José Mourinho has called for elite clubs, the Premier League and television-rights holders to deliberate and strike an agreement over better match-scheduling in a bid to improve the prospects of English teams in European competition.
The Chelsea manager watched Manchester City and Arsenal go out of the Champions League in midweek and with his own side due to play Galatasaray next Tuesday in the second leg of their last-16 tie, has been baffled by the decision to move his side's game at Aston Villa to 5.30pm on Saturday evening.
His dismay has been heightened by Manchester City being asked to play in the 12.45pm fixture at Hull City despite their trip to Barcelona on Wednesday, a move he considers unfair on the side fourth in the table.
It has prompted Mourinho to call for a sense of order when it comes to the fixture list, particularly given that Galatasaray's league game at Kardemir Karabukspor was brought forward to Friday in order to give the side more preparation time for the match at Stamford Bridge. The same luxury is not afforded to Premier League teams.
"Do people not care that English teams are struggling in Europe?" he said. "Why don't they? I care. Television deserves to be powerful because, without them, nothing would be the same, but there is space in the calendar that could be filled with communication.
"They should ask the players if it's the same, having two or three days to prepare. Ask [Didier] Drogba on Monday: is it the same for him to play on Friday ahead of the trip to London, or on Saturday with the game coming up on Tuesday? I don't understand why Galatasaray can play on Friday and we have to play on Saturday. If we played at 7.45pm on a Friday night, it makes a difference to whom?
"Fewer spectators at Villa Park? I don't think so. It'd still be a full-house. And for television? It wouldn't make a difference. It would be the only match, so the share [of the market)]would be fantastic.
"Would it be good for English football and for Chelsea? Yes. But I'm trying to get this for all of us, not just for me. For example, I don't understand why City, a team who must come from Europe on Wednesday night, must play at 12.45pm on Saturday.
"And why did they have to play Wigan [in the FA Cup quarter-final] on Sunday when Barça had played Saturday and had the extra day [for Wednesday's game between the sides]? If we must all play on Saturday, why not play us at 12.45pm and them at 5.30pm? We have an extra 'day' to recover, and so would they. I think everyone would agree on that but there is something in this country that goes outside my understanding. I don't understand."
Mourinho, who will be without the injured David Luiz and Ashley Cole as he seeks to secure his first victory at Villa Park, hopes to include Fernando Torres in his squad, despite the striker having tweaked a groin in the buildup to last weekend's victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
A win would move Chelsea 10 points clear of Arsenal and Liverpool, for 24 hours at least. "But the table is fake," Mourinho said. "We could have 30 points more than them and have played 10 matches more, so it means nothing. When everybody has the same number of matches – I don't know when this will happen, maybe the last week of the competition – only then is when the table is real."