Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel delivers verdict on Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell Chelsea.
After nearly 20 years in charge of the club, Abramovich has made it clear he will be selling Chelsea amid accusations that he has ‘close ties’ with Vladimir Putin.
The timing of the release was just an hour before the Blues’ FA Cup clash with Luton Town confirming he has decided to sell the club.
In a statement on the club’s website, Abramovich wrote:
“I would like to address the speculation in media over the past few days in relation to my ownership of Chelsea FC.
“As I have stated before, I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart. In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners.
“The sale of the Club will not be fast-tracked but will follow due process. I will not be asking for any loans to be repaid. This has never been about business nor money for me, but about pure passion for the game and Club.
“Moreover, I have instructed my team to set up a charitable foundation where all net proceeds from the sale will be donated. The foundation will be for the benefit of all victims of the war in Ukraine
“I am not aware of any details and I’m not aware of the whole situation. There are situations that are much, much more important than football.
“This will never change. Situations like war are so much more important.
“Everyone in Europe has noise in their head that nobody likes. Still you try to come to work and try to d o the best in your job as possible.”
Tuchel had already given his pre-match interviews before the news broke but was inevitably asked for his thoughts after watching his side come from behind to beat Luton 3-2.
“Maybe I heard it a little bit earlier than you but still it was very, very close to the kick-off,” the German told BBC Sport.
“We had the rumours throughout the day and it’s on TV and, of course, when we have team meetings and we eat together the guys talk about it, everybody talks about it.
“It is big news. Let’s wait and see for the best and see what the day brings
On if it is the right decision.
“I think every decision he takes is the right decision. It’s his choice, his club and it’s not for me to comment.”
On what it means for the club.
“Even if I want to answer, I don’t exactly know it.
“In the very short term i think for us as a team, staff and players, hopefully not too much, maybe it will change nothing.
“But the situation is now out there, it is a big situation so I can understanding there will be a lot of reports.
’It’s not like a job – it’s like a second home’
“But we’ll do what we try to do, to cancel the noise and to stay focused which is not always easy.
“We showed again today we are able to do it and we try again on Saturday.”
However, as reporters continued to probe on the ‘horrors of war’ and Abramovich’s connections, Tuchel grew increasingly incensed, before launching into a scathing tirade.
“Listen, listen, listen… You have to stop. I’m not a politician. You have to stop, honestly. I can only repeat it. And I even feel bad to repeat it, because I’ve never experienced war.
“So even to talk about it, I feel bad, because I am very privileged. I sit here in peace.
“I do the best I can, but you have to stop asking me these questions. I have no answers for you.”
Chelsea battled to victory over Luton town but were made to come from behind twice at Kenilworth Road to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Goals from Saul Niguez, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku yesterday were enough to send Chelsea to the FA Cup quarter-final.