It looks like Chelsea’s fate could be in a precarious position as Labour MP urges the government to seize Roman Abramovich ‘s UK assets amid political turbulence
Roman Abramovich barely misses the list of people to be sanctioned
Roman Abramowich escapes the radar as PM Boris Johnson introduces a new raft of sanctions amid Russian invasion of Ukraine. MP Labour Chris Bryant apparently wasn’t pleased with the official list as it missed the name of Roman Abramowich, the Russian billionaire and the owner of Chelsea Football Club.
After the escalation of Russian-Ukraine conflict, the Russian oligarchs and banks have been slapped with heavy sanctions. The U.K government has imposed an asset freeze against all major Russian financial subsidiaries operating in the country. These measures are understood to hamper the Russian economy in response to their full scale invasion of Ukraine.
The government revealed the list containing 5 Russian oligarchs who will likely face a ban on entering Britain and doing any kind of business in the country. Despite this list of economic outlaws, the Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramowich has barely avoided the clampdown.
An insight into why Roman Abramowich is an important name both in The U.K and Russia
Roman Abramowich made his fortune following the collapse of the Soviet Union by acquiring newly privatised Russian oil assets through a controversial program. He then went on and bought Chelsea in 2003 for a reported fee of £140 million. Since his ownership, the club has won 18 major trophies. The club has undergone serious growth under Roman Abramowich. Roman has also invested a lot into the club and continues to pump money into building and growing it even further.
Despite recent developments on the political front, Roman Abramowich has managed to fly under the radar. His name has not yet been on the list of banned Russian oligarchs and businessmen. However, he was identified as a person of interest by the Home Office in 2019 due to his alleged close ties to Vladimir Putin and his involvement in corruption practices.
Chris Bryant tries to influence the parliament to strip Roman off his U.K assets
Capitalising on this information, the Labour MP Chris Bryant insisted his name be added to the list of those complicit in the matter. He also tried to back his claims by providing a leaked document as a proof of the Russian billionaire’s activities. He told the parliament:
“I’ve got hold of a leaked document from 2019, from the Home Office, which says in relation to Mr Abramovich: ‘As part of HMG’s [Her Majesty’s government] Russia strategy aimed at targeting illicit finance and malign activity, Abramovich remains of interest to HMG due to his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices’.
He continued quoting the document:
‘HMG is focused on ensuring individuals linked to illicit finance and malign activity are unable to base themselves in the UK, and will use the relevant tools at its disposal, including immigration powers, to prevent this.'”
Bryant also added:
“That’s nearly three years ago. And yet remarkably little has been done. Surely Mr Abramovich should no longer be able to own a football club in this country? Surely we should be looking at seizing some of his assets, including his £150m home, and making sure that other people who have had tier 1 visas like this are not engaged in malign activity in the UK?”
Despite all this, Roman Abramowich has repeatedly contested the reports that allegedly hint at his involvement in questionable state activities and even his ties with Vladimir Putin. So far, the claims made by Bryant haven’t been substantiated. Additionally, the Russian billionaire stands his ground and insists he hasn’t done anything to warrant the sanctions.
PM Boris Johnson updating on the sanctions to be imposed on Russian oligarchs, entities and financial subsidiaries
Roman Abramowich celebrating the club victory as Chelsea owner
WATCH: Rudiger with a towering header from a corner to double our lead at the Bernabeu!
Champions League: Chelsea head to Real Madrid for quarter-final second leg as defense hangs in balance
Chelsea 3-1 down ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second leg at Real Madrid; Man City take a slender one-goal advantage to Atletico Madrid on Wednesday; Liverpool have one foot in semi-finals after 3-1 win over Benfica in first leg; Villarreal take 1-0 lead to Bayern Munich
WE’RE LEVEL ON AGGREGATE! Rudiger with a towering header from a corner to double our lead at the Bernabeu!
Click the Link: https://streamff.com/v/1e2bcd
Chelsea have tied it. Rudiger with the header. We got ourselves a game. pic.twitter.com/XmJzKITZCz
— Barstool Football (@StoolFootball) April 12, 2022
Real Madrid 0-2 Chelsea | GOAL! Rudiger.
— All Goals. (@AllGoals_) April 12, 2022
“The tie is not alive” – Thomas Tuchel visibly frustrated after punishingly harsh Real Madrid defeat
Chelsea’s wretched form post two-week international break continued on Wednesday as they fell 1-3 at Stamford Bridge in the first-leg of Champions League quarter-finals. Looking back at the last two clashes, there are more reasons for concern than optimism, especially considering the frequency of Chelsea men’s individual errors, that can potentially leave Chelsea’s dreams of European glory in tatters. Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel was seen visibly frustrated during the post match interview, following his side’s dismal run of conceding 7 home goals in just two games.
‘It is a heavy loss,’ admitted Thomas Tuchel.
‘It was one of the worst first halves that I saw from us here at Stamford Bridge. At this kind of level you cannot play like this individually or as a team.
‘From all of us, we were by far not good enough, we were not doing what we are used to doing. The first half was so far from any standards that we set ourselves.’
Yesterday’s game was the most dramatic example of one player single-handedly steering his team to victory. Karim Benzema bullied the Blues to the brink of Champions League exit with a sublime hat-trick, his second of this year’s Champions League campaign.
