Chelsea director Petr Cech breaks his silence after Russian owner Roman Abramovich hands over control of the club to trustees… with the iconic Blues goalkeeper admitting the invasion of Ukraine ‘is a distraction’ ahead of Carabao Cup final at Wembley
- Petr Cech broke his silence on the situation at Chelsea and the Russian invasion
- He said the events in Ukraine have been distracting for the club ahead of the final
- Thomas Tuchel’s side take on Liverpool in Sunday’s League Cup final at Wembley
Petr Cech says the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been a distraction for Chelsea ahead of Sunday’s League Cup final, but insists Thomas Tuchel’s side have tried to prepare for the fixture ‘normally’.
Cech’s comments about the distractions Chelsea have faced come just hours after owner Roman Abramovich announced that he was handing the ‘stewardship and care of club to the trustees of their charitable foundation.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Liverpool at Wembley, Cech said: ‘We cannot deny that there is a conflict and war in Europe that is affecting everybody.
‘Every human being has their thoughts with those affected and it is the same at our club. We obviously hope that the situation will be resolved as soon as possible.
‘As a club we prepare the game and try to do things as normal, but it is a distraction, not only for the players but everyone around the world.’
Chelsea will play against Liverpool just hours after owner Abramovich announced he would be handing the ‘stewardship and care of Chelsea FC’ to the trustees of the club’s charitable foundation.
The decision came after it was revealed that the billionaire could face stringent sanctions from the Government – having been linked to the wider situation of Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Petr Cech says the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been a distraction for the club and public
Abramovich, 55 has come under renewed scrutiny after Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, with the revelation last week that in 2019 the Home Office linked the billionaire to the Russian state as well as ‘corrupt activity and practices’.
However, Abramovich has denied that he has direct links to Putin or that there are any grounds to sanction him.
Additionally, Downing Street have refrained from adding Abramovich to the list of those to be punished after Putin launched the strike in Ukraine.
His comments came ahead of Chelsea’s Cup final against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon
Nevertheless, Abramovich’s announcement caused concern among Chelsea fans as they thought the Russian chief was relinquishing his ownership and walking away.
Such as decision would have raised serious questions about the future of the Premier League club.
As it stands, the London based club owes Abramovich about £1.5bn in loans to Chelsea’s parent company, Fordstam Ltd, which he also owns.
However, despite the announcement, Abramovich remains the owner. Saturday night’s announcement was more ‘symbolic’ than technical.
As a result, little will change change at the club, on or off the pitch, aside from Abramovich ‘stepping back’ to let the charity trustees be nominally in charge.
Owner Roman Abramovich relinquished control to the trustees of the charitable foundation
Abramovich (C) has been linked with Vladimir Putin’s regime, with his club now under fire
Abramovich’s statement said: ‘During my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea FC, I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the club, whose job it is ensuring we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future, while also playing a positive role in our communities.
‘I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart. I remain committed to these values. That is why I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.
‘I believe that currently they are in the best position to look after the interests of the club, players, staff, and fans.’
While the club released a statement just hours before Chelsea’s Cup final, saying: ‘The situation in Ukraine is horrific and devastating. Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace.’
The trustees of the foundation now at the helm of Chelsea are Bruce Buck, John Devine, Emma Hayes, Piara Powar, Seb Coe and Sir Hugh Robertson.
They will be responsible for guiding Chelsea through this turbulent time.