Journal De Bruxelles - Tuchel says Chelsea will 'stay strong' despite Abramovich sale

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Tuchel says Chelsea will 'stay strong' despite Abramovich sale
Tuchel says Chelsea will 'stay strong' despite Abramovich sale

Tuchel says Chelsea will 'stay strong' despite Abramovich sale

Thomas Tuchel said Friday he was convinced that Chelsea "will stay a strong club" after Roman Abramovich's dramatic announcement he was selling up following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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The Russian billionaire, alleged to have close links to President Vladimir Putin, said it was in the "best interest" of the Champions League holders if he cut ties with the European champions after 19 trophy-laden years in charge.

His announcement came just before Chelsea's midweek FA Cup match at Championship side Luton, which they won 3-2.

Tuchel said the club's players and staff were briefed on the situation the following day by Petr Cech, Chelsea's technical and performance advisor.

"It does not make sense to worry too much because we don't have a lot of influence, not to say no influence at all, so that was the bottom line," he told reporters on the eve of his side's Premier League match at struggling Burnley.

"We are allowed to focus on football and do the best to focus on football."

The German was asked whether he would have a problem staying at Stamford Bridge, given the upheaval.

"I love working in the Premier League," he said. "I love to be in England and feel the tradition and the love for sports in general and football in particular. It's an amazing place to be.

"Chelsea is from my point of view a perfect fit. I love to be here, I love everything about the club and hopefully it continues. There is now an uncertainty but isn't it always as a football manager?"

Tuchel admitted the situation at Stamford could affect his players but said everybody at the club would react differently.

"I hope for the best outcome," he said. "Still I think we have something to offer. Still I think Chelsea is a strong club and will stay a strong club.

"Our owner decided to sell the club but he sells a strong, solid and a very well-organised club on the highest level."

Abramovich has not been named on a growing British sanctions list targeting Russian banks, businesses and pro-Kremlin tycoons following Putin's attack on Ukraine.

But the 55-year-old's concern about potential seizure of assets is understood to have sparked his move to off-load the Blues.

Tuchel spoke warmly about the Russian's legacy at Chelsea.

"It is exceptional, it speaks for itself," he said. "He is a very, very passionate owner who cares actually about the team, about the club, about the performance personally, which is very rare and makes it very special."