Mourinho’s remarks on Portuguese clubs’ spending stir controversy

Montreal, July 21 (IANS) Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has landed in a controversy with his remarks criticizing the high salaries and transfer money paid by Portuguese football clubs FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon.

“This season Porto pay 20 million euros for (midfielder Giannelli) Imbula, they give (goalkeeper Iker) Casillas an amazing salary. Sporting are paying millions for coaches and players. Football breaks every situation,” Efe quoted the Portuguese coach as saying on Monday.

Mourinho asked people to consider those amounts when looking at the social, political and economic problems plaguing his country, which is making severe budgetary cuts, struggling with pension payments and is facing a tax hike.

His comments, widely spread by Portuguese media, generated a torrent of online reactions among Portuguese, while none of the clubs have made any comment.

The Portuguese coach, who has worked on Portuguese soil as an assistant at Sporting and as head coach at Benfica and Porto, specifically attacked the policy followed by two of the major Portuguese clubs in the most recent transfer window.

The former Inter Milan and Real Madrid head coach criticised the very expensive cost of the Imbula transfer, as well as Casillas, who arrived at zero cost to the “Dragons” but charges the highest salary ever paid in Portuguese football history — around 3.5 million euros ($3.8 million) net per season.

Mourinho also touched on coach Jorge Jesus, who went from Benfica to Sporting for a salary of 3 million euros ($3.2 million).

Chelsea are concentrating on the pre-season tour here.

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