Thomas Tuchel: Chelsea head coach admits takeover talks were a distraction for players | Soccer News
Thomas Tuchel admits the ongoing sale of Chelsea has been a factor in his side’s poor form in the Premier League.
Todd Boehly will become the majority owner of Chelsea when the US mogul’s consortium completes the purchase of the club from Stamford Bridge for £4.25billion. Eldridge Industries founder and Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Boehly will have the most influence in the consortium that buys Chelsea from Roman Abramovich.
Clearlake Capital co-founder Behdad Eghbali will work closely with Boehly and is expected to play an active role in major financial decisions. The Californian company Clearlake should take the majority of the shares of the Boehly consortium.
Chelsea blew a two-goal lead in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Wolves and still need four more points to be assured of Champions League football in their three remaining games – starting at Leeds Wednesday, live on sky sports.
When asked if the ongoing takeover process had been a distraction for the playing and coaching staff, Chelsea head coach Tuchel said: “For sure, I don’t don’t think there’s any sense in hiding from the fact that it’s a distraction. It’s a matter of how far we can still live even if we’re distracted, worried or disadvantaged by it.
“We did great results until the international break and it had no effect in terms of results – in fact, it had almost the opposite effect on results. We felt very strong during the difficulties and when announcing the sanctions in place.
“But something very human and normal happened with the players who weren’t there. [during the March internationals]. There were also different influences on them, maybe more thoughts on the situation in general and now the situation has been very long. Players want to feel competitive and know what’s happening next season.
“Some players like Toni [Antonio Rudiger] then decided to change clubs, so every day it becomes a little more difficult. It’s not impossible, but it gets harder and it has an influence. We are looking for a level where we are always competitive and win games. Still ain’t an excuse but it sure is a reason [for the form].
“These are positive signs and it feels like it’s coming to an end which will give us the opportunity to act [in the summer transfer market] but at the moment we are not there yet.”
Tuchel revealed he has yet to meet Boehly, but says he is encouraged by developments over the past week.
The German added: “Nothing has changed for us here at Cobham as we are still waiting for confirmation and for things to progress to have news for you and for us and our players. We are still waiting for news to inject positive energy.
“We are the only club at the moment to suffer like this and maybe the first club to have done this. It is a unique and quite difficult situation. Of course everyone wants this clarified.
“It’s a step in the right direction. We’ve been waiting for it for a long time because we need the positive energy and the competitive atmosphere as a club. That’s why it’s very important that things move forward.”
Chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia are expected to retain their roles once the Chelsea takeover is complete, with the sale still ongoing to close before the May 31 deadline.
Only Premier League and government approval now stand between Boehly’s consortium and the owner of Chelsea. Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The way now remains clear for Boehly and his winning consortium to complete the sale of Chelsea well before the May 31 deadline when the Blues’ temporary license expires.
Boehly could even complete the deal to take charge before the end of the season, with Chelsea hosting Watford on May 22 to close out their Premier League campaign.
Chelsea have collected just eight points from their possible last 21 – and Tuchel has sympathy for his players after a grueling period of competition in several competitions.
“We look a bit tired and a bit mentally exhausted,” Tuchel continued. “Given the way we play and the circumstances surrounding the club, it’s understandable. There was a lot of emotion in the Champions League games with Real Madrid and then suddenly being back in a run in the Premier League. [for top four] and also at Wembley [for the FA Cup]. It’s quite difficult and you can feel it.
“We have to reach a certain level which is possible and better than what we have done in the last two games, but the positive thing is that I can feel the positive motivation to turn things around.
“There was no lack of motivation and investment. These are good signs and we still have confidence in the team. It’s time to stay calm and move forward step by step to complete the season on a positive note.”
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