Richardson was presenting BBC 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme as he covered resurgent stories of dressing-room unrest at Chelsea following the club’s 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.
And the BBC veteran made the astonishing claim at the start of his programme, which you can listen to here.
“Let me tell you what I know on the Chelsea story,” said Richardson. “My information comes from a Chelsea first-team player.
Mourinho remains in job as vital games loom
“The information was actually passed to me by a football contact. I was told that Jose Mourinho’s relationship with many of his players is at rock-bottom.
“I was told they were fed up with the way he has been dealing with some of them. They are fed up with his outbursts. I was told that his relationship particularly with Eden Hazard was under immense strain.
“Here is a staggering quote. One player said recently, ‘I’d rather lose than win for him’.
“Now that quote may well have been said in the heat of the moment but it perhaps gives an insight into the mood of some of the players.”
Some incredulous Chelsea fans questioned the veracity of the quote, but Richardson was defended by 5 Live deputy editor Simon Clancy.
MUTINY ON THE GOOD SHIP MOURINHO?
Talk of dressing room unrest has been bubbling under for weeks - with suggestions from multiple sources that senior players are not happy at all with life under Mourinho. His abrasive style of management has seen him fall out with the Football Association, rival mangers and even his own club doctor in Eva Carneiro this season, but losing the dressing room could be terminal for a manager who has nowhere to hide with results as awful as they are.
Things seem to be spiralling out of control for Mourinho. If this claim from the BBC is true, then it shows just how badly things have degenerated. When players stop playing for their manager, it's never very long before a change is made. And given as it's impossible to sell a whole team, especially in November, that would seem to spell doom for Mourinho. We can speculate about the identity of the individual, and one name leaps out immediately, but time appears to be running out for Mourinho.
Former Chelsea defender William Gallas has announced his retirement
Image credit: PA Sport
AN ECHO FROM HISTORY?
It would not be the first time Mourinho's Chelsea have had apparent problems with players properly applying themselves. Back in 2006, an extraordinary story surfaced when Chelsea claimed via an official club statement that defender William Gallas had threatened to score an own goal if he was picked by Mourinho. "Before the first game of the season against Manchester City, when only four defenders were available and John Terry was doubtful with an injury, he refused to play," the statement read. "He went on to threaten that if he was forced to play, or if he was disciplined and financially punished for his breach of the rules, that he could score an own goal or get himself sent off, or make deliberate mistakes."
"I am surprised and shocked by these claims," Gallas responded. "I never said I would score own goals if I had to play for Chelsea again."
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