Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho says Premier League doesn't help clubs

Paul Pogba
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been ruled out of his side's Premier League game at Middlesbrough on Sunday with a hamstring injury

The Premier League has no interest in helping English clubs in Europe, says Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

United play Middlesbrough on Sunday with the 12:00 GMT kick-off coming 62 hours after the end of their Europa League last-16 victory over FC Rostov.

Mourinho says United will "probably lose" and it would be "common sense" for the game to start at 17:00.

"They simply don't care," added the Portuguese of the Premier League, who offered no comment on the situation.

There is an agreement that clubs in Europa League action on a Thursday do not play on Saturdays. An international break stops the Premier League game at The Riverside from being played on Monday.

Premier League host broadcasters Sky and BT Sport decide which games they will televise live. Sky can show two mid-afternoon games on a Sunday - Tottenham v Southampton and Manchester City v Liverpool this week - and the game at Middlesbrough is being shown on BT Sport, who have the option of a midday slot.

Man Utd fined £20,000 after admitting FA misconduct charge

Mourinho said that football authorities in other countries are more helpful to their European contenders.

"In Italy when clubs go to the knockout stages and play on the Tuesday or Wednesday, the week before they play on the Friday. In Portugal, the week after they play on the Monday," he explained.

But Mourinho knows the Premier League's combined £10.4bn TV deals take precedence.

"It's the simple criteria of 'we give you so much money'," he said.

"That is true and we appreciate it. They are totally right and we have to thank them so much for what they are building.

"But you can just have a little touch. Nobody can explain why we are playing at 12 o'clock."

Congested fixture list

United have played 20 matches since 26 December and have a minimum of 14 more to complete before the Premier League reaches its conclusion on 21 May.

Next among their top four rivals are Manchester City, who will play a minimum of 29 games in the same period. Arsenal and Tottenham are both on 28, with Chelsea and Liverpool, neither of whom qualified for Europe this season, on 26, eight fewer than United.

Of United's 20 most recent games, Paul Pogba played in 18 and was an unused substitute in one. The only game he missed was the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Wigan on 29 January.

Pogba suffered a hamstring injury during Thursday's win over Rostov which rules the midfielder out of the Middlesbrough game, plus France's international fixtures against Luxembourg on 25 March and Spain three days later.

Mourinho defended his decision not to play a weakened team in the 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat by Chelsea on 13 March, when the physical strain on United was increased by Ander Herrera's first-half red card and not arriving back in the north west until 04:00 on Tuesday after they had to make the journey by bus.

He said: "This is Manchester United, I don't sacrifice anything.

"I don't go to Chelsea with a Nicky Butt team [Under-23s] like Manchester City did last year.

"Do you want me to play with Nicky Butt's boys at Middlesbrough? What would Hull, Sunderland and the other teams in the relegation battle say then? We cannot do this."

Roy Keane is not impressed

Not everyone in the United squad has been used extensively.

In midfield, Michael Carrick has played for one minute in United's past three games, while Jesse Lingard has played for nine minutes and Bastian Schweinsteiger not at all.

Full-back Luke Shaw, who is in England's squad to face Germany and Lithuania, has not been involved since the Premier League game against Bournemouth on 4 March.

Former United captain Roy Keane is giving no credence to Mourinho's complaints.

The Irishman, who made 480 appearances and won seven league titles, a European Cup and four FA Cups in a 12-year United career, feels Mourinho is making excuses and they could have beaten Rostov - eighth in the Russian Premier League - with a reserve side.

He told ITV: "Why do we have to listen to that garbage?

"He is manager of one of the biggest clubs on the planet. They've had an easy ride in the cups, with a lot of home draws.

"Maybe the club's too big for him. I'm sick to death of him. Manchester United reserves could have won that game."

Top Stories