At the end of what was actually a wonderful evening, it only took one question to put Thomas Tuchel in a bad mood. “Thank you for ruining my night,” replied the penalty-plagued Chelsea manager after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals. The question was directed at what Tuchel thought about the fact that his team might have to play in front of empty ranks there. “He was in such a good mood. Can we talk about this once it’s confirmed? Let’s wait for the confirmation to be confirmed.”
According to Sky Sports, the current champion will not be able to sell tickets for the queen category quarterfinals either, which will be drawn on Friday (12 noon). By doing so, UEFA would be agreeing to the British government’s requirements that the club cannot sell new tickets. However, season ticket holders can attend league matches.
There is also a question mark over whether Chelsea will advance to the quarter-finals on 5/6. and 12./13. April can compete at all. Because Chelsea can only spend about 24,000 euros on trips away from home. While the costs of the round of 16 second leg in Lille were already paid before conditions were imposed, Tuchel is now almost hopeful of being lured by Liverpool or Manchester City. Then he could manage the trip on the bus, and thus on the budget. For duels with Bayern, Real Madrid, Villarreal, Atlético Madrid or Benfica Lisboa, the flight plan of a low-cost airline would have to serve.
“We hope and hope to continue. We want to remain competitive. It cost us a lot of victims and we fought hard to reach the quarterfinals”, said Tuchel after advancing convincingly at OSC Lille. “We are looking forward to the draw”, emphasized the 48-year-old despite all the circumstances.
Friday is also the deadline for all Chelsea prospects.
Anticipation must also be fueled by the growing number of stakeholders. Only on Wednesday, the American billionaire Ricketts family entered the scene as a potential buyer, and a few hours later a consortium led by former Olympic champion in athletics Sebastian Coe confirmed its interest. “I know this offer is for millions of Chelsea fans around the world. We love our club and will always put the fans first,” the 65-year-old said.
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Friday is not only the draw, but also the deadline for anyone interested in Chelsea to submit an official offer. The time is finishing. It seems questionable whether a $1 billion deal can be completed within the two weeks to the quarterfinals. The British government can be persuaded to ease sanctions against Chelsea once negotiations with the new owners are on the right track. However, there probably won’t be enough time for a lot of ticket sales. (dpa)