Jose Mourinho isn’t too happy at footage leaking of him telling a French reporter that he a) doesn’t rate his strikers, and b) isn’t sure whether Samuel Eto’o is 32 or 35 – but which other great football leaks have been perpetrated in recent times?
We’ll tell you which: these…
Roy Hodgson, England manager
Someone in the national team’s dressing room ratted on Hodgson for using a clumsy analogy at half time of a World Cup qualifier with Poland in order to convey to his players that they should give Andros Townsend more of the ball.
Hodgson’s analogy was based on the following old Nasa joke:
Nasa decided they’d finally send a man up in a capsule after sending only monkeys in the earlier missions. They fire the man and the monkey into space. The intercom crackles: ‘Monkey, fire the retros.’ A little later: ‘Monkey, check the solid fuel supply.’ Later still: ‘Monkey, check the life support systems for the man.’ The astronaut takes umbrage and radios Nasa: ‘When do I get to do something?’ Nasa replies: ‘In 15 minutes – feed the monkey.’
Townsend insisted that no offence had been taken, the general consensus being that Hodgson was very unlikely to have been being slyly racist.
Ashley Cole nightclub roast
In September, footage emerged of an apparently drunk woman shouting at the Chelsea and England left-back outside a St. Louis nightclub.
You want to see it, don’t you? Here you go:
Oof. She really let him have it.
Liverpool swear list
Last summer, the Reds issued staff with this handy guide of language to avoid…
Interestingly, no ‘negrito’.
Arsenal fine system
In January 2013, some sneaky soul or other leaked an Arsène Wenger-ordered list of how much various demeanours would cost his players.
A £100 fine is incurred for “wrong kit on on match day”, “inappropriate clothing outside of the dressing room”, “outdoor shoes in the dressing room” and “newspapers in the dressing room and newspapers, laptops and phones in the medical room”.
“Non production of urine sample for two consecutive weeks” sets an Arsenal player back £200, “being late for match day meetings or meals” £250.
Under 15 minutes late for training and you’re shelling out £250, more than 15 minutes £500 – and £500 is also the cost of being late for travel, phone calls in the building (texts allowed), not participating in commercial activities (including Club Day)
Non-attendance of unused players at home matches without the manager’s permission is deemed the worst offence, punishable as it is by £1,000.
Fines are double if not paid within seven days, while Per Mertesacker is apparently the Gunners’ resident debt collector, charged with extracting the money from errant team-mates.
Steve Kean video
The then Blackburn Rovers manager must not have realised he was being filmed when he engaged with fans at a pre-season tournament in Hong Kong.
He called Sam Allardyce a “crook”, claimed to have discovered Phil Jones, and bet one supporter £100 that Rovers would finish in the top ten and win the League Cup.
They would go on to be relegated.
In April 2012, then Preston North End boss Graham Westley claimed that four of his players had leaked the team’s tactics to Sheffield Wednesday ahead of a 2-0 defeat to the Owls.
To stand in the dugout today and to be told by [Sheffield Wednesday’s] dugout that four of our players had given our side to them says where our side is at. I have to work on the basis that they wouldn’t tell me a lie.
That shows you what we are up against. It doesn’t surprise me. When you have got people in your own camp working against you it is tough.
Garry Cook, former Manchester City chief executive
Cook was forced to resign in 2011 following the leak of an email he accidentally sent to Nedum Onuoha’s mother in which he appeared to mock her struggle with cancer.
The email, regarding a contract dispute involving the player, had been intended for City’s football administrator Brian Marwood but was accidentally sent to the late Dr Anthonia Onuoha, who was acting as agent to her son.
Dr Onuoha’s mother had previously emailed Marwood and Cook to explain that, although she was “ravaged with cancer”, it would not prevent her from negotiating on behalf of her son.
She then received an email from Cook, addressed “Brian”, which apparently read: “Ravaged with it!!…I don’t know how you sleep at night. You used to be such a nice man when I worked with you at Nike. G”.
Cook claimed to have been hacked, but no one was convinced.
Bill Kenwright, Everton chairman
In a supposedly private 2011 meeting with supporters group The Blue Union, Kenwright was furtively recorded talking about the Toffees’ financial worries and professing to not knowing how to explain the £24m of “other operating costs” on the club’s accounts.
Richard Keys and Andy Gray
Someone at Sky Sports clearly had it in for their Partridge-esque anchorman and his co-commentatin’ partner in crime, leaking the following videos exposing their boorish, sexist behaviour when the cameras were off – or, at least, when they *thought* they were off:
It shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise, mind:
Oh look, they were at it again in January, chanting obscenely at Clare Tomlinson as if it were the best idea in the world:
No helping some people.
Sir Alex Ferguson letter to Stephen Defour
The legendary Manchester United manager was left even redder-faced than usual when a letter of his to then Standard Liège captain Defour was sneaked into the public realm.
Dear Steven, I have just heard about your injury and, in the name of Manchester United, I would like to wish you a full and speedy recovery. I am sure at the moment you must be feeling awful and that you’ll have all kinds of questions.
Steven, these are natural worries but I have to tell you that modern medicine and treatments are incredible – you have to have confidence in them. Don’t worry, everything will work out. You will have to work hard to come back and I am going to follow your performances. I will remain in contact with Standard.
United confirmed that the letter was genuine, but that Ferguson considered it a “private matter”. Not anymore it wasn’t.
Those were our top 10 football leaks. Remember: walls have ears!