Former referee Keith Hackett attacks Jose Mourinho and his 'difficult' Chelsea team
A leading former referee has revealed the extent of officials' unhappiness with Jose Mourinho and his behaviour at Chelsea.
The Stamford Bridge manager has been a repeated critic of referees during his time in English football but has taken his attacks to new heights this season.
The Football Association charged Mourinho with misconduct for his half-time rant at referee Jonathan Moss and refusing to leave the match officials’ room during the defeat to West Ham United last weekend.
That came just days after he was fined £50,000 and handed a suspended stadium ban for claiming that referees are "afraid" to give Chelsea decisions following a defeat to Southampton.
Referees themselves have remained silent in the wake of Mourinho's accusations, but an insight into their mindset has been provided by Keith Hackett, one of English football's leading match officials for over a decade until his retirement in 2004 and a former general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board.
In a blog written for the You Are The Ref website, Hackett said: "Sadly the image of the Premier League is being tarnished by the actions of the manager of Chelsea, Jose Mourinho.
"He appears to be one very unhappy person who, frankly, is using referees as a scapegoat for the poor performances of his team.
"[Jonathan] Moss was appointed to what appears at the moment to be a poisoned chalice when it comes to officiating Chelsea – not the easiest team to control.
"For a number of years with Jose Mourinho in charge, Chelsea have been a difficult team to referee. There is no question that referees need to be on top form when they are officiating this club.
"It’s my firm belief that there needs to be an urgent summit meeting between Jose Mourinho, Bruce Buck the chairman of Chelsea, Richard Scudamore, the chief executive of the Premier League, and Mike Riley, general manager of PGMOL."
Mourinho faces a huge week which could decide his Chelsea future, starting with tonight's Capital One Cup last 16 tie against Stoke.
He then has a Premier League match against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on Saturday.