‘Too early’ to know impact of sanctions on Chelsea, says Tuchel

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insists it is “too early” to draw conclusions on what the sanctions placed on owner Roman Abramovich will mean for the club this summer and beyond.

The UK government announced prior to Chelsea’s 3-1 away win over Norwich City on Thursday that Abramovich would have his assets frozen as part of a financial crackdown on Russian oligarchs following the invasion of Ukraine.

Chelsea have been granted a special licence to allow the club to continue operating but, as it stands, they will not be able to sign players, sell merchandise or new tickets for home games, and Abramovich will not be able to benefit from a sale of the club.

Chelsea say they are in discussions with the government over amendments to the current terms of the licence – which expires on 31 May – and Tuchel says he has full trust in those involved in the talks.

“It’s way too early to talk about it. I don’t exactly know the rules about the current situation and licence,” he said.

“I trust in everybody who is in charge and I trust the people who are in charge at 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 actions in the summer.

“We were all surprised by today’s news but it’s too early to have an outlook for the summer.

“Some players will feel uncertainty, some will maybe be a bit frightened, some will be concerned. It’s normal.

“It’s also not only about the players. We have a lot of people who are staff and are in the club who are also maybe worried and scared and uncertain.”

Chelsea have not agreed new deals with Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen – who are all out of contract at the end of this season – and under the terms of the current licence, Chelsea appear to be unable to offer them new contracts.

But speaking after the win over Norwich, Tuchel maintained that his focus is on the pitch.

“It changed this morning and we had a game to prepare for,” he added.

“I’m not sure if I’m the right person to speak about it because I don’t have the full information and as the club has already said, there are negotiations and talks and discussions with the government on the licence.

“Even if this is maybe, for you, not enough, at some point I allow myself to be a football coach and the manager of a first team.”