AHEAD OF THE GAME: Graham Potter faces an inquest from Brighton even if he avoids relegation this season… while Jose Mourinho hunts down a Tottenham mole responsible for negative stories
- Manager Graham Potter faces an inquest from Brighton at the end of the season
- Wayne Rooney’s relationship with Derby owner Mel Morris has become strained
- Jose Mourinho is eager to find the mole behind negative stories about Spurs
- The Aviva Stadium in Dublin is likely to be stripped of hosting rights for the Euros
Manager Graham Potter faces an inquest from Brighton at the end of the season, even if he succeeds in keeping the club in the Premier League for a fourth season.
Owner Tony Bloom is understood to feel Potter, 45, has underperformed over this campaign, given the amount of money he has invested in the squad.
Brighton are now in a relegation battle, although last weekend’s comprehensive win over Newcastle bolstered their survival prospects.
Owner Tony Bloom is understood to feel Graham Potter has underperformed over this season
While Potter’s job is not under immediate threat, he will be asked about his future plans
Bloom showed his ruthless side when sacking Chris Hughton the day after the season finished two years ago. Brighton had secured safety with two games to spare, and also reached the FA Cup semi-finals.
While Potter’s job is not under immediate threat, he will be asked to detail how he plans to take the club forward. Potter has four years left on his contract and still enjoys the support of chief executive Paul Barber, which is likely to count in his favour.
Bloom was ruthless by sacking Chris Hughton the day after the season finished two years ago
ROONEY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH DERBY OWNER STRAINED
Wayne Rooney’s relationship with Derby owner Mel Morris has become strained following the collapse of the proposed takeover by Sheik Khaled earlier this month.
The former England captain had received repeated assurances that the sale of the club would go through before he took the manager’s job.
Wayne Rooney’s (R) relationship with Derby owner Mel Morris (L) has become strained
The uncertainty surrounding the club’s ownership has added to Rooney’s problems as he battles to keep Derby in the Championship, with four players sold to raise funds during the January transfer window and more likely to leave in the summer if Morris remains in charge.
Rooney has also had to contend with players’ grievances at not being paid on time on several occasions this season.
JOSE’S ON ANOTHER MOLE HUNT
Tottenham have launched a mole hunt, with officials seeking to identify players who may have been behind negative stories that have appeared in the media over the last few weeks.
Manager Jose Mourinho was particularly unhappy last month to read of complaints about his training sessions, which it was alleged some players find boring and predictable.
Spurs launched a mole hunt to identify players who may have been behind negative stories
Jose Mourinho memorably accused unnamed Chelsea players of being ‘rats’ at Chelsea
The claims drew an angry response from Mourinho, who described his methods as ‘second to nobody in the world’ following Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat at West Ham.
Mourinho memorably accused unnamed Chelsea players of being ‘rats’ towards the end of his second spell at Stamford Bridge six years ago amid frustration at leaks to the media.
PFA CHIEF EXECUTIVE CANDIDATES SHOCKED BY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
A number of the candidates for the PFA chief executive job have privately expressed surprise that their interviews did not feature questions about the racist abuse directed at players on social media, particularly as it has been such a big issue over the past 12 months.
Ex-Brighton striker Maheta Molango was announced as the PFA’s preferred CEO candidate
One candidate brought the subject up himself by revealing that tackling online abuse would be one of his priorities, not least as around one third of PFA members are from BAME backgrounds.
Former Brighton striker Maheta Molango was announced as the preferred candidate last week, but the PFA have appointed lawyers to examine the recruitment process after receiving formal complaints.
DUBLIN SET FOR EUROS SNUB
The Aviva Stadium in Dublin is the venue most likely to be stripped of hosting rights for the European Championship when UEFA confirm their plans on April 7.
Dublin is due to stage three matches, but the Irish government’s exit from lockdown is proceeding more slowly than the UK’s due to high infection rates and limited vaccinations, and they may be unable to guarantee UEFA that fans will be allowed into stadiums.
The four games scheduled for Hampden Park are also under threat, but with UEFA’s plan B involving moving them south of the border, the Scottish government are likely to permit some crowds.
The Aviva Stadium in Dublin is most likely to be stripped of hosting rights for the Euros