Jose Mourinho warned over Manchester United’s late kick-off
Manager has originally blamed lack of a police escort for late arrival of team bus
Valencia’s Goncalo Guedes in action against Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic during the Champions League game at Old Trafford. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
Jose Mourinho has been forced to take some of the blame for the late kick-off in Manchester United’s Champions League match against Valencia at Old Trafford earlier this month.
The United coach has been warned over his part in the incident by Uefa, who have also fined the club a total of €15,000 euros for the late arrival of the team bus and the late kick-off on October 2nd.
Mourinho initially blamed his team’s late arrival on Greater Manchester Police for allegedly failing to provide an escort to the stadium, a charge the force denied.
Mourinho, whose team were travelling less than three miles from the Lowry hotel, had said: “We left the hotel at six o’clock, hoping that 30 minutes would be enough, which normally it is but this time the police refused to do an escort so we came by ourselves.
“We took from the Lowry Hotel, 75 minutes and Uefa were nice, the referee was nice to allow us to start the game five minutes later because we at least need half an hour to be prepared, but it was not a problem with the club organisation.”
A police spokesman subsequently made clear that a police escort is only provided if there is believed to be a heightened risk of harm or injury to the players.
The five-minute delay to kick-off is also evidently being attributed to the time it took players from both sides to begin warming up, with Valencia and their coach Marcelino also warned.
In addition, Valencia were fined €1,000 euros due to their fans letting off fireworks during the same fixture.
Meanwhile, Napoli have been fined a total of €34,000 euros for the letting-off of fireworks and blocking of stairways during their Champions League clash with Liverpool the following night.