Jose Mourinho gave his own take on a bizarre situation that arose following a seemingly simple sponsorship announcement by Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs announced on Thursday morning that Dulux would be their first ever official paint supplier. The Dulux dog was even given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the club’s Hotspur Way training complex.
Then, unexpectedly in the midst of the announcement, Dulux’s own social media account chose to poke fun at their new partners.
When one Spurs fan asked whether the dog can play centre-back, the official UK Dulux account replied with an accompanying laughing emoji: “He might do a better job Chris.”
Then when another asked about painting the trophy cabinet, the Dulux account replied with “You know this David” and an often shared image of an empty trophy cabinet saying “for sale, unused trophy cabinet” and a phone number.
When another Twitter user suggested painting the “dusty trophy cabinet”, the Dulux account replied: “Don’t be silly, surfaces should be dust free before painting.”
The tweets were later deleted before Dulux apologised for them.
Mourinho was asked about the bizarre morning, during which even new sponsors laid into the club’s current performances and reputation.
He maintained he was not aware of the incident or even who Dulux are before a lengthy exchange between his press officer and the asking journalist, who explained what had happened in full and pointed out that Spurs being treated as a laughing stock by one of their own sponsors was worthy of comment.
Eventually Mourinho chose to answer the question despite his press officer’s concerns that he should see it first before commenting.
“I don’t know what you are speaking about but maybe it is an amazing strategy move,” suggested Mourinho.
“Maybe if I am going to criticise something and then I realise it was a strategic commercial or situation, then I would be in a bad position. I don’t know, but in any case, it is not a football-related thing and I don’t know.”
Tottenham could find themselves in the UEFA Europa Conference League next season, a new third level competition with one place for an English side, which goes to the Carabao Cup winner or if they have already qualified for European competition it passes down to those in the Premier League standings, potentially as far down as eighth depending on who wins what.
“[We would treat the Conference League] as we treat every competition,” admitted Mourinho. “Every competition we try to win every match and of course we don’t. We never thought we were going to do that, but since the beginning of the season, this season, we try to treat every competition the same way.
“So I don’t see any reason not to treat the competitions with the same respect. If the dimension of the club and prestige of the club is bigger than let’s say the level or the prestige of any competition then I still feel it is the responsibility of the club to respect the competition and to bring to the competition probably the credit or the prestige that at that moment, the competition does not have.
“So I think it is this, you have to respect every competition you are involved in.”