Manchester United Football Club lost their first game of the season this weekend, after suffering a 2-1 loss at the hands of their fiercest of rivals in Manchester City. Jose Mourinho believes games like these hinder the English clubs in Europe, and that’s why we don’t see many winners of the Champions League.
The self-proclaimed Special One was answering several questions from the media, and he highlighted several factors, including the issue that a domestic league title will always be regarded higher than a Champions League victory.
“Exactly. I think the Premier League and the internal competitions create a very difficult situation for the clubs.” Jose Mourinho said in an interview.
“Other countries, they care a lot about the Champions League. In this country the Premier League will always come in front of the Champions League. The institutions that lead the competitions make it very, very clear.”
“I played semi-finals of the Champions League with an English club and had to play a crucial match in the Premier League two days before.”
“They couldn’t give us one more day because it was more important to have that match for Sunday morning football than to give you a Saturday fixture and some rest. (Referring to the semi-final against Liverpool in 2007; Liverpool were given a Saturday match).”
“Other countries play Fridays to rest, they play Thursdays to rest. They don’t play — to rest! They manage things in a way that the teams are really focused on the Champions League.”
As he says, other clubs are given time off by their respective FA’s, but in England, the huge TV deals means that sides over here play on Friday’s and Monday’s if the likes of Sky Sports see fit.
You find it hard to disagree with Mourinho on all the points he made above. However, money will always be the most important thing to everyone in and around football, and I just don’t see things changing anytime soon.
This season it could actually benefit United, because we don’t have Champions League football, and you’d imagine we’ll pay less attention to the Europa League, so we should be looking to exploit those teams in Europe’s premier competition.