What started as a sideline tantrum and a few post-match comments in response to a reporter's question — unreasonable or within reason from Mourinho, it hardly seems to matter at this point — has now mushroomed into a full blown fiasco, played out in the tabloids and on the back pages and all across the Internet with none of the affected parties making any official statements. And the one unofficial statement that we do have, form Dr. Carneiro herself, could be one of the very reasons she's been apparently given a reduced role at the club. Reports yesterday did claim that head physio Jon Fearn will also not be sitting on the bench come Sunday, though there's been no speculation as to why that situation changed from the initial reports.
What has also started to slowly emerge, first from Matt Law of the Telegraph, then from David Hytner of the Guardian, and now, from Duncan Castles, often of The Times, is that perhaps the changes in roles for Carneiro and Fearn have been coming for a while and the incident on Saturday just served as the final motivator, the final straw in all that. For many of us, this is the first time we're hearing of a plan for reorganization, though Chelsea do have a history of not making such moves public at all (consider Marina Granovskaia's internal rise to power or Christian Purslow's arrival and current role, whatever it may be).
There's a decent chance that Chelsea are leaking some of these stories to the media, as an attempt to stem the tide of negative PR and get "our side" of the story out there as well. Castles, especially, has been known to be a Mourinho confidante for some time; he was the first to break the contract extension, for example, way back in June. And it his report, which concerns itself almost exclusively with Dr. Carneiro, the one that contains a rather troubling line.
"Mourinho is said to have held reservations about Carneiro's role within the first-team squad since at least last year. While there is no question about her professional abilities, the Portuguese coach was concerned that the dressing room dynamic was affected by the presence of a female. According to a source, some players had expressed misgivings to the coaching staff about the set-up, arguing that it forced them to alter their usual behavior in a team environment. Famous for his attention to detail, Mourinho has always sought to eliminate factors that might reduce his team's likelihood to win matches."
-source: One World Sports
If true, which it probably is, and regardless of whether the emphasized bit reads as reasonable or unreasonable to you, you can rest assured the many have already categorized it as sexist. And that's not a good look, to say the least, and would easily open up the club to legal action from Dr. Carneiro should she or her lawyers read it the same way. That this is (probably) our leak as part of some sort of damage control is even more troubling and is likely to do more damage than good.
Without any official statements, it's incredibly hard to figure out where things actually stand. We can say that we don't care and that all this has been blown drastically out of proportion, but it's absolutely dominating the headlines. What is actually happening with the medical staff? Who's going to be on the bench on Sunday to comply with Premier League rules? What's Carneiro's actual role now? What's Fearn's actual role now? I realize it's against club policy, but it's high time for somebody to say something, whether that be an apology or some clarity with regards to the medical staff's future or ... I don't know, something. Chelsea have stood tall and strong against the rampant sexism faced by Dr. Carneiro over the years, but right now we're fumbling in the dark, while everybody else jumps to conclusions, connects the visible dots, and sets the narrative (which may turn out to be true, or it may not).