Tag Archives: Abramovich

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel sends message to Roman Abramovich and makes transfer statement

Thomas Tuchel wants to become the first long-term manager of the Roman Abramovich era and has told the Chelsea owner he can build a dynasty. Victory in the Champions League final against Manchester City capped a stunning turnaround in four months for the German.
But he laid out his long term vision to Abramovich at a meeting yesterday to hammer out a new deal which could see him stay at the club until 2024.

Asked whether he could be the man to end the hire-and-fire policy at Stamford Bridge in order to create sustained long-term success, Tuchel said: We have to check with the owner if this is his plan, I think it’s possible.

“It’s always possible because the foundation is very, very strong.

“If we really want to build something, I’m all in, I can tell you. And I’m happy to talk about it and discuss it. If our beliefs match, we go from there.”

Saturday’s victory over Manchester City triggered an extension clause in Tuchel’s 18-month contract which was set to run out next summer.

JUST IN: Chelsea: Granovskaia’s great comments on Tuchel as trophy returns

“It’s a constant thing to never deny change.

“That you always bring new energy, new guys who question the old beliefs, who challenge everybody in the training and in matches, so I think it’s a good thing.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel sends Roman Abramovich message on future before Man City clash

Thomas Tuchel has made it clear to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich he’s keen to sign a new contract if one can be put on the table. Tuchel is six months into his current 18-month deal but insists he’s as happy as he’s ever been in his career at Stamford Bridge.
The German was axed by Paris Saint-Germain back in December and then took over from the sacked Frank Lampard at Chelsea in late January.

Chelsea had lost five of their previous eight league games under Lampard to slip down to 10th in the Premier League table.

But upon his appointment Tuchel oversaw a 15-match unbeaten run across all competitions and eventually led the Blues to fourth in the league in the final standings.

In Europe the Londoners also saw off Atletico Madrid, Porto and Real Madrid to reach a first Champions League final since 2012, in which they will face Manchester City in Portugal on Saturday night.

Chelsea reached the FA Cup final too but fell 1-0 to Leicester thanks to Youri Tielemans’ sublime long-range strike at Wembley.

Yet even though they could still end the season trophyless if they lose to City in Porto, their improvement under Tuchel has been immense.

And the former Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and PSG boss insists he’s never been happier as he hinted he’d like a new long-term contract from Russian billionaire Abramovich.

It is thought the original deal Tuchel signed would extend automatically if Chelsea reached the Champions League for each of the two years of his initial tenure.

But Chelsea are understood to be keen to extend Tuchel’s stay beyond his current deal meaning an agreement could be found after the Champions League final.

Tuchel said this week when asked about his future: “This is very easy. I’m just so happy to be here.

“I never felt so good since I was in Mainz and this feels like the perfect place and the perfect moment for the perfect place.

“I’m so happy to be here, so whatever will come will come. We cannot force things, but, of course, this is my point of view and this is very clear.”

He said: “It’s one of the nicest weeks that you can have in football. You’re one of the only two teams that are still in training. This is very, very special.

“Hopefully the players take their time to also picture it, to connect to where they came from when they were little boys with the ball under their arm in the park or in their first clubs and dreamed about becoming professionals.

“This is the moment to picture it. [This is] what we do it for. Why do you do it? Why was this dream so big? [This is the moment] to connect you to the little boy in you and feel the joy and at the same time the hunger to fulfil your dream.

“It feels like I’m in the perfect place at the perfect time. I feel very, very good.

“Hopefully it’s like this but I know we have to deliver. It’s about timing, not only about results sometimes but the chemistry, the moment, the team. Everything feels very, very good now.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Roman Abramovich has a Champions League final again

Nine years after beating Bayern Munich in Germany and 13 years since his Moscow misery in a defeat on penalties to Man United, Roman Abramovich has a Champions League final to look forward to again after Chelsea beat Real Madrid.

A European campaign that had looked unpromising under Frank Lampard could now conclude with glory after an all-English final against Premier League leaders Manchester City, Chelsea’s spot sealed by a confident 2-0 win against 13-time winners Madrid at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

For a man whose conviction and success in front of goal has frequently been questioned during his first season at the club, Timo Werner could not have asked for more of a gift than the goal with which he put his side ahead after 28 minutes, the rebound from Kai Havertz’s chip onto the crossbar falling to him to nod in from point-blank range to make it 2-1 on aggregate.

