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Tuchel ‘not a politician’ as Abramovich cloud hangs over Chelsea

London (AFP) – Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel expressed his frustration at being plagued with questions on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with the future of the club’s ownership structure still unclear.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich on Saturday revealed he plans to place his ownership of the European champions into the “stewardship and care” of the Chelsea Foundation’s trustees.

Abramovich has not been named on a growing British sanctions list targeting Russian banks, businesses and pro-Kremlin billionaires.

But British Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran used parliamentary privilege last week to name Abramovich as one of 35 “key enablers” to President Vladimir Putin who should be sanctioned personally by the UK.

Ahead of Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth round tie at Luton, Tuchel was repeatedly asked about the atrocities of the war and what Abramovich’s stance means for the club going forward.

“Listen, you have to stop, honestly. I’m not a politician,” said Tuchel.

“I never experienced war. So even to talk about it, I feel bad, because I’m very privileged, I sit here in peace.

“I do the best I can because you have to stop asking me these questions because I have no answers for you.”

Tuchel insisted that the day-to-day football operations of the club have not been affected by Abramovich stepping back, with director Marina Granovskaia and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech still in position.

“For me as a coach and in charge of the first team that decision does not change too much the daily business,” he added.

“Because I’m in the daily exchange with Petr Cech and very regular exchange with Marina about how to improve the first team.

“This will not stop because they stay in charge. But the role from Mr. Abramovich is not on me to comment, because I simply don’t know enough about it.”

On the field, Chelsea lost out on the first domestic silverware of the season in a marathon penalty shootout against Liverpool in Sunday’s League Cup final at Wembley.

But they still have two more trophies to play for in the FA Cup and Champions League, as well as looking to consolidate their position in the top four of the Premier League.

Tuchel admitted the scenes from Ukraine are proving a “distraction” but believes most people in Europe are facing the same problem.

“There is a huge distraction now going on and we are worried,” he added.

“But at the end, we still try to create an atmosphere to come to work and focus on our work which is our passion and we are very, very grateful and very privileged to have it.

“It’s not that big a problem. But I think everybody in Europe, more or less, has some noise in their heads that nobody likes.

“Maybe it’s the same for you but still you try to do your job as best as possible, and it’s the same for us.”

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Ra

    March 2, 2022 at 8:23 am

    Like many, I read and listened a lot recently about the war in the NYT, WP, and The Economist. The best piece was the Ezra Klein Podcast with Adam Tooze. (https //www.nytimes.com/2022/03/01/opinion/ezra-klein-podcast-adam-tooze.html).
    He talks about Russia’s late history, Putin’s rise, China’s calculus in the conflict, and how the freeze of Russia’s central bank by the West is unlike something we ever saw before akin to a Financial Tactical Nuclear bomb, and will certainly shape the economy and our lives moving forward. I highly recommend it.

  2. Ra

    March 1, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    Here is their official statement. Just the kind you issue when both sides are at fault. What a shame. This could easily be broadcast on Russian primetime TV if there were not insisting still that it only amounts to a very limited operation in a brotherly country.
    “The situation in Ukraine is horrific and devastating. Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace.”

  3. Roberto

    March 1, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    My hope is bankruptcy for Chelsea, they have already shown moral bankruptcy, now complete the deal with financial bankruptcy!

  4. Ra

    March 1, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    The one he did yesterday he just mumbled jumbled Chelsea’s official statement written by the Kremlin..

  5. Jim

    March 1, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    He was asked about Abromovich, not Putin. I am pretty damn sure if he were asked about the invasion of Ukraine he would(if he hasn’t already) denounce it without hesitation.

  6. Ra

    March 1, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    Nonsense. It is not difficult, and they do not need to be a politician to defend basic human rights. They just need to be clear about who is at fault here.

    What people want to hear them say is that Putin is a genocide invading Ukraine and targeting innocent people, and that must be stopped immediately.
    But apparently, they are not willing to displease their masters.
    We are not only looking for peace, but for a peace where Ukrainians are not subdued by Russia.

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