A dispute over image rights could see new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho wear a balaclava on the touchline and during post-match interviews.
Talks have been ongoing after it transpired that the Portuguese manager’s image is trademarked by Chelsea, leaving little chance of a resolution.
“It’s a very unusual situation,” explained sports lawyer David Barnes.
“Mourinho’s image is owned by Chelsea and it would be a hugely expensive process for Mourinho to buy the trademark back.”
“So the only plausible solution appears to be that any time that Jose is representing Manchester United he covers his face with a balaclava – or even a pair of tights, as if he was going to turn over the local Post Office.”
It is understood that lawyers for Mourinho and Chelsea have been unable to agree on a way forward with the offer to wear a fedora, baseball hat or trilby being flatly rejected by Chelsea.
However, sports psychologist Mandy Draper believes that the situation could be turned to Manchester United’s advantage.
“Having instructions barked at you by a manager wearing a balaclava could be incredibly intimidating, and, therefore quite motivating,” says Draper.
“Plus, if it catches on, they might even be able to convince Wayne Rooney to wear one too.”