“I had to wait a long time for the ball coming down,” the Germany forward admitted to BT Sport afterwards. “It felt like hours waiting for the ball to come… it was an easy goal for me.

“One thing you can say to us today is that we could have decided the game earlier in the second half but, in the end, it’s not easy to play against Real Madrid and we did it very, very well.”

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was on inspired form, tipping a fierce strike and powerful header from hitman Karim Benzema away in a pair of fine first-half saves.

The danger was almost all from Chelsea in the second half, yet the wastefulness Werner alluded to felt as if it might haunt them after Havertz and N’Golo Kante – the star man again, repeating his majestic showing in Spain – both saw shots saved by former Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois when they were through on goal.

Any nerves were finally calmed when Mason Mount became the first English goalscorer in a UEFA Champions League semi-final since Wayne Rooney more than ten years ago, sweeping in the second with five minutes remaining after American prodigy Christian Pulisic had created space to fire in a cross down the right.

“Real Madrid can turn nothing into goals, so you’re always on the edge,” said Thomas Tuchel, the coach brought in by Abramovich in January in a ruthless replacement of Frank Lampard that has turned out to be inspired.

“To hang in there, even if you have big chances that you miss and you miss again, to never lose the concentration, focus and positive energy on the pitch – it was a huge performance and well deserved.”

“We could have scored so much earlier and more to be safe, but it’s no time for criticism now. It’s a fantastic achievement; big congratulations to the team.”

Chelsea have been also-rans in Europe in recent seasons and were crushed 7-1 by reigning champions Bayern Munich last year. They are now 90 minutes from their third Champions League trophy against Abramovich, having already beaten City under Tuchel in a 1-0 FA Cup semi-final win this season.

Werner praised Tuchel for allowing his squad to enjoy home comforts rather than endure a hotel stay the night before beating Madrid.

“I know the managers love everybody to go to a hotel before a game because they have everybody together,” he smiled.

“For us players, it’s the best thing when you can sleep at home in your bed – when you are around your family, your normal home. It has worked for [recent] games, it worked today and I think it’s a good thing that the manager decided to do it.”

Tuchel made the final with Paris Saint-Germain next year. When it was put to him that reaching the showpiece again was a symbol of his abilities as a coach, he laughed: “Or not, because it’s not the same club.”

“I’m very, very happy that we’ve achieved this,” he said. “I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to live my life in football. To have this passion as a profession, I’m more than grateful – and to do it on this level, to coach a team like this and to reach the final for a second time, I’m very thankful.”

Chelsea are scheduled to face City in the showdown in Istanbul on May 29.

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This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

Water under the Bridge: Chelsea boss Tuchel says ‘no need for Abramovich to apologize to him’ for Super League fiasco

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This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has said he is not expecting an apology from owner Roman Abramovich over the Super League farce, with the German admitting he had not spoken to the Russian billionaire since taking over in January.

Chelsea were among the 12 rebel teams to rock world football at the start of the week when they declared they were breaking away to form a new European Super League.

After a massive backlash from fans, the media, and governing bodies UEFA and FIFA, the six English clubs involved in the venture backed down, starting with Chelsea and Manchester City.

The west London club saw large fan protests outside their Stamford Bridge home before they played Brighton on Tuesday night, which included supporters blocking the team bus as it attempted to enter the stadium.

Anger turned to jubilation after the news broke that owner Abramovich had ordered the Blues hierarchy to prepare procedures for them to pull out of the doomed project.

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After Chelsea were held at home 0-0 against Brighton, Tuchel admitted that his team had been disrupted by the furor heading into the match.  

“I was affected so I think the players were affected,” Tuchel had said. “We talk of nothing else but Super League before the match.

“Nobody asked about the match before. It is like this. You have to accept the distraction. We tried to create an atmosphere to win the game but could not.”

Chelsea were vilified along with the other 12 clubs for going along with the project in the first place, even though they were said to have been reluctant to join and had only done so at a late stage.

Abramovich at least emerged with some credit for moving swiftly to reverse the damage, and has escaped some of the opprobrium aimed at officials at other clubs, including the American owners of Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

At the latter of those clubs, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta revealed this week that owner Stan Kroenke had apologized to him for the chaotic past few days.

