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Mourinho admits use of the word campaign was 'a bad decision'

Goodbye, campaign. I'll miss you.

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Here's the thing that gets me the most about this whole "campaign" thing.  It never was about the officials.  It never was about the FA.  It was, strictly, about the media (e.g.: "the player YOU suspend").  It was the media who Jose Mourinho accused of having a clear "campaign" against Chelsea.  (Which in turn influenced other observers, officials, etc.)

"The reality is that there are penalties and there are penalties - this was one was big, like Big Ben. Referees are not here to guess, they are there to see. He assumed dishonest with Cesc and he is wrong. Match after match coaches are saying Chelsea players are diving. Out of nothing Sam Allardyce starts talking about my players."

"I will go to the referee, wish him a good year and tell him he will be ashamed. There is a campaign against Chelsea."

"In other countries where I worked before, tomorrow in the sports papers it would be front-page scandal because it is a scandal. In this country - and I am happy with that, more than happy with that - we will just say that it was a big mistake with a big influence in the result. I am happy that it is this way, with respect for the referee. He made a big mistake like I make, like the players make sometimes."

"They are not incidents, they are not incidents - that's a campaign, that's a campaign. That's a clear campaign. People, pundits, commentators, coaches from other teams - they react with Chelsea in a way they don't react to other teams."

-Jose Mourinho, Dec. 2014, source: Mail

Unfortunately, the trouble with accusing the media of something is that they're the ones who also have to report on it.  And so when tasked with reporting their own "crimes" (to borrow the word they threw so rabidly at Diego Costa), they wasted no time in shifting the target from themselves to the FA and the officials.  The FA's ridiculous decision to fine Mourinho for comments about the media didn't help either.  Note, that even the FA's official ruling specifically points out that Mourinho's comments did not imply "bias on the part of a referee or referees."

But, as Mourinho says, there were plenty of mistakes made.

"What you did you did. What happened happened. You cannot change things. Time does not go back. We had lots of mistakes against us. That's the reality but that's football. Maybe ‘campaign' is not a nice word. Maybe I would take that word out from my explanation and my comments, but that's the reality. We had very bad decisions over a big period of time. But I also made bad decisions, so no problem."

"The word ‘campaign' was even the subject of punishment because the word was strong. My feeling was that we had lots of mistakes against us, that punished us in crucial matches in a crucial period - November, December, January. I would take the word ‘campaign' [out] if the same happened next season. It would be out of my vocabulary. But that feeling is clear. We had lots of decisions against us."

-Jose Mourinho; source: Guardian

Alright, I guess next year we'll call it a crusade.  An offensive?  A stratagem driven by outrageous headlines and page clicks?  That last one's a bit unwieldy.

Goodbye, campaign.  I'll miss you.