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Following his Open Letter to the Daily Mail, Jim Banks has upped the ante in his battle against the journalists concerned and is complaining to the Press Association.  

Dear Jeff Powell, 

I have read your article in Monday's Daily Mail, in which you have lambasted Jose Mourinho. Following on from Sunday's biased article in your sister paper, the Mail on Sunday, written by Patrick Collins, I feel that I have to comment. I have already written to Mr Collins and now I'm doing the same to you. 

Your article is titled 'Mourinho's way leaves football at the mercy of extremists', which in itself is provocative and leaves it open to be interpreted as terrorism. 

The first paragraph states that 'anyone who had a close-up view of Chelsea's hired heavies enforcing their version of security on Barcelona players and officials will understand why Anders Frisk has retired prematurely'. That is the second most ridiculous statement I've ever read in what is supposed to be a quality newspaper. The most ridiculous comes later in the same article. 

Let's examine what you seem to be inferring. That Frisk retired because he knew he'd upset Chelsea and was worried that Chelsea's security guards would come knocking on his door? Or that the alleged threats to Frisk came from Chelsea themselves? Utter rubbish, but sinister in it's inference. 

If Mr Frisk has received death threats from 'Stamford Bridge fanatics', I'm genuinely very sorry and embarrassed as a Chelsea fan. But to blame Mourinho for the threats is patently stupid. Or even more ludicrous, to use the phrase 'he is now under suspicion of inciting threatening behaviour in a manner which is fermenting anarchy in football'. It's simply unbelievable that a journalist of high standing could write such provocative rubbish. 

Let's look at the facts of your allegation: 

 
 

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Mourinho criticised Frisk and Rijkaard after the first leg. Is he the first manager to criticise a referee after a game? Is he wrong to point out what he thought was a misdemeanour between the two? Can you say for sure that Rijkaard didn't enter the Frisk's room at half-time? He has already gone on record as saying that he spoke to Frisk at half-time and said 'Hello, how are you'. Yeah right. Then he finally admitted that he did talk to Frisk about the first-half. That alone is an offence. 

We're supposed to believe everything Rijkaard says, yet here is a man who disgraced the finest football stage of all, the World Cup Finals, by spitting at the back of Rudi Vollers' head as he was being sent off. A nice, trustworthy chap? I don't think so. 

There are countless examples of referees being hammered by Premiership managers every weekend, by the likes of Wenger, Ferguson, O'Leary, Allardyce et al, but that nasty chap Mourinho is inciting anarchy. 

Then you say that Mourinho 'believes he is so special that his teams are incapable of losing legitimately'. I didn't hear him utter a single complaint when Newcastle knocked us out of the FA Cup, quite the opposite in fact. You may want to lay that sore loser tag at the door of Mr Rijkaard. 

You then go on to blame Mourinho for the ugly scenes at the end of the game, by claiming it was his fault because he dared to mention the words spoken at half-time in the Nou camp between Frisk and Rijkaard. 'Hence the ugly scenes after the second leg of the festering Champions League tie' are your exact words. 

The 'festering' as you put it, occurred because of all the bad mouthing by the Barcelona camp between the two games. Rijkaard, Cruyff, Eto'o, Ronaldhino and van Brockhurst are just some of those who took great delight in slating Chelsea and Mourinho, and going to great lengths to tell anyone who would listen how they were '100% going to win the tie'. 

And now for the most ridiculous comment of all. 

'Would Collina have got out alive had he disallowed John Terry's winning goal'. Then it's 'If the Italian remembered what happened to Frisk and wavered under Chelsea's oppression, it is not too extreme to suggest we should be fearful for the future of football' 

Did you actually see the game? Did you not notice Collina give Barcelona a debatable penalty in the first-half? In any case, how could Collina know 'what had happened to Frisk', when Frisk didn't resign until a week or so after the second leg? 

Then it's 'Mourinho is talking in belligerent terms of annihilating his main rivals'. Not in public he isn't. This was revealed by John Terry, and is something Mourinho has said to his players behind closed doors. This is obviously a motivational ploy, the sort of thing Shankly and Clough would have done, and to accuse him of using 'language that is irresponsible and untimely' is laughable. A classic case of a journalist twisting words and phrases to suit his own means, and not the sort of thing becoming a Daily Mail journalist. 

Then it's on to a points deduction for 'tapping up Ashley Cole', and expulsion from Europe next season, presumably for pointing out that Rijkaard committed an illegal act by talking to Frisk at half-time, and for refusing to speak to the media after the first-leg. Incredible. 

Finally, it's on to Chelsea not behaving with dignity, and 'class always tells in the end'. 

You're probably right, it does. It certainly did in this instance. The team who did the following lost: 

Their manager spoke to the ref at half-time, an illegal act irrespective of whether he entered the referees dressing room. 

One of their players threw himself to the ground in the first leg, one of the most pathetic dives ever seen, which strangely went unpunished despite it being a mandatory yellow card offence. 

Their manager, players and high profile former player and manager taunted and rubbished the opposition between the two games. 

Someone from their bench spat at Damien Duff as he celebrated his goal. 

Eto'o was caught on camera spitting in the face of a Chelsea steward. Ronaldhino was trying to fight all and sundry, but given the fact that his manager, the noble, trustworthy Mr Rijkaard, was doing the same it's hardly surprising. 

Their fans launched a barrage of missiles and bottles at the opposing chairman. 

They trashed the away dressing room and smashed up a fridge. 

Their opponents, however, maintained a silence between the two games, and let their football do the talking. In addition, despite having a contentious decision given against them in both legs, they did not surround the referee, and did not harass or harangue him on either occasion. In addition, their fans behaved impeccably throughout. 

I'm sure, Mr Powell, that you know all this but you've managed to twist it into one of the most inane, absurd, inflammatory and downright dangerous articles I've read. 

I pointed out to your colleague Mr Collins that his article should be dealt with by his editor, there's surely no room for personal loathing when trying to write a balanced article. 

In your case, however, I am in the process of writing to the Press Association, as I feel the tripe you have written, apart from being utterly wrong, is inflammatory. I presume that you ran it past your legal department before going ahead and printing it, because if it was me who'd been ripped to shreds in the way that you've done to Mourinho, I'd be looking at a legal action. 

Finally, it's noticeable that this media slating of Mourinho has swung into full force since he dared to criticise the press after the Carling Cup Final. Could it be that the ego's of our football writers are more fragile than the very people they deride? 

Kind regards 

Jim Banks 

Jim's thoughts do not necessarily represent the views of BookieBusters but we believe his argument and point of view to be a considered and reasonable one worthy of a hearing on this website in the hope it may provoke discussion.

The Daily Mail are hereby invited to reply.

 
 
 

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