The Jose Mourinho ball boys beef continues.
Jose Mourinho has long held beef with the ball boy community. When he was Chelsea manager he had several clashes with ball boys (at Leicester and Newcastle) and once escaped sanction after helpfully informing a ball boy at Crystal Palace that he might "be punched" for slowing down play.
They're at once both a vulnerable and untouchable group, ball boys. On the one hand they are ordinarily young and quite small. On the other, any aggression towards a club's ball boys will be reacted to with an almost paternal/maternal instinct by the club's fans.
It's clear that Jose Mourinho doesn't think much of English football's ball boys. And his mistrust extends as far as his own club, it would seem.
The Mirror are reporting that Mourinho got rid of all ball boys for United's home game against Liverpool last week (which ended in a 1-1 draw) and replaced them with kids from the United Academy because, according to the Mirror's source, these boys would "understand the nuances of the game and the urgency of certain occasions". The paper then contacted United, who told them that it was "true" that Mourinho changed the ball boys. United went on:
Prior to that, the task was carried out through the Manchester United Foundation but the manager changed it against Liverpool and brought in boys from one of the Acadamy teams.
We aren’t sure what will happen at future games.
Mourinho is bound to come under fire for removing boys from the club's foundation, but it is unlikely that he will care. It's not clear what he will do if the Academy boys are not up to his standards, however. Use Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young?