Chelsea desperately sought to make a statement of intent in the first-half through a creative and aggressive Reece James, who Tuchel positioned very high up the pitch so as to benefit from his incredible dribbling and crossing. However, this tactical decision was laced with risk as it left Christensen isolated in the centre against Vinicius and Benzema, costing them back-to-back goals from the Frenchman in the space of 3 minutes.
Thomas Tuchel on Andreas Christensen's struggles vs Vinicius Jr:
"Yes, my mistake."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 6, 2022
Thomas Tuchel explained the reasons behind Chelsea’s struggling first-half;
‘Everything went wrong in the first half. It was not only about when we pass, how we pass. It was also the intensity in challenges and the desire.
‘In the second half I think we had 16 shots to one shot. You can always come back and equalise but if you concede again after 48 minutes it is harder and harder. Still, we had chances in the second half to make it 3-2 and this could have been crucial but not today.’
Kai Havertz’s header before the half-time only proved to be a mere consolation as a dreadful Mendy error within a minute of the restart allowed Banzema to capitalise on the blunder and claim the matchball, re-establishing his side’s 2-goal lead, making the scoreline 1-3.
Displeased with his team’s display, missed opportunities, expensive misjudgements and even his own decisions regarding tactical rotation and substitutions, Thomas Tuchel said;
‘We wanted to change the formation and to turn things around because I think personally there was enough where we could hurt them but we were so far off our level in everything the game demands – tactically, individually, in shape.
‘We tried to play in a new formation but we killed the game off with a big mistake after three minutes. It was a tactical change and like always it’s never on one or two players, it’s on all of us and I’m included in this.’
He also added:
‘We have to find our level back. I don’t know where it is since the international break but the first half today was a repetition of the second half against Brentford.
‘In a quarter-final against Real Madrid, you cannot expect a result from this kind of performance.’
When asked about Chelsea’s future matches and if a tie-overturn was still a possibility according to him, Thomas Tuchel replied;
‘The tie is not alive with this performance. How many clubs in worldwide football won with a three-goal difference? It’s only realistic to answer like this so we shouldn’t think I’m giving the wrong message. We need to find our competitive spirit, our quality, and then we can talk.
‘I worry more about Southampton than Real Madrid in the next week, that’s my focus. We have to get things ready for Saturday and not think about the Bernabeu because on Saturday we face Southampton and if we continue to play like this, we will not get a point.
‘I think this is very important to process this first, it is crucial. We have to make sure everybody processes this.’
Thomas Tuchel on being unhappy:
"What do you expect, to stand here and smile? No we don't have to go to Madrid, we go to Southampton. This is very important and crucial to go there. I will make sure everybody processes this."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 6, 2022
Real Madrid stole a commanding lead in the Champions League quarter-final first-leg against Chelsea, leaving them a mountain to climb in the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu.
WATCH: Thiago Silva’s wife, Belle, triggered by commentator’s indiscreet remark on her husband
Thiago Silva’s wife, Belle, was left furious after a commentator criticised the defender’s performance during Chelsea’s shock defeat to Brentford on Saturday, a game that was hosted at Stamford Bridge.
She rushed to defend her husband, taking to her Instagram and making her feelings known over the said incident.
The criticism of any kind is basically challenging someone’s ability, which is why in response to feeling judged, anyone would recoil. When it comes to sports, particularly punditry and especially commentary, criticism and harsh analysis have become a firm premise of the football way of life.
An example of one such case was highlighted on Saturday as a TV commentator, who was covering the Chelsea v Brentford fixture live, singled out the blues centre-back, Thiago Silva, making a scapegoat of him and criticising his lack of attacking, inevitably attributing the loss to his perceived flaws, rather indirectly.
Despite the stellar opening goal from Rüdiger, Chelsea failed to maintain their lead and went on to concede 4 goals from the bottom-table side. Such an underwhelming and abysmal display of footballing ability left the players unable to keep their heads held high and made them a subject of criticisim from pundits, commentators, and fans as well.
Thiago Silva’s wife, who is known for her very active social media presence and for publicly voicing her opinions, didn’t appreciate the slander and reacted aggressively to the judgment that was passed on her husband. Here’s what she posted on her story;
Belle Silva very assertively defended her husband’s reputation against the commentator overstating Silva’s lack of forward presence and demanded that her husband should be allowed some leeway in his performance as he had just returned from international duty with Brazil.
“Respect him, he’s not a machine. He needs to relax, alright?”, said Belle.
Being outclassed by a team with hallmarks of a struggling club is stressful enough but then having your name being pronounced as someone lacking effort despite your commendable record at the club will certainly call for repurcussions.
Thiago Silva responded to the loss in his own social media message that read;
Good days make you happy. Bad days bring you experience. Both are essential for life.Happiness makes you good, but troubles make you strong. Pain keeps you human, falls keep you humble.Success keeps you bright, but only GOD keeps you standing (Denzel Washington). WE keep going 👊🏽 pic.twitter.com/V6pI7md9QL
— Thiago Silva (@tsilva3) April 2, 2022
There’s a growing need for commentators to realise that they are in a position of great responsibility, considering their opinions reach millions of people. Therefore, they need to be conscious of their harsh and/or critical analyses that could potentially put the players in a negative light, making them an easy target for abuse.