Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said his team would make no excuses ahead of their Champions League last-16 second leg against Lille, despite being subjected to strict restrictions as a result of the British government’s sanctions against Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
The Premier League club operates under a special license after the British government last week froze Abramovich’s assets as part of a series of punitive measures following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The license prevents Chelsea and billionaire Abramovich – whom the British government describes as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle – from generating new revenue.
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Chelsea are barred from selling tickets and cannot spend more than £20,000 per game on travel expenses, even though the Blues are lobbying ministers for a much-needed raise.
The Champions League champions will travel to face Lille in the last 16 of the Champions League, Thursday (17/3) early morning WIB. Chelsea have the opportunity to reach the quarter-finals after winning 2-0 in the first leg match.
Tuchel admits Chelsea were forced to make adjustments.
“There are limits and we have to adjust them,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday (15/3). “There are adjustments in the number of our staff traveling, the number of rooms we use in hotels and how we arrive at the game.”
“In my understanding we can reach a professional level because it’s not about luxury, it’s not about bling-bling.” said the manager from Germany, as quoted by AFP.
“As long as we have the shirt, as long as we live, as long as we are a team and we arrive with our players, we will be competitive and we will fight hard for our success because we owe it to the people who support us.”
Previously, Chelsea], Tuesday (15/3) withdrew a request that Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough be played behind closed doors for the sake of justice after they were banned from selling new tickets for the match at the Riverside Stadium.
Championship side Middlesbrough responded angrily, saying the request was ‘weird and completely unfounded’.
The FA later confirmed the match would take place in front of supporters as planned.
“After constructive talks between the FA and Chelsea, the club have agreed to withdraw their request for the FA Cup quarter-final match against Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors,” an FA spokesman tweeted.
“The FA remains in ongoing discussions with Chelsea, the Premier League and the government to find a solution that will allow Chelsea fans to attend matches and visiting fans to come to Stamford Bridge, while ensuring sanctions are respected.” (Ant/OL-1)