Tag Archives: fiasco

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

Author: RT
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.

Also on rt.com ‘We saved football’: Chelsea go from villains to heroes as Abramovich set to pull team out of Super League (VIDEO)

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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The real winners of the European Super League fiasco: Spartak Moscow join clubs in flirting with disgruntled fans on social media

Author RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

While some of the most high-profile football clubs in the world have suffered a week of public relations disasters, the likes of Spartak Moscow have produced ingenious Super League ripostes, picking up new fans along the way.

As the 12 clubs to have joined the widely-derided new European Super League (ESL) have been blasted for their social media posts coldly announcing their involvement and swift departure, other teams around the world have come up with inspired responses to the bombshell news that has left many supporters questioning whether the game has lost its soul.

Russian giants Spartak Moscow, who watched on while the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and five Premier League clubs declared their departure from the established European competition system to take part in the multi-billion dollar new format, were one of the first teams out of the blocks.

“If you need a new club to support, we’re always here for you,” wrote the third-placed Russian Premier League team to lovers of all of the clubs planning to break away, also featuring Italian heavyweights AC Milan and Inter Milan and LaLiga contenders Atletico Madrid.

The enterprising announcement swiftly went way beyond Spartak’s relatively modest Twitter following of more than 35,000, earning well over 300,000 likes and retweets within 48 hours, as well as more than 5,500 replies in a worthy reward for the welcome touch of humor amid angry accusations of greed and cynicism towards the ESL.

If there were far more eyes than usual on Spartak, their newfound admirers would not have been overwhelmed by their latest result – a 3-0 home defeat to relegation-threatened Ufa which might have reminded Chelsea fans of their recent shock 5-2 capitulation to West Brom, or Manchester United followers of their 6-1 drubbing by Tottenham earlier this season.

While top-flight clubs in England, Italy, France and Spain issued press releases distancing themselves from the ESL and denouncing the move that went behind their backs, some smaller clubs had a field day.

Bray Wanderers, who play in the League of Ireland First Division and have a stadium capacity of 7,000, received laughter and admiration from around the world by writing: “We wish to confirm that we will not be taking part in any European Super League.”

Some suggested that Bray were little further from deserving to be recognized as European contenders than Tottenham and Arsenal, given how far the north London rivals are from qualifying for continental competition through the merit of their league positions following poor campaigns for both clubs.

“Huge respect to Bayern Munich and Bray Wanderers for not joining the Super League,” applauded one reader, referring to the refusal of the Champions League holders and German champions to join what was perceived almost unanimously by fans as a sham.

Bohemian Football Club, based in Dublin, also demonstrated Irish wit and a talent for videography.

Accompanying their post with a film comparing the differences between watching United on television and a local club in person, the 131-year-old club offered a message that almost all sporting institutions around the world would endorse.

“Forget the Super League,” they urged. “Support your local team in your city with your friends and family – wherever that may be.”
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