Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel insists players and coaches have no say in proposals for a European Super League and admits the decision is ‘above our heads’.
Chelsea are one of six Premier League sides to have confirmed their agreement to join a breakaway competition, the division’s traditional ‘big six’ joining leading sides from Spain and Italy to form a tournament that threatens to cause catastrophic changes to European football.
The new league will rival the Champions League as the biggest event in club football, with the 12 already announced sides, plus an expected further three clubs, set to be the 15 founders who are guaranteed entry each season.
Just five additional places will be allocated to sides based on a qualification system, the ‘closed shop’ aspect of the tournament having sparked outrage from leading figures within the sport who have lambasted the financial greed of Europe’s elite.
UEFA, FIFA and leading bodies including the Premier League have condemned an announcement that came via a joint-statement from participating clubs on Sunday, the latter condemning ‘any proposal that attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart of the domestic and European football pyramid’.
Players and participating clubs have also been threatened with being banned from several competitions, including the World Cup and other major international tournaments.
Despite the outrage that has surrounded the footballing world over the past 24 hours, there has been minimal comment from the owners of those clubs involved who have so far failed to front the backlash – aside from brief statements from stakeholders including Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli.
Thomas Tuchel has now been questioned on Chelsea’s involvement ahead of the club’s clash with Brighton in the Premier League tomorrow and admits neither he nor his players have a say in the Blues’ participation in the controversial proposals.
Asked if the club will speak on their decision, Tuchel told his pre-match press conference: “Maybe, yes, to help the situation so we aren’t impacted in our preparations.
“The players and me trust the club, we are employees. It’s best we don’t get involved in sports politics and this situation. It’s above our heads.
“It’s a big subject, everyone is talking. It’s maybe impossible for the players not to be influenced by it but it’s too early and there are a lot of opinions out there. Hopefully, we can stay calm, have the influence to the players so they don’t get distracted, and hopefully, we can bring the performance to tomorrow’s game.”