Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel ‘still happy’ to be Blues boss after owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel (left) and Norwich City boss Dean Smith
Tuchel’s side played Dean Smith’s Norwich City on the day the UK government sanctioned Abramovich

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says he is “still happy” to be manager of the club after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government.

The move is intended to stop Abramovich making money from Chelsea.

“I’m not sure I am concerned, but I am aware of it,” said Tuchel before his side played Norwich City on Thursday.

Chelsea boss Tuchel added: “It changes almost every day. I am still happy to be here and still happy to be manager of a strong team. I know there is a lot of noise around.”

Chelsea women were also in action on Thursday as they played West Ham in the WSL.

“There’s no denying it’s a difficult day,” said manager Emma Hayes.

“I’m the leader of this team and we’re going to have to navigate a difficult period – one I don’t have all the answers for.

“With every day we’ll get more answers. I’m really looking forward to switching off for 90 minutes.”

Tuchel was appointed Chelsea manager in January 2021 and led the club to victory in the Champions League last season.

The German added: “It is quite a big change from yesterday to today but we can’t influence it, we didn’t cause the situation.

“In the moment, it seems that business, let’s say football-wise, is more or less protected, but let’s see.

“I feel privileged to have the chance to be involved in games, coaching and football that I love.”

Abramovich had put the European champions up for sale on 2 March after the threat of sanctions was raised in Parliament.

The introduction of sanctions eight days later means Chelsea cannot sell further match tickets, although the government has issued a special licence that will allow the club to fulfil its fixtures, staff to be paid and existing ticket-holders to attend matches.

However, Chelsea’s shirt sponsor, telecommunications company Three, has requested to “temporarily suspend” its deal with the club.

Chelsea will be unable to buy or sell players, or offer new contracts, while the sanctions are imposed on Abramovich. Chelsea-owned players who are on loan at other clubs will be able to continue to play for those clubs.

The London club’s merchandise shop has also been shut.

Chelsea have said they “intend to engage in discussions” with the government and will seek amendments to the special licence to “allow the club to operate as normal as possible”.

The government is open to considering a further addition to the special licence which will allow the sale of the club.

A condition for that to happen would be that Abramovich – one of Russia’s richest people and believed to be close to Russian president Vladimir Putin – receives no funds.

He has previously said proceeds of any sale would be donated to “victims of the war in Ukraine”.

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