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Thomas Tuchel was grateful to have a match to focus on after Chelsea were thrown into uncertainty on Thursday with the freezing of club owner Roman Abramovich’s assets.
Chelsea were in Norfolk to face Norwich City, coming away with a 3-1 victory thanks to a professional display led by Mason Mount and Kai Havertz.
But earlier in the day, it was confirmed by the British government that Abramovich was among the latest high-profile Russian figures and entities to be hit by sanctions in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich, who has previously been photographed with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was in the process of trying to sell Chelsea, and sanctions have put sales in doubt despite the oligarch claiming the proceeds would have been donated to war victims.
While Chelsea have been given a special sports license to continue to operate as a football club, they were imposed measures including a ban on selling goods and tickets to holders of non-season tickets.
It threw a wrap over Chelsea on their way into Thursday’s match, but Tuchel feels that the fact that they were already preparing for a match helped the squad keep their focus away from off-field matters.
Tuchel told BeIN Sports: “It’s big news, of course big influence, that’s why it’s big news. It’s the subject of all talk [in the squad].
“Normally we might have talked about the Champions League matches from yesterday, but no one talked about it, only the effects of the new facts about the club.
“In the end, it’s also nice to get into a fixed program that is approaching a match. So there are three hours before [the game] we eat and then we have a tactical meeting, then a set piece meeting, then we go to the stadium.
“So it helps you focus because we’re used to it. In the end, we can not influence it, we did not cause the situation, so we allowed ourselves to enjoy the fact that we are here and are privileged to play football. in the Premier League and we wanted to show the best things.
“Sometimes it’s good to sweat it out, so we tried to work hard, tried to convince the team to work really hard together, and sometimes it’s the best thing to get the focus back.”
Certain sections of Chelsea support have criticized the media for asking Tuchel about off-field matters since Abramovich announced he had put the club up for sale.
There have been suggestions that Tuchel should only be asked questions that relate specifically to the football his team is playing, but the German seemed relaxed in terms of having to answer on off-field topics.
“I would love to talk about sports, but I understand that [the media] have many questions, ”he continued.
“Unfortunately, I do not know much more than you, maybe it is the opposite, but we are also an entertainment, and that is why it is so.”