“Our hands are tied”
Abramovich invalidates Tuchel
By Stephan Uersfeld
April 28, 2022, at 19.35
Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel must see when Liverpool and Manchester City dominate football nationally and internationally. His hands are also tied when he plans for the upcoming season due to the sanctions against Roman Abramovich. Sales of Blues are dragging out.
Thomas Tuchel is worried about Chelsea. The coach of the traditional London club is concerned about the club’s competitiveness, which is prevented from planning for the coming season due to the sanctions against the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, and who must helplessly watch the defense series’ emigration. German national team player Antonio Rüdiger is leaving the club on a free transfer, presumably in the direction of Real Madrid. The Dane Andreas Christensen is about to switch to FC Barcelona, also without transfer compensation.
Not a good situation for Tuchel and Chelsea, who are also not allowed to extend contracts and sign players due to the sanctions. Things could be better for the ‘Blues’, who are well behind the super teams Manchester City and Liverpool ahead of today’s match against Manchester United in the Premier League. One of these two clubs could also take the Champions League crown internationally. Chelsea only remain the role of spectator. Only the FA Cup title can still be won. There it is against Jürgen Klopp’s hungry title hunters and thus against the currently strongest football team in the world.
To make matters worse, Chelsea slipped away from the current season with the entry into force of sanctions against Abramovich and the resulting chaotic conditions. “In a normal season there would also be uncertainties, but of course we would have contacted some players and found out what their situation was,” Tuchel complained at the pre-match press conference: “But of course our hands are tied now. “internally, we’re still talking, but we can not act. The situation is not ideal.”
Unlike clubs like Manchester City, who are digging into Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, or local rivals Arsenal, whose plans for the coming season are already far ahead, Tuchel, according to technical director Edu, can only dream of what the future may look like, he can shape it not her. Like the rest of the clubs that are suddenly in a whole new situation. “We do not have a stable situation and that would make it difficult,” Tuchel said. “Everyone is doing it for the first time. We are trying to stay engaged and passionate. That is an important message. As soon as we can act, we will try to act and change things. ”
The takeover battle
However, it is still unclear when that will be the case. In recent days, the three remaining bidding groups have held their presentation in Chelsea, where it will now be decided who will be the new owners of Stamford Bridge. The finalists are a thoroughly glamorous trio of applicants from the United States, who traveled to the English capital along with representatives of the American financial provider Raine. Raine is monitoring the sale of the traditional club, which can bring in a record sum for a sports club of almost three billion euros. To what extent Abramovich will benefit from this in the future is not yet known. Above all, the British government currently wants to ensure that this is not the case with the sale. His assets remain frozen and his role in the war against Ukraine remains unclear.
The list is led by a group around the co-owner of the LA Dodgers, Todd Boehly, who, however, must win over a consortium around FC Augsburg financier David Blitzer. Blitzer and his partner Josh Harris already control the NBA club Philadelphia 76ers. They could come up with two stars this week. Formula 1 legend Lewis Hamilton and tennis icon Serena Williams promised their rather symbolic financial support for the bid. The latter group is formed around Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who has recruited another influential figure from North American sports in Lerry Tenenbaum. With Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Tenenbaum owns three professional clubs in Canada: the Toronto Raptors in the NBA, the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL and the football club Toronto FC.
A declaration of love
Once the favorite is determined, the process continues. First, the Premier League must agree, then it is up to the British Ministry of Culture, Media and Sport, which must finally approve the sale and ensure that the oligarch does not personally benefit from it at the moment. All this may take a few more weeks. Weeks where Chelsea coach Tuchel can continue to plan his squad in his head, but where he and his club will be bound by the sanctions against the still owner Roman Abramovich.
“Ultimately, we will dig in and try to squeeze everything we have out of the team,” Tuchel said, “Ultimately, it’s my job, no matter how and when the situation is resolved.” And the world coach also had a promise in his luggage: “I know myself, I want to fall in love again with the team I have and try to push them to the limit.” However, the limit may be significantly lower in the future.