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When asked on Friday whether Abramovich had done the same with him, or if he was expecting the famously secretive Russian to reach out, Tuchel said there was no need for the gesture.

“No, nobody needs to apologize,” the 47-year-old German said at a press conference ahead of the crunch Premier League meeting with top-four rivals West Ham on Saturday.     

“I have not spoken to the owner since I arrived which is absolutely not a problem.

“But I was in a dialogue with the club before and after the match [against Brighton] and so I was informed that we were pulling out, and that was pretty much all I needed to prepare the next match against West Ham.

“But it’s all already in the past and I don’t think they need to apologize to me,” he added.

Chelsea fans’ anger over the Super League misadventure appears to have largely been directed at figures at the club other than billionaire oligarch Abramovich.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust named chairman Bruce Buck as being among the sources of their anger.

When Tuchel was asked about the notion that fans’ sentiments towards Abramovich might be affected, he played down that suggestion.

“I don’t think that it affects in general the opinion on what our owner does for the club, for the community, does for the women’s team, for the academy and the senior team,” he said.

Chelsea announced on Friday that the club was freezing general admission season ticket and matchday prices for next season, as well as confirming plans for “significant upgrades” to Stamford Bridge.

That step, however, was promptly accused of being an attempt to placate fans and a cynical bid to repair the damage done in recent days.

Since Abramovich took over in 2003, Chelsea have enjoyed the most successful period in their history, winning five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, the UEFA Champions League and two UEFA Europa League crowns.

This season they are into the Champions League semi-finals, where they face Real Madrid.   

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Lampard hails ‘incredible time’ despite being axed by Roman Abramovich at Chelsea and admits snubbing ‘not quite right’ job offers

Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says there are no hard feeling between him and Roman Abramovich after he was sacked by the London club in January, while admitting he has also been in heavy demand from a string of new clubs.

Chelsea legend and all-time top scorer Lampard was unceremoniously booted out by the Blues in January after a dismal run of form threatened the Londoners Champions League qualification ambitions. 

Thomas Tuchel, who was similarly deemed surplus to requirements by his former employers Paris Saint-Germain on Christmas Eve, filled Lampard’s vacancy in the Stamford Bridge dugout, where he has overseen a dramatic upturn in form, much of which he has publicly attributed to the groundwork and investment in youth undertaken by Lampard in his season-and-a-half in charge.

Lampard could perhaps be forgiven for harboring some ill-intent towards Roman Abramovich and his right-hand woman Marina Granovskaia for shunting him from the club – but the 106-times capped former England international resisted any such statements when prodded in a recent interview.
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I’m absolutely appreciative of the opportunity I had to manage Chelsea,” said Lampard at a question-and-answer session in aid of the Willow Foundation. 

It was an incredible time. Everyone knows how I felt about the club.”

Lampard’s magnanimous words match those of Russian owner Abramovich, who issued a rare statement after sacking Lampard in January to pay tribute to arguably the club’s best ever midfielder.

This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” Abramovich said at the time.

He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. 

He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.

With history well and truly covered, Lampard soon turned to the future, with the ex-Derby boss revealing that he has been approached by several clubs since January but that he has spurned each and every advance thus far.

Football has consumed my life, firstly as a player and then as a manager,” he said. “Nobody wants to lose their job. But when you go into this career, it can happen –no matter how good you think you are. 

I’ve had some opportunities that have come up in the last six weeks, two months, that have been flattering, but not the right thing. They were not quite right.

Lampard had been heavily linked with the Celtic job which would have opened a new chapter in his rivalry with Rangers boss and former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, while he has also been touted for the England under-21 position currently occupied by Aidy Boothroyd. 
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Whichever offer Lampard ends up taking, he says that he is just looking forward to resuming his career on the training ground.

“It would be something I’m very keen to do in the right time and place,” he said of a potential new role. “My eyes are always on it.

I’m always watching football and trying to get better. I’ll try and find the right time and right opportunity. I’m very keen to get working again.

How much it consumes you when you’re in it is a big deal. You cannot take away your love of the game. I like to keep involved.”
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Chelsea hit with Erling Haaland transfer delay as Tuchel makes Abramovich request

Chelsea join wonderkid race

Chelsea have reportedly joined Manchester United and Barcelona in the race to sign Valencia wonderkid Fabio Blanco.

