June 8, 2023

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says Fulham have little reason to complain about being told to play a Premier League game at short notice as his opposite number Scott Parker called the scheduling “scandalous”.

Spurs had been due to play Aston Villa on Wednesday, but a coronavirus outbreak at the Midlands club forced a postponement on Monday.

The Premier League acted quickly to put Spurs’ match with the Cottagers into the vacant slot after the original fixture was postponed with three hours’ notice on December 30 due to a Covid-19 outbreak in Parker’s squad.

The Fulham boss criticised the decision, with their game against Chelsea scheduled for Friday also put back 24 hours.

But Mourinho, who had feared a crippling fixture pile-up for Tottenham, offered little sympathy given the short notice of the original game’s postponement.

Asked whether Fulham had a right to be upset, Mourinho said on Tuesday: “Are you serious? They had 48 hours to prepare for this game. You think so? I had the news I was not going to play them two hours before the game started.”

“The biggest impact is to have matches postponed,” he added. “That is the biggest impact.

“The changing of the order of the matches, the impact is minimal because in the end you have to play 19 matches at home and away, you have to play two matches against every team.

“So if it’s to help the Premier League to go and to end properly, I think it is a solution we all have to accept as a positive solution.”

Parker, who played under Mourinho when the Portuguese was in charge at Chelsea, was furious with the decision.

“I am normally the last one to moan or whine,” he said. “To confirm a Premier League game at 09:30 on Monday morning is scandalous.”

Parker, whose side are third from bottom of the table, said league chiefs had no idea what it took to prepare for a particular opponent.

“It’s not about the fixture,” he said. “I accept we have to play but it’s the notice. The people making these decisions don’t understand.

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