Petr Cech spoke at length about the “difficult situation” at Chelsea following Roman Abramovich’s sanctioning while also saying he is “devastated” about the war in Ukraine
Petr Cech admits Chelsea are surviving “day by day” amid doubts over their ability to complete the season following the sanctioning of owner Roman Abramovich.
The Blues are unable to sell tickets or merchandise as part of sweeping restrictions imposed after the government added Abramovich to its sanctioned individuals list on Thursday.
The oligarch has ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has faced mass condemnation for invading Ukraine in an act of aggression which has displaced millions of civilians and claimed tens of thousands of lives.
The Chelsea are facing are minute in comparison difficulties yet there is concern for the immediate future of the club with the threat of administration looming, although they have been granted a special sporting license to continue football-related activities.
Adding to the uncertainty, Abramovich – whom the Premier League disqualified as a director – is in the process of selling the Blues with numerous consortia interested in taking over at Stamford Bridge.
In the meantime, the future of Chelsea’s players and manager, Thomas Tuchel, are also unclear as the club are prohibited from extending contracts.
Cech, who serves as a technical and performance advisor for the West Londoners, discussed each of these topics during a wide-ranging interview with Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon ahead of the top-flight clash against Newcastle.
Here is the transcript in full.
On Ukraine situation
Before I answer that question, I would like to say I am devastated to see what has been happening in Ukraine and of course, our thoughts are with them and the victims of the situation. And I hope the situation improves because the situation is affecting a lot of people.”
On Chelsea uncertainty
“It has been a difficult situation at the football club because there has been a lot of questions but not a lot of answers. We are determined to focus on things that we can control and working with people, supporting people and focusing on each other, making sure we can play the games. Probably the only thing we can control is the team, and of course we would like to keep the integrity of the football club which is possible.”
On completing the Premier League season
“Well we have to admit that we go day by day, as we do not have this situation in our hands. The conversations are going on and we hope that we can try to operate the way that we can finish the season. Obviously it is a difficult season because we are part of the Premier League, one of the best competitions in the world and I believe that for us to be able to carry on to finish the season would obviously help everyone involved in the Premier League.”
On conversations with the government
“That is something that I am not involved in but we have the board and people from the club talking to the government everyday about the current license and how we can operate, and what we can do to try and finish the season the best way that we can. It is a conversation that are constantly going over and over but we are going day by day, trying to focus on every game and we are hoping that the situation is clearer soon.”
On paying staff wages at Chelsea
“We hope so, we hope the people working for the club are able to earn their salaries and live their lives. Hopefully, as I said, this is a difficult situation and a difficult question for me to answer because the license could change as it is a day to day situation.”
On out of contract players
“That is something we do not know at the moment that is why the conversations are going on. We would like to know these answers as soon as possible so we know how we can operate with the team going forward. Unfortunately as I already said, we go day by day and need to at the moment, listen to the advice given to us by the government.”
On Thomas Tuchel
“Thomas is contracted until 2024 and as it stands, the contracts should be able to run through until they are meant to finish and we hope to have him as a coach because since has come in he has been absolutely brilliant, but it is another thing because tomorrow, the situation could change and my answer is then irrelevant.”
On message to potential buyers
“Chelsea Football Club has 107 years of history and obviously have had a lot of success, with that coming down to the hard work and dedication of of the people who have worked for the club since it was founded and have been on this journey of success Of course, I hear around that people are trying to erase the last 19 years of the football community but this is not about money, this is about dedication and hard work of the players and the people behind the scenes to make the club successful. We have done it within all of the rules and all of the financial fair play and everything that was in our power, and this should not be forgotten.”
On Abramovich era ending
“Well sometimes in the careers of the players, the managers come and leave, they sometimes change the owners as we have seen in the past with different clubs. We know that we are in the same situation but ours is a lot different in that our circumstances are far more complicated than other clubs have experienced. We go day by day, and hope the new owner will come and will want to continue the legacy of this football club and keep them competitive and to take care of the community and all the other stuff the football club is involved in.”