‘I don’t agree with the circus’ – Spurs boss Jose Mourinho calls for end to FFP


The Portuguese says he agrees with the “concept” but not the “interpretation”.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has called for the “circus” of Financial Fair Play to end after Manchester City’s European ban was overturned.

City’s two-year expulsion from UEFA competitions was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday, meaning they are free to compete in next season’s Champions League.

Mourinho’s anger is not directed at City, more at the powers who govern the rules, and he wants an end to the FFP system despite agreeing with it in principle.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho likes the ‘concept’ of FFP but not the ‘interpretation’ (John Walton/PA)

“Consistency I like, clarity… I don’t like doubts,” he said. “I like when a player buys another player from a team or I like when they swap players.

“I don’t like when I buy a player for GBP 10million and then two weeks later the club that was the seller comes to my club and buys a player for GBP 10million plus one pound. Everybody knows what is going on.

“That is the only thing that disturbs. My opinion about FFP doesn’t change, like my opinion on VAR. When I said a few years ago I like the concept, I like the concept. What I don’t like is the interpretation of it, the people with the tools they have at their disposal.

“And Financial Fair Play is the same thing. When I say it should finish it is not because I do not agree with the basic principle. It’s because I don’t agree with the circus.

“So let’s open the door of the circus and let people enjoy and don’t pay and go in and come out and do what they want and stay for the clown show and then go out because I don’t like the horses’ show. I come in, I go out, there is no control. Let people enjoy freely.

“I don’t understand the process, I don’t know what is going on. A club like Newcastle with a new owner, if there is no Financial Fair Play he will be free to do what he wants, to spend what he wants, to get the best players in the world if he can afford that. Without hiding anything.”

City’s reprieve does little to help Spurs’ Europa League qualification hopes, making their game at Newcastle on Wednesday a must-win match.

Mourinho does not yet know whether he will have Serge Aurier available after the right-back’s brother was murdered in France on Monday.

The Portuguese will speak to his player and let him make the final call.

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“I don’t know what he is keen to do, I am not going to put any pressure on him,” Mourinho said.

“Maybe he travels with us because it is good for him to travel but then he is not ready to play. At this moment I have no idea.

“I have no idea, the only thinking that is clear is that we are here to support him and not to demand anything of him at all.

“He can do what he wants, he can go to France, he can stay here, he can come to training, he can go to the game.

“That’s obvious, that’s human, family is more important in this tragic situation than our need for him and our crucial match. Nothing matters, he does what he wants.”

Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton – FA Cup – Fourth Round – Replay – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tanguy Ndombele became Spurs’ record signing last summer (Mike Egerton/PA)

Tanguy Ndombele’s fitness issues continue after the France midfielder picked up another injury in training.

Mourinho, who earlier this season said the club record signing was “always injured”, says the knee problem is not serious, but enough for him to be a doubt at St James’ Park.

He said: “He was training with the group of players that didn’t play against Arsenal (2-1 win on Sunday) and then in one action he felt something behind his knee.

“Nothing major, nothing really big but enough for him to leave the training session and to be observed before the training session.”