José Mourinho could face two days in the witness box at the tribunal brought by Chelsea’s former doctor Eva Carneiro, reports the Daily Mail.
The former first team doctor, 42, claims that Mourinho berated, sexually harassed and then demoted her and the club did ‘nothing to stop it’ before she left Chelsea after six years in December 2015. She is claiming constructive dismissal against Chelsea and has a separate, personal legal action against Mourinho for alleged victimisation and discrimination.
Private hearings in January and February took place without a resolution and it has now proceeded to the tribunal.
Mourinho’s is expected to give evidence over 2 days in the tribunal – while the whole tribunal could last up to 10 days.
The case could be settled at any time but all three parties must agree to a settlement for the tribunal, which would be accessible to the public and the media, to be averted.
The court case started this morning and Chelsea lawyers hit back at the doctor, claiming she has already turned down a £1.2million settlement fee, and had demanded a huge pay rise. The club also claimed that she was hungry for fame.
The tribunal hinges on whether Mourinho yelled what Carneiro claims: ‘Filha de puta [daughter of a whore]’ or whether he actually said ‘filho de puta [son of a b***h]’, when she ran on to the pitch to treat Chelsea star Eden Hazard – during Chelsea’s first home game of the season against Swansea in August last year.
After the game Mourinho criticised her as ‘impulsive and naïve’ and she did not appear on the first team bench again before parting company with Chelsea.
Dr Carneiro’s lawyer,QC Mary O’Rourke, told the employment tribunal in Croydon today: ‘He uses the word ‘filha’ because he is abusing a woman’.
Dr Carneiro heard the term ‘clearly from behind her’ as she ran on to the pitch at Stamford Bridge.
But Mourinho has employed a ‘swearing expert’ from the University of Oxford to prove he said ‘son of a b***h’ , which he claims is the Portuguese equivalent of ‘f*** off’.
The current Manchester United Manager says he and other players, including Spaniard Cesc Fabregas, frequently used the phrase throughout the match. He denies it was sexist, or aimed it at Carneiro.
He said: ‘Filho da puta is a phrase I often use, all of the players know it. There is no sexist connotation in the use of the phrase – it is just like saying ‘f*** off’.
‘In the world of football, a lot of swear words are used.’
Referring to footage of earlier on in the August 8 match against Swansea, the former Chelsea manager highlighted that he had also been using the term then.
He added that player Cesc Fabregas had also used the Spanish equivalent of the term when a Chelsea player was fouled during the game.
In his statement, Mourinho said: ‘Cesc and I both speak English well, but in the heat of the game we both swear in our mother language. Eva was not on the pitch at that point in time.’
Carneiro allegedly asked for a 40 per cent pay rise to £400,000 to return to work, plus bonuses and compensation for ‘distress’ caused by the club and its ex-boss.
Their lawyers also say Carneiro allegedly ‘secretly briefed against Chelsea to the media’.
A skeleton argument submitted to the tribunal on behalf of Chelsea FC and Mourinho stated that Dr Carneiro had been ‘made an open offer of £1.2 million to settle her claims’.
It continued: ‘The respondents have taken these steps only because they believe that it is in no-one’s interests that this dispute should be determined through litigation.
‘They are conscious that, whatever the facts of the matter, it is likely to be widely and incorrectly assumed that they could have avoided this coming tribunal.’
It continued that contemporaneous documents showed that Dr Carneiro did not consider Mourinho’s actions to be discriminatory.
The skeleton argument said: ‘The purpose of the discrimination claim was to lift the statutory cap, in order to justify the claimant’s extravagant compensation claim.’
Chelsea also submitted there were ‘concerns about her willingness to develop her skills in respect of injury diagnosis and rehabilitation, particularly at the expense of being seen as part of the ‘first team’ and undertaking what she perceived as the more high-profile role of providing on-pitch treatment’.
They claim Dr Carneiro was ‘preoccupied with developing her profile’ and associating herself with the first team in a way discouraged by the club for backroom employees.
Chelsea also claim she was ‘preoccupied with developing her profile’ including nominating a Chelsea star for the Ice Bucket Challenge on YouTube and positioned herself behind Mourinho during TV matches.
In its skeleton argument, Chelsea claim: ‘Contrary to the suggestion that the claimant was uninterested in the media, she twice gave interviews, had discussions about presenting a TV programme, and engaged a digital media consultant (without informing Chelsea).
‘Most seriously of all, she secretly briefed against Chelsea to the media, in flagrant breach of the club’s communication policy and disciplinary procedure.’
To counter Dr Caneiro’s legal argued: ‘This is a tale of two employees: one good (the claimant) and one bad (Mourinho).
‘The bad employee forces the good employee out of the job of her dreams and the employer does nothing to stop it.
‘The bad employee berates, sexually harasses and demotes the good employee for carrying out her professional duties, namely her health and safety duties as the first team doctor, pitch side.
‘Rather then investigating and disciplining the bad employee, the employer allows the bad employee to confirm the demotion, both publicly and privately and to continue with his job.
‘By comparison, the good employee’s demotion is confirmed and she is instructed to work and to ‘build bridges’ with the bad employee.’
The Gibraltar-born doctor wants a public apology from Mourinho as part of her demands – but she does not want to return to Chelsea.
She is expected to give evidence on Tuesday afternoon for around 2 and a half days.
Mourinho was cleared of using discriminatory language towards Carneiro following an investigation by the Football Association.
Afterwards, Carneiro and the Football Association’s independent board member, Dame Heather Rabbatts, criticised the governing body for not interviewing the doctor as part of its investigation.
Carneiro has also had backing from Fifa’s medical chairman, Michel D’Hooghe, who contacted the doctor to offer his support and that of the world governing body. He has backed Carneiro’s insistence that she was simply doing her job.