Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel backