- Three suspended its sponsorship after Abramovich sanctions
- Manager admits players concerned about what could happen
Thomas Tuchel has responded favourably to a suggestion that the front of Chelsea’s shirts could carry “a message for peace” after Three suspended its sponsorship. The manager also admitted players were concerned about what could happen at the club and in some cases may be frightened.
Tuchel was talking after Roman Abramovich was hit with UK government sanctions, plunging Chelsea into limbo. A swift impact was Three’s withdrawal of support until further notice. The government said it had clear evidence that Abramovich was connected to the Vladimir Putin regime and, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Tuchel would be happy to see Chelsea’s shirts carry a message for peace.
Chelsea’s stadium, Stamford Bridge
Potential Chelsea buyers told they can approach UK government
“You can always wear a message for peace and it can never be the wrong message,” he said, before adopting a more lighthearted tone. “Of course maybe the worry is to find enough shirts that we can play with the sanctions! But as long as we have enough shirts and as long as the bus is full of fuel we will arrive and we will be competitive. This is what everybody can be sure of and what we demand of ourselves. When it’s a big storm you dig in and you are all together.”
Chelsea won at Norwich on Thursday and play again on Sunday, at home to Newcastle. Tuchel acknowledged the emotions in the dressing room when asked whether continuing to win would be the best way for the players to insulate themselves from off-pitch issues.
“It’s always the best way, to carry on winning,” he said. “It’s maybe a bit more difficult because of the noise. Some players will feel uncertainty, some will maybe be a bit frightened, some will be concerned. It’s normal and it’s also not only about the players. We have a lot of people in the staff and the club who are also maybe also worried and scared and uncertain
Billionaires interested in buying Chelsea have been told to approach the UK government with potential takeover proposals. Tuchel said he did not think the club’s future was under immediate threat.
“I trust in everybody who is in charge [at Chelsea] and I trust the people in charge for the government to find a solution that keeps us going through the season and of course gives us the possibility to be in charge of our action in the summer,” he said.
With Newcastle under Saudi Arabian control it was put to Tuchel that neutrals may want neither team to win at Stamford Bridge. “Maybe, but I don’t care,” he said. “I want us to win.”
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