The three clubs are battling it out to land the 17-year-old, according to Spanish publication AS.

Right winger Blanco has been dubbed ‘the new Ferran Torres’ due to similarities with his former Valencia club-mate, who joined Manchester City in the summer.

He currently plays for the La Liga club’s under-19 side and will be out of contract this summer.

That has alerted Chelsea as well as United and Barcelona – while Real Madrid, City, AC Milan and Juventus are also reported to be interested.

‘False and damaging’: Roman Abramovich suing publishers & author after claims Putin ordered him to buy Chelsea

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is suing publishers HarperCollins and author Catherine Belton over “false claims” made in her book ‘Putin’s People’, which the billionaire says is causing damage to the club’s reputation.

Abramovich announced legal action on Monday against the publishers and Belton, who is the former Moscow correspondent for the Financial Times.

Belton’s book ‘Putin’s People’, published last year, includes claims from fugitive investor and Kremlin critic Sergei Pugachev that Abramovich was personally ordered by President Vladimir Putin to buy Chelsea back in 2003.

“The book contains a number of false and defamatory statements about me, including about my purchase, and the activities, of Chelsea Football Club,” read a statement from Abramovich on the London club’s website.

“Today’s action was not taken lightly. It has never been my ambition to gain a public profile and I have always been reluctant to provide commentary on any matters, including any false or misleading statements about me or Chelsea Football Club.

“However, it has become clear that the false allegations in this book are having a damaging effect, not only on my personal reputation, but also in respect of the activities of Chelsea Football Club.”

Abramovich added: “My objective has been to avoid a legal case and my legal team has engaged with the publishers to try to find an amicable resolution.

“We have provided them with detailed information addressing the various false allegations about me in the book, including the repetition of allegations that have already been held to be false in the English High Court during previous legal proceedings.

“Unfortunately, these engagements were not successful, and the publisher has not corrected the false statements in the book.”
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Abramovich took over as Chelsea owner from Ken Bates in the summer of 2003 and set about transforming the club’s fortunes.

The Russian businessman is said to have invested well over £1 billion ($ 1.38 billion) in the ensuing years, which have been the most successful in Chelsea’s history.

Under Abramovich’s tenure the Stamford Bridge club have won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, the UEFA Champions League and two UEFA Europa League crowns.

“In contrast to the portrayal in the book, my ambition with Chelsea Football Club has always been to create world class teams on the pitch and to ensure the club plays a positive role in all of its communities,” Abramovich added in his statement.

“I believe our successes and activities over the years speak for themselves, including the trophies won, expansion of the Chelsea Academy, development of the Women’s team and the Chelsea Foundation becoming the largest charitable organisation within the Premier League.

“It is my hope that today’s action will not only refute the false allegations in regard to my own name, but also serve as a reminder of Chelsea’s positive footprint in the UK. I have every belief that the courts will give me a fair hearing, as they have in the past.”
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Abramovich’s time as owner has not been without its problems. The 54-year-oligarch has not been seen at a Chelsea home game for more than two years, after suffering visa issues amid the fallout over the Skripal spy poisoning row between Russia and the UK.

Figures at Chelsea have frequently asserted that Abramovich remains fully committed to the club, as evidenced by the more than £200 million spending spree on new talent which the Blues owner sanctioned before the start of the current season.

Neither HarperCollins nor Belton – whose Twitter account is a steady stream of anti-Kremlin posts – have thus far responded to Abramovich’s statement.
Also on rt.com ‘I’m shocked every time’: Chelsea owner Abramovich blasts ‘evil’ antisemitism & racism, lauds ‘huge potential’ of women’s football

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‘I’m shocked every time’: Chelsea owner Abramovich blasts ‘evil’ antisemitism & racism, lauds ‘huge potential’ of women's football

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has opened up on his enduring passion for the club, blasting discrimination while lavishing praise on the Blues’ women’s team and admitting that he has never wanted to have a “public profile”.

Discussing his acquisition of the English Premier League giants for around $ 194 million in 2002, Abramovich has spoken of his thrill at the move that transformed English football and pointed to the surprise factor of the game as the key reason for his enduring enthusiasm.

