In Depth

Mourinho takes aim at the FA – but will Abramovich react?

Chelsea boss fumes over what he sees as unfair treatment after latest outburst, but his paymaster may be losing patience

On the pitch Chelsea bear little resemblance to the team that won the Premier League last season, but off it Jose Mourinho remains as combative as ever.

The Chelsea boss launched a savage attack on the FA on Thursday after being fined £50,000 and threatened with a stadium ban over comments about referee Bobby Madley after the 3-1 defeat to Southampton.

Striker Radamel Falcao had a penalty appeal turned down during the defeat and afterwards Mourinho said that officials were "afraid" to give decisions to Chelsea, earning him another misconduct charge, which he did not contest.

But after learning of the suspended one-match stadium ban the Portuguese described his punishment as "an absolute disgrace" and, "inevitably" according to The Times, dragged Arsene Wenger into the argument.

Mourinho said he had been lucky to escape without being fitted with "an electronic tag" by the FA and called on journalists to investigate the workings of its disciplinary committee.

Speaking at the launch of a new book, Mourinho contrasted his comments about referees with those from Arsenal manager Wenger, who called referee Mike Dean "weak" and "naive" earlier in the season. The Gunners boss was not charged over his outburst.

"Mourinho has previously said he would have got a stadium ban if he had pushed Wenger, yet the Arsenal manager escaped punishment for doing that to him last season," says the Daily Telegraph.

But it adds: "It is not thought Mourinho's reaction will receive any further punishment from the FA or that he is in danger of invoking a stadium ban."

The reason for the harsh punishment could be "Mourinho's long track record", says the Daily Mirror, which suggests that he could have other things to worry about apart from the FA.

"Mourinho's results are clearly worrying for Chelsea but his constant public rants may not please owner Roman Abramovich who has always been acutely aware of the club's public image," reports the paper.

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