Who's that handsome devil talking to you above? That's Chelsea Head of Communications and Public Affairs (i.e. press officer) Steve Atkins, who's usually on hand at pre- and post-match conferences to set the agenda, keep track of time, and sometimes put an end to extremely silly or relentlessly repetitive and abusive lines of questioning. This time, he also got to explain why Jose Mourinho has chosen to not appear in front of the press ever since learning of the charges that the FA have brought against him following his comments after the Southampton draw (for which he, at first, appeared to escape any punishment whatsoever).
If I'm interpreting Atkins' words correctly, we should expect Mourinho's wow of silence to continue until this FA matter has been settled. Wonder if any potential appeals -- assuming Jose fights the punishment -- are included in this timeframe? If so, we might be seeing a fair bit more of Steve Holland, since those things are never resolved too quickly.
This is of course nothing new for Mourinho: he often sent now Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka to talk to the Spanish media while in charge of Real Madrid. But I'm wondering if there are any rules against this? Can he keep sending his assistant indefinitely like an option in a game of Football Manager? It's not like he'd be missing out on any pertinent, intelligent, or at least interesting questions...
So, according to the Telegraph, Mourinho will indeed be fined for every Premier League press conference he misses, especially after pulling a similar stunt last season. These fines are by the Premier League organization, not the FA. The fun's only just beginning.
The Premier League is poised to fine Jose Mourinho for pulling out of his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's game against Newcastle United.
It is not the first time it has happened which means, on this occasion, when the matter is then referred back to the Premier League's board Chelsea can expect a fine, not a warning.
Under Premier League rules it is the manager who has to attend the press conferences, not a coach. Indeed the media rules are extremely specific and clubs are threatened with fines if they breach them.