Abramovich oversaw the creation of the club’s women’s team in the second year of his tenure, with the Russian billionaire providing a base at the overhauled Cobham training base, a separate stadium and travel to international matches for the female side.

“I think investment pays off,” Abramovich told Forbes, praising Emma Hayes, the long-serving coach of the Women’s Super League champions, as “remarkable”.

“I think their success demonstrates what can be achieved when you dedicate resources and the right leadership.

“I see no reason why clubs wouldn’t want to support women’s football and provide the best possible opportunity for them to succeed.

“For me, this is both about the principle, but, also, women’s football has huge potential. If women’s football received the same level as support as men’s football, the sport would obviously be equally successful on the business side.”

Abramovich described the women’s side as “critical” to Chelsea, and reaffirmed his determined to continue to oversee the club’s work in the community and against intolerance.
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“Racism, antisemitism, this is all the same type of evil and should have no place on our world at this day and age,” the 54-year-old said.

“Every time I get sent examples of racist abuse that our players face, I am shocked. It’s disgraceful that this is the reality for not just our players, but for anyone targeted by this sort of abuse.

“If we, as a club, can make a difference in this area, in fighting antisemitism, racism and promoting tolerance, I am determined to stand behind it and contribute in whatever way I can.”

“These are very, very big themes and they are very, very important. Things at that level require me to personally show that I am behind it and that I am accountable.” 
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Known for shunning the spotlight, Abramovich is enchanted by the absence of a “set formula for winning football matches.”

“It has never been my ambition to have a public profile,” he said. “It is not helpful to provide additional running commentary.

“A coach and his or her squad have to consider many factors when approaching each match.

“It’s like every few days is a new exam and the work you have put in gets evaluated. I enjoyed, and still enjoy, the unpredictability and seeing how each game plays out.”
Also on rt.com ‘Get out of it’: Chief who sold Chelsea to Roman Abramovich slams foreign owners, tells United, Liverpool to leave Premier League

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‘Get out of it’: Chief who sold Chelsea to Roman Abramovich slams foreign owners, tells United, Liverpool to leave Premier League

Ex-Chelsea supremo Ken Bates has said that American-owned Man United and Liverpool should have been allowed to resign from the Premier League last year, slating England’s “weak” Football Association (FA) over foreign owner rules.

Businessman and hotelier Ken Bates bought the Blues for less than $ 2 in 1982, playing a role in the creation of the Premier League ten years later before becoming one of the most prominent and notoriously forthright owners in the English top flight.

Despite his successful sale of his shares in Chelsea to Roman Abramovich for around $ 24.5 million in 2003, Bates believes that the governing body should tighten its rules around foreign ownership and has been unimpressed with the approaches he has perceived rival Premier League heavyweights as taking.

“Manchester United owned by Americans. Liverpool owned by other Americans,” Bates told The Telegraph, discussing the much-maligned Project Big Picture discussions that were panned when they were held over proposals to transform English football last autumn.

“The first thing they said was, ‘let’s reduce the Premier League by two clubs.’ Let those two resign.

“Get out of it. Nobody asked for them to come. The great thing about English football is you kick off [at the start of each season] in August and all start even.

“What you did 20 years ago has nothing to do with what you do today. The trouble is that the FA are very weak.

“I found that when I was on the FA council and the FA board. They should have introduced rules preventing foreign ownership of football clubs.”

Bates, who later took over at current top-flight side Leeds during their struggles, credited himself with “rebuilding” Chelsea and said that their win in the 1998 Super Cup was his crowning glory.

“We were champions of Europe and 16 years before we were bankrupt,” he claimed. “We couldn’t pay the players’ wages. It hasn’t been a bad journey.”

Now based in Monaco, Bates believes that English football authorities should add taxes to payments involved in the transfers of foreign players and charge outgoing transfer fees against tax.

“That will bring down the transfer fees, reduce the number of foreign players coming in and let the English players play in their English league,” he argued.

Bates sold his stake in Leeds to Bahrain-based GFH Capital in 2013. He was briefly installed as club president at Elland Road before claiming that he had been sacked over a dispute involving a company jet contract, said to have been worth around $ 700,000 over three years and partly used to transport him between Monaco and the UK.
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