Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told the Daily Mail that the Premier League does not give English clubs the same chance to prepare for big Champions League ties as other countries in Europe.
Mourinho won the Champions League with FC Porto in 2004 and then with Inter Milan in 2010, but did not manage to lift the trophy during his two tenures at Chelsea.
The Premier League has not seen a team pick up the prize since Chelsea did under Roberto Di Matteo in 2012 and Mourinho insists that it’s because the domestic league comes first.
“I think the Premier League and the internal competitions create a very difficult situation for the clubs,” he said. “Other countries, they care a lot about the Champions League.
“In this country the Premier League will always come in front of the Champions League. The institutions that lead the competitions make it very, very clear.
“I played semifinals of the Champions League with an English club and had to play a crucial match in the Premier League two days before.”
This season the Premier League has introduced Friday night fixtures to its schedule, but Mourinho pointed out that other leagues across Europe go even further to aid their clubs in continental competition.
He said: “Other countries play Fridays to rest, they play Thursdays to rest. They don’t play — to rest! They manage things in a way that the teams are really focused on the Champions League.”
“Here it is more difficult. The intensity of every match is the same. In England you cannot rest players. If you rest players thinking about Europe then you lose the match in the Premier League.”