Thomas Tuchel continues to handle the footballing side of the crisis at and around Chelsea Football Club with the utmost aplomb, but there’s only so much he can do, or should be expected to do for that matter.
Still, as he’s made it repeatedly clear, he’s ready and willing to do whatever it takes to keep playing, to keep trying to maintain a sense of normalcy, routine, commitment, and focus — for not just his team and the fans, but for the sake of all employees and those who rely on Chelsea for more than just entertainment. (See also: Emma Hayes.)
And while Tuchel’s now made the “I’ll drive the bus if I have to” joke a couple times now, we’re pretty sure that he would indeed get behind the wheel if it were absolutely necessary. Fortunately, the upcoming trip to Lille has already been arranged and paid for, and the operating Licence is expected to be amended if we have any more European trips coming up later this season.
“This is what makes Chelsea special, and Chelsea a top club. It’s a commitment, quality of support and a commitment from everybody in the whole building. In the end, that’s the foundation, or maybe the top of a strong, strong club. This is what we try to maintain. So it has not changed so much. At the moment it’s the same.”
“My last information is we are getting a plane [to Lille]. So we can go by plane and come back by plane. If not, we’ll go by train. If not, we’ll go by bus. If not, I’ll drive a seven-seater. Honestly, I will do it. You can mark my words, I will do to arrive there.
“If you asked me 20 years ago, 30 years ago, if I would join a Champions League match at the sideline and what I was willing to do, I’d say, ‘ok, where do I have to be and when?’ Why should this change?
“I will be there and we will be there. Of course, organisation wise, there are some negotiations going on and talks, but it doesn’t influence me. That’s what I mean, we have brilliant guys who organise the travel and we have, in every department, such committed people that at the moment things feel pretty normal.”
While we’ve been able to, more or less, maintain business as usual on the pitch and on the training ground, the harsh reality is that the club’s future is very much shrouded in mystery and with the added uncertainty of everything seemingly dependent on the whims of politicians, public perception, and media narratives.
I’m just looking after my mates. Our fans at the 90th minute singing for the team will live with me forever. We’ve got you and you’ve got us. I love my club. https://t.co/6Zc7COyhoB— Emma Hayes OBE (@emmahayes1) March 13, 2022
But Tuchel has also made it very clear that he’s committed to the club when asked if he will stay “until at least the end of the season”, while hoping that the sale goes through soon and we have clarity for the way forward.
“There’s no doubt I’ll stay until the end of the season. Absolutely. We just have to wait and we still have to go day-by-day because everything can change.
“As you know the situation is clear, the club’s for sale, and hopefully, it will go through to sort things out and give us a perspective. But it’s pure speculation and I have no further information than you already have.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Prior to the match, technical director advisor Petr Čech also spoke to Sky Sports, and made it clear that we’re going to stay the course as long as we can, as long as we’re allowed to, and hope that the financial and ownership situation can be resolved in the meantime quickly with the sale of the club.