The Blues chairman has been trying to calm tensions around the club’s stance ahead of a clash against the lowly Seagulls
Chelsea’s players and staff have held a meeting with club chairman Bruce Buck ahead of a clash with Brighton on Tuesday night, with fears regarding the breakaway Super League competition up for discussion.
The Blues have been threatened with losing their spot in the Champions League, where they are due to face Real Madrid in the semi-finals next week, while they could be kicked out of UEFA competition next season as well.
International performers, meanwhile, may be banned from competing in this summer’s European Championship if sanctions are pushed through.
What will the Chelsea players and manager walk into tonight?
Both the players and manager Thomas Tuchel have been put in an uncomfortable position of fronting up the leadership’s decision to join a new Super League.
There was no communication from above ahead of the announcement on Sunday evening, leaving club staff to receive the news in the same way that the general public did.
It is thought that several players in the Blues group are concerned after hearing UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin threaten action on them in the coming weeks should the club stand firm.
Liverpool are the first side from the big six that will join the 12-team competition to have played since an announcement was made. They were booed by their own fans outside Leeds United’s stadium Elland Road on Monday.
Chelsea’s supporters will show solidarity with Liverpool fans tonight by protesting their own club’s decision to break away from the structures and traditions of football.
They will also look to take down fan-made banners inside Stamford Bridge without the ability to show their discontent in the stadium due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
There has also been a surge in membership for the Chelsea Supporters Trust (CST), who represent complaints from fans over the Super League issue.
What did Tuchel say?
Indeed, it will add another intriguing element to their crucial clash with Brighton, where the west London club are supposed to be competing for a top-four place. Now, they are unsure what it all means and Tuchel admitted last night that he is out of the loop and concerned that matters outside of his control could prove to be a distraction.
“It’s maybe impossible for the players to not to be influenced by any of it. But it’s too early and there are a lot of opinions out there.
“Hopefully, we can stay calm, like we are, and can influence the players so they don’t get distracted. Hopefully, we can bring the performance we need for tomorrow’s game.
“I am not [surprised that they made this decision]. I would be surprised if they interfere in my line ups or training but I am not surprised they don’t include their coach in sports politics or future decisions, which is clearly the board’s job to do.
“I can totally understand the emotion on this and you want more response from Chelsea. I can absolutely understand every single argument but it has to be clear that I am not the guy for these questions. I am not part of the board or these decisions.
“I am not part of the work that was put in or not put in. I don’t know the details of all this and that’s why. I can understand that you want more answers to get the bigger picture but I am clearly not the guy. I coach the team to get results on the pitch and tomorrow against Brighton.
“I can understand that this does not satisfy you.”
During the press conference, the Blues tried to shut down questions on the Super League and after asking one of the club’s board to speak about it, the preview for the upcoming Premier League match was cut short.