Tottenham could end up paying Jose Mourinho considerably less than the reported £35m if they were to sack him this summer – thanks to a cunning contract loophole placed in his deal by Daniel Levy.
Mourinho’s future at Tottennham remains under intense scrutiny following a topsy-turvy season. After 12 games, Spurs topped the Premier League table, before a dire run of form saw them drop into mid-table. Their season hit a new nadir after an embarrassing Europa League exit. However, they could yet end their wait for a trophy in the Carabao Cup final where they face Manchester City.
Ending their trophy drought and a top-four finish would silence those critics somewhat. However, the heat appears to be back on after a frustrating 2-2 draw at Newcastle on Sunday. Those dropping of two points saw Mourinho cast more blame in the direction of his players.
In turn that has resulted in more speculation over Mourinho’s future.
Upon his appointment in November 2019, Mourinho signed a deal until summer 2023.
Given he’s one of the world’s highest-paid managers on a package worth £15m a season, firing him would not come cheap.
Indeed, trusted journalist David Ornstein says there is no break-clause in the arrangement. That would mean that firing him now would hit Tottenham seriously hard in the pocket. Various reports suggest that figure would amount to around €40m (£34.8m).
However, the Daily Mail claims a contract loophole means firing Mourinho might actually cost less than expected. They claim that figure drops significantly if Spurs are to miss out on European football. Indeed, his compensation payment for being sacked depends on where they finish. Sacking him when he has delivered Champions League football for example would result in the maximum payment.
But failure to even secure Europa League football would result in a vastly reduced pay-off.
Players ‘unhappy’ with Mourinho
Ultimately it may come down to what chairman Levy decides to do for the best.
One factor which may work against Mourinho, however, is his treatment of his players.
Tuesday’s Paper Talk looks at the issue and claims Spurs’ players are losing patience with the Portuguese firebrand. As per the Daily Telegraph, it’s claimed senior stars have voiced their complaints to Levy at the way Mourinho treats them. It’s stated they are fed up of Mourinho insinuating they are not good enough to challenge for a top-four place.
Furthermore, Tottenham stars are baffled and angry after Mourinho claimed Toby Alderweireld did not train before the trip to Newcastle. The Belgian was left out of Mourinho’s side after it was suggested he returned late from international duty. However, images released by the club before the game showed Alderweireld involved in their sessions.
When quizzed on why his side have struggled to maintain leads this season, Mourinho quipped: “Same coach, different players.”
Asked if he has more work to do with the Spurs’ players, Mourinho added: “I don’t think so. We work well, we work hard. But there are mistakes which I probably shouldn’t even call mistakes because they are related to qualities that players have.
“Looking at the second goal, it’s easy to understand because there’s three different moments – the cross, the ball at the far post where they won it, and then the ball in the face of the goal where our two centre-backs were in position. You can analyse it easily.”