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Mourinho suggested I should work with Chelsea Ladies, alleges Carneiro

Published 07/06/2016

Eva Carneiro was on Tuesday poised to appear as a witness at Croydon Employment tribunal
Eva Carneiro was on Tuesday poised to appear as a witness at Croydon Employment tribunal

Jose Mourinho allegedly suggested Eva Carneiro should work with Chelsea Ladies after the main flashpoint which led to her bringing an employment tribunal against the Manchester United manager and his former club.

Former Chelsea first-team doctor Carneiro was on Tuesday poised to appear as a witness at Croydon Employment tribunal after the case opened on Monday with opening arguments released by either side.

The 42-year-old, who left Chelsea in September, is to be cross-examined in an anticipated two days of testimony after claiming constructive dismissal against Chelsea and a separate, but connected, personal legal action against Mourinho for alleged victimisation and discrimination.

Mourinho, who left Chelsea in December and was appointed United boss last month, is also in line to appear as a witness, along with Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia.

As well as alleging that she was called a "filha da puta" - daughter of a whore - during the Swansea game on August 8 last year, Carneiro says the abuse continued into the dressing room.

She alleges Mourinho told Chelsea medical director Paco Biosca: "If they don't know how to do their jobs and they don't understand the game you get other ones. You have to understand the game."

In her written opening remarks, Mary O'Rourke QC, for Carneiro, submits: "Not understanding the game is a common allegation put to women in the football world."

Carneiro claims she received messages of support from Granovskaia.

On August 10, Mourinho allegedly told Steve Atkins, head of communications and public affairs at Chelsea, that he did not want Carneiro on the bench the next match, adding: "She works in academy team or ladys (sic) team, not with me".

Chelsea and Mourinho deny she was discriminated against.

The club say Carneiro declined a £1.2million settlement after demanding a 40 per cent increase on her £285,000 salary to return to work with the first team.

The £1.2m pay-off offer was disclosed in the respondents' skeleton argument, for Chelsea and Mourinho, who continues to share representation despite his appointment as United boss.

The argument said: "She has been made an open offer of £1.2million to settle her claims... far more than the respondents believe she could realistically recover even if she succeeded on all her claims, notwithstanding the respondents' belief that they are unfounded."

It was also alleged that Carneiro requested a salary of £400,000 in discussions with Granovskaia on August 20, 2015 and made other "extravagant demands".

Chelsea questioned Carneiro's "willingness to develop her skills" and suggested she was "preoccupied with developing her profile".

This involved signing autographs, nominating a high-profile first-team player when she uploaded a video to YouTube as part of the 'Ice Bucket Challenge', and seeking to position herself behind Mourinho during televised matches.

Chelsea also allege she briefed against the club in the media.

Central to the case is the interpretation of a Portuguese expression - and the Football Association has already cleared Mourinho of wrongdoing. Carneiro was not interviewed by the FA as part of its case.

Carneiro claims Mourinho shouted "filha da puta", meaning daughter of a whore in Portuguese, at her as she followed physio Jon Fearn on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard during a match with Swansea.

The pair, who were criticised by Mourinho after the August 8, 2015 fixture as Chelsea were temporarily reduced to nine men, were dropped from first-team duties.

The panel was read an extract from Mourinho's statement in which he conceded that he used the term "filho da puta", meaning "son of of a bitch".

Portuguese language experts will be called for either side to argue which Portuguese expression was used.

Daniel Stilitz QC, for respondents Chelsea and Mourinho, wrote: "The suggestion that these remarks were targeted specifically at the claimant, rather than at both Mr Fearn and her, is opportunistic and unjustified...

"His comments had nothing to do with gender stereotypes."

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