Jose Mourinho was named Premier League manager of the season on Friday and then almost admitted that he had been wrong to claim in December that that there had been a 'campaign' against Chelsea that had affected refereeing decisions in their matches – but not quite.
Asked whether he regretted his remarks after a match at Southampton, for which he was later fined £25,000 by the FA, Mourinho conceded only that his choice of words had been unwise.
“Maybe 'campaign' is not a nice word,” he said. “It's a word which was even the subject of punishment because the word was strong. My feeling was that we had lots of mistakes against us, that punished us in crucial matches in a crucial period – December, January. I would take the word 'campaign' (out) if the same happened next season. It would be out of my vocabulary. But that feeling is clear. We had lots of decisions against us.”
The incident that provoked Mourinho's remarks was the decision of referee Anthony Taylor not to award a penalty for a trip on Cesc Fabregas and show the Spain midfield player a yellow card for diving instead.
At the time the Chelsea manager said it was evidence of “a clear campaign. People, pundits, commentators, coaches from other teams – they react with Chelsea in a way they don't react with other teams. They put lots of pressure on the referee and the referee makes a mistake like this.”