Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has discussed the sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich by the UK government and how that will impact the Blues moving forward.
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Tuchel has admitted that these sanctions will have a ‘huge impact’ and said he and his players could focus on playing and winning games because ‘did not cause this situation’ and they cannot influence it.
Chelsea’s current owner Abramovich has been heavily sanctioned by the UK for his ties to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and he’s had all of his assets in the UK, including Chelsea Football Club, frozen.
That means that Chelsea are unable to buy and sell players, offer current players new contracts, they can no longer sell merchandise and they have been granted a temporary license to continue to play games until May 31, 2022. There is so much uncertainty around the west London club as sponsors are already suspending deals and the potential sale of the club is up in the air.
With Chelsea releasing a statement confirming that they are to have a meeting with the UK government about easing some of the restrictions placed on them, here was what Thomas Tuchel had to say about the latest development as he spoke after their 3-1 win at Norwich City.
Tuchel remains focused as Chelsea hit hard by sanctions
“Of course it’s out there and it is a big news. It has a huge impact, of course. That is why it is big news,” Tuchel said. “It is like the subject of the talks. Maybe on a day like this you would talk about the Champions League games from yesterday. But nobody talked about it. It was about the impact and the impact of the new effects around the club.
“In the end it is also nice to enter a fixed schedule approaching a match. There are like three hours before we eat, before that we have a tactical meeting and before that a set-piece meeting and then we go to the stadium. It helps you to focus because we are used to it. In the end we can not influence it. We did not cause this situation. We cannot influence it. We can allow ourselves to enjoy it and we are here and have the privilege to play in the Premier League and we wanted to show the best things.
“Some times it is best to sweat it out and work hard. We tried to convince the team to work really hard together and sometimes the best thing to get the focus back.”
“I would love to talk about sports, but of course I understand you have a lot fo questions, like unfortunately I don’t know much more than you,” Tuchel added. “Maybe it’s the opposite! That’s the thing we are in, we are also in entertainment and that is why it is like this.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Tuchel shared his sense of humor when discussing the impacts on the club and budgets being cut for travel and many other things:
“Let’s see if it stays like this. If it does, I don’t know. We take it day by day. I didn’t see that coming yesterday and I don’t know what is coming tomorrow. Everybody can be very sure that we focus on us, to keep the attitude and the mentality right on the training ground and within the team. So far we can trust each other and this will not change. As long as we have enough shirts and a bus to drive to the games we will be there and will compete hard.”
Chelsea star Mason Mount added the following to the BBC: “You can’t really avoid it as there’s a lot going on. We have to focus on what we do on the pitch. We had a game today and that was the only thing we could focus on. We did that today so now it’s about Sunday. You try not to look too much into it.”
Chelsea fans sing Abramovich’s name
During the win at Norwich, Chelsea’s fans sung the name of Roman Abramovich despite the sanctions.
The head coach of Chelsea’s women’s side, Emma Hayes, also discussed the ongoing uncertainty over contract situations and admitted there are so many unanswered questions as the UK government will effectively decide how things unfold for the Blues.
With pressure mounting on Tuchel and his players to keep performing on the pitch while Chelsea descends into chaos off it, there are sure to be plenty of twists and turns ahead for the Blues and their star manager and players.
However, with four-straight wins in the Premier League they are certainly staying focused on the task in hand.
Before the game, this is what Tuchel had to say:
"I'm still happy to be here, still happy to be manager of a strong football team."
Thomas Tuchel speaks on the situation at Chelsea ahead of their match against Norwich. pic.twitter.com/0V4BqQW3gC
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) March 10, 2022