Jose Mourinho has claimed he felt “almost caged” in England as he expressed his frustration at not being able to talk freely about match officials during his spells managing Chelsea and Manchester United.The Portuguese, who was sacked by United in December 2018, was sanctioned on more than one occasion during his time in the Premier League for criticising officials in interviews with the media.And Mourinho has suggested he was unfairly punished, insisting he was given “ridiculous small fines” and that the English Football Association would sanction him even if he praised a match official. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “I lived in England most of those years [the 15 years since he left Portugal],” Mourinho told Eleven Sports.”I also spent some years in Spain where we walked there in the same habitat. Italy not so much. Italy really likes the game, the tactics. I usually have people talking about it, more polemic, less polemic, more aggressiveness, less aggressiveness, but they are people of great credibility and you have great names in football to discuss about football.”But in England it’s day and night. For example, I’ve sometimes felt almost caged because you can’t even comment on the referee before the game. I was punished and well punished for pre-match statements and statements such as ‘I hope the referee is very well, that he resists pressure from Anfield Road, that he has an excellent performance’. This is forbidden. This is considered to somehow induce the referee, put some kind of pressure on him.”Even speaking well of the referee, as I did, I was punished. In Portugal, you tell referees what you want, before the game, during and after the game, you’re punished with ridiculous small fines. There’s total impunity. And we’re talking only at this level. And then obviously we’re a country that should like this.“The kind of TV shows that exist in Portugal and that exist simultaneously in three, four, five different channels and that are repeated from Monday to Sunday and that survive, is because Portuguese people like this. So maybe we have the football we want to have.”Mourinho also heaped praise on Portuguese wonderkid Joao Felix, who is on Manchester City’s radar for the summer, while making sure to credit the role his club, Benfica, have had in his development.”To start with, I think it’s more important to describe even superficially Benfica’s team, which was the habitat where he developed, and which allowed him to have conditions for it. I think things start there a little bit. The Portuguese championship is a championship that obviously has a big gap between the top teams and the others that allows a team to develop a dominant game, which is what Benfica is developing at the moment.”It’s a dominating team, that enters the field and wants to win, wants to score, that doesn’t have fears, that is winning by 1-0, 2-0 and that wants to win by three or four and that doesn’t fear the power – that also isn’t much – of the opponents. Joao is developing in a habitat created by Bruno Lage [the coach] and he develops his qualities.”He said the other day that his position was that of a free role. A free role in high level football may not exist. A free role but subject to certain principles of play that he must know and surely knows. I think he’s a player who has a fantastic ability. From the point of view of defensive organisation, it’s better than what you might think. Usually when you say you have a free role, you think you’re not defending. He defends and I think he defends well.”And I think that Bruno has defined from game to game the moments of pressure, the positions of pressure, and Joao Felix presses, recovers, closes spaces, has a very good understanding of the game. I think he’s on the right track to be a great player. This issue of selling, not selling, should sell, should not sell, should leave, should not leave, Benfica is the one who knows, Joao Felix knows, his family knows. It is very difficult to say what can be better for each one.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
There’s a dirty little secret of the student debt crisis. One that affects millions of borrowers, but isn’t talked about at dinner tables, on social media or in think pieces about student loans.The taboo topic is wage garnishment and it works like this: Default on your federal student loans and the government can take up to 15 per cent of each paycheque to satisfy your debt. That amounts to $300 per month for someone who normally takes home $2,000 per month. The Education Department can also withhold federal benefits like tax returns and Social Security payments.Garnishment is an effective tool to recoup unpaid loans — private collection agencies enlisted by the Education Department took in over $841.6 million via wage garnishment in the 2018 fiscal year — but it inflicts serious financial strain on borrowers who are already struggling.“It’s a very powerful collection tactic that can really devastate the financial lives of the people subjected to it,” says Joanna Darcus, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center who works with low-income student loan borrowers. “They can’t afford to pay their rent, buy their medicine, buy clothes for their kids and also pay a large percentage of their wages toward their student loan.”If you received notice of garnishment or are already in the thick of it, don’t panic; you have options that are far less painful than a 15 per cent hit to your paycheque.STOP GARNISHMENT BEFORE IT STARTSThe ideal time to take action is when you begin struggling to make payments. At that point, your loan servicer can help you explore other repayment options , including income-based plans that cap your monthly payment.Once your loans are in default — nearly nine months past due for most federal loans — those options are off the table until your loan is in good standing. You can rehabilitate your loans to move out of default (more on that below). You also have a brief window to consolidate your federal loans (combining them into a single loan with its own interest rate) before the Education Department, via a private collection agency, moves to garnish your wages.The collection agency handling your federal loans will notify you by mail before it starts garnishing your wages. The notice serves as your 30-day warning. During this time, you can stop the process by negotiating payment arrangements with the agency. The key: It must receive your first payment in that 30-day window.If you can’t make a payment within that window, request a hearing to appeal the garnishment. To prevent garnishment from starting, you must request the hearing in writing within 30 days of the date on your collection notice. You can still file an appeal after garnishment starts, but the collection agency will continue to take up to 15 per cent of your take-home pay while the case is reviewed, which can take two to three months .A hearing sounds intimidating but it’s no more than a long form detailing your income, debt and expenses. The goal is to stop or reduce garnishment.“You hear the word ‘hearing’ and think, ‘Oh my god, I need an attorney!’ But it’s just a basic exchange of information,” says Betsy Mayotte, founder of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors.Contact the collection agency handling your loan to talk about payment arrangements or get details on a hearing request. Not sure whom to call? Check the National Student Loan Data System to find out who is managing your loan and how to reach them.REHABILITATE YOUR LOANLoan rehabilitation is a one-time “Get out of default” card. Here’s how it works:The collection agency sets a monthly payment based on your income, minus any reasonable monthly expenses. The amount could be as low as $5 a month.You’ll need to provide documentation, like copies of pay stubs and bills, and complete a detailed form to help determine the amount. Any wages garnished due to defaulted student loans will be considered among your expenses.Make nine payments of the agreed-upon amount within 10 months and your loans move out of default. Any wage garnishment will stop. And you’re once again able to choose a repayment plan that works for you, including several income-based options that could drop your monthly payment to $0.Once out of default, take care to stay out. Make your payments each month. Recertify your income every year if you’re on an income-based plan. And call your loan servicer if you run into trouble. If you default a second time, you’ll have fewer options.______________________________This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Kelsey Sheehy is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @kelseylsheehy.RELATED LINKS:NerdWallet: How to avoid and recover from student loan default https://nerd.me/student-loan-defaultFederal Student Aid: Choose the federal student loan repayment plan that’s best for you https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plansKelsey Sheehy, The Associated Press