Jose Mourinho was fined by the Football Association for pre-match comments about Anthony Taylor after his remarks were found to have brought “an additional layer of pressure” upon the referee, it was revealed on Wednesday.
Manchester United manager Mourinho spoke about Taylor ahead of last month’s goalless draw away to arch-rivals Liverpool in the Premier League.
Taylor’s suitability to take charge of the game was widely questioned in the build-up, mainly on account of the fact he lives in Altrincham, near Manchester.
Mourinho, asked for his view, said: “I don’t want to say anything about it, but I think Mr Taylor is a very good referee. But I think somebody with intention, is putting much pressure on him, that I feel it will be difficult for him to have a very good performance.”
Though far from the most incendiary remarks the Portuguese boss has made during his time in England, they were enough to land Mourinho with a misconduct charge by the Football Association, with his comments said to have been improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.
Mourinho accepted the improper conduct element but contested the disrepute charge.
But an independent regulatory commission found against him and imposed a fine. Their reasons for doing so were made public on Wednesday.
“Despite saying that he (Mourinho) did not want to say anything, he contradicts himself by offering actual comment on the match official,” the commission found.
“This opinion, his opinion, was that he felt it would be difficult for Anthony Taylor to have a very good performance. There was no need for Mr Mourinho to be drawn into offering an opinion.
“The regulatory commission considered this opinion to bring an additional layer of pressure and implication onto the referee which could have had a negative impact on the game.”
Taylor was widely considered to have had a good match at Anfield and the commission said: “The referee’s performance in the game appeared to have been unaffected by this additional pressure.
“Nonetheless, the regulatory commission judged Mr Mourinho’s comments to have brought the game into disrepute.
“In many ways, they created a sword of Damocles situation. The referee was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.
“Despite Mr Mourinho’s assertions that the comments were not intended to be critical of Mr Taylor and were positive in nature, the regulatory commission did not share this view.
“The regulatory commission were unanimous in their view that these comments had brought the game into disrepute and that the second element of the charge had been proven,” it added.