News Live Scores
Tottenham Hotspur

'It's a marriage of convenience' - Neville questions motives behind Mourinho's move to Tottenham

21:23 GMT 25/11/2019
Jose Mourinho Tottenham 2019-20
The former Manchester United defender doubts whether the Portuguese's move to north London will be a long-term arrangement

Jose Mourinho’s move to Tottenham is a “marriage of convenience”, with both parties using each other for their own short-term benefit, according to Gary Neville.

Mourinho returned to English football last week, signing a three-and-a-half year deal with Spurs 11 months after his sacking by Manchester United.

The Portuguese has been charged with lifting the club back into contention for the top four after a poor start to the season that saw them win just three of their opening 12 Premier League games.

Mourinho’s reputation for winning silverware wherever he goes is also seen as a key factor behind his appointment, with Tottenham without a trophy of any description since 2008.

Neville, though, feels the prospect of silverware is a secondary factor for Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, with the monetary rewards of Champions League football and the impact that has on the club’s finances more important.

Similarly, he feels Tottenham were the right club at the right time for Mourinho as he looks to restore his reputation following his chastening experience at Old Trafford.

“I think this (Mourinho's appointment) is to protect finances, this is to protect revenue,” the former Manchester United defender told Sky Sports Monday Night Football. “This is a new stadium and a team that is half falling apart due to contracts running out and a little bit of destabilisation of the squad. He (Levy) is trying to keep them together by bringing in a big name manager.

“This is absolutely a bridge for Daniel Levy - it's a bridge for Jose Mourinho. Mourinho needed to get back into the Premier League to re-establish himself and he wanted to be in London.

“Levy needs someone who would get the football club quickly up to a level that is acceptable, into the Champions League. This is a marriage of convenience.”

Neville also believes Mourinho’s contract will be heavily reliant on bonuses and is likely to include release clauses - on both sides.

"People said to me last week it is a three-and-a-half year contract. Daniel Levy is not stupid enough as an operator to expose himself to a £25 million payout to Jose Mourinho unless there are certain triggers hit and certain achievements made,” added Neville.

“Jose Mourinho isn’t stupid enough and soft enough to allow Daniel Levy to mess him around, sack him after 10 minutes and damage his reputation.

“This has got prenuptial written all over it like you would not believe.

“I think this is a hard, cold conversation between two men who respect where each other are at, but actually never saw themselves working together, and essentially using each other as a bridge to get where they need to be.

"Jose wants to be back in the elite of European football, winning trophies. Daniel Levy needs to be in the Champions League and has to keep the players he has currently got.

“I’m delighted he is back in the Premier League, he has lit up the league for 20 years. I’ve never bought into the theory he was a spent force at Man Utd and I’m interested to see how he gets on.

“But the contract will be so detailed around what he has to do. Ultimately I think they both will have protected themselves.”