping on the ankle of Emre Can.”

Those are just some of the reasons why the Portuguese manager has been upset by decisions this season, and he has every right to feel aggrieved by those particular ones.

However, by coming out and saying that the referee’s are constantly getting things wrong and that the FA are against Chelsea, he must realise that he could be having a detrimental effect on his team.

“There is no campaign against Mourinho but there is clearly an unwillingness by referees, and the FA, to be pushed around”

Obviously as Chelsea sit five points clear at the top of the Premier League, things don’t look that bad, but there is no denying that that lead could be more if some of those decisions had gone Chelsea’s way. Just because Chelsea are top, does that mean there isn’t an attitude of defiance from referee’s towards Chelsea?

Scholes doesn’t think so as he said: “There is no campaign against Mourinho but there is clearly an unwillingness by referees, and the FA, to be pushed around.”

Taking tips from Fergie?

However, when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge at Old Trafford, he would often drop hints in his pre-match press conferences that he wanted decisions to go his way, and nine times out of ten they did.

Scholes added: “There is no doubt that my former manager Sir Alex exerted an influence over some referees. He was the master of dropping a comment into his Friday press conference – for instance, how long it had been since we had been given a penalty, or the treatment meted out to a player like Cristiano Ronaldo. It was always calculated and delivered calmly.”

So it is how Mourinho says what he says that is the problem? Surely not? It’s no secret that Mourinho and the FA have never gotten along dating back to his first season in England back in 2004, there’s barely a season that goes by that Mourinho doesn’t get fined. The FA have made an awful lot of money out of the Chelsea boss. It sometimes seems like can’t sneeze without getting fined for it.

But talking about decisions in his press conferences seemed to work for Fergie. Scholes said that he always got the impression that referees “wanted to please him” and that they were always “keen not to make mistakes and be on the top of their game and get everything right”.

Is that to say that they’re not when they officiate a Chelsea game? Surely a referee’s only aim during a game, any game, is to get every decision right, or at least try too. Sometimes Mourinho probably feels that they don’t even try to get it right in his games.


It was early on in the season when Mourinho first spoke out about the officials and perhaps that set the tone for their season.

Scholes said: “I don’t know what reaction Mourinho expects from referees in saying what he has about them. If he had hoped that they would be more likely to give his team the split decisions then it has not worked. They seem to be determined not to be seen to be influenced by him.”

The term ’siege-mentality’ has been used a lot when describing Mourinho and Chelsea this season, implying that Mourinho is deliberately making out the world is against his team in order to give his team an advantage or to give his team an excuse when things don’t go their way.

But is it really a siege-mentality? Is Mourinho really looking for excuses for bad performances, which have seen the Blues drop points this season, or does he have a point when he says important decisions are constantly not going Chelsea’s way?

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Alex Ferguson
Paul Scholes
Premier League
Jose Mourinho
Manchester United

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