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'We are the only club that suffers like this' - Tuchel admits Chelsea takeover has been a 'distraction' amid poor recent form

15:35 BST 10/05/2022
Thomas Tuchel Chelsea 2021-22
The German says the Blues have had to deal with challenges that their rivals have not had to face

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admits the speculation about the club’s takeover has been a “distraction” that has contributed to his team's poor recent form.

American Todd Boehly, co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, is part of a consortium that has beaten a series of rival bidders to complete its takeover of the Premier League club.

However, it has taken several weeks to get to this point and Tuchel believes that uncertainty has directly impacted on-pitch performances.

What did Tuchel say about Chelsea’s takeover?

Chelsea travel to Leeds on Wednesday having won just one of their last five Premier League matches, and even that was a last-gasp 1-0 win at home to West Ham.

Reflecting on his team’s patchy recent form, Tuchel lamented the takeover talk, telling reporters: “We are the only club in the moment that suffers like this, maybe the first club that ever did this. It is a situation that is unique and a situation that is quite challenging.

“Of course, everybody hopes for the situation to be clarified. These are steps in the right direction. We are waiting for it since a long time. We need the positive energy and competitive atmosphere at the club. It is very important for things to progress.”

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale at the start of March as he came under increasing pressure due to his alleged ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin amid the country's invasion of Ukraine.

A few days later, the UK government imposed sanctions on the Russian billionaire and froze his assets. That news directly affected Chelsea, who needed a special licence from the government in order to continue operating.

All that off-field upheaval did not immediately impact on-field performances – the team won all six of their matches in March – but Tuchel feels the players were slowly affected by the uncertainty as time went on.

“It has for sure [been a distraction]. I think there’s no sense in hiding from the fact that it is a distraction,” said the German. “It is a matter of how much level we can reach up even if we are distracted or worried or disadvantaged by it. We did excellent until the international break, it had no effect in terms of results. It had almost the opposite effect.

"We felt strong during the difficulties and the announcement, the sanctions in place. Maybe something also very human and normal took place, in the moment of two weeks off or one week off with the players not here, there were different influences to them and maybe more thoughts to the situation in general.

"The situation is now very, very long and the players also want to feel competitive and know what’s going on next season. A player, a guy like Toni [Rudiger] decided to change the club. With everyday it gets a bit more difficult, not impossible. We are still looking to reach the level and be competitive, win games. It is no excuse but for sure is a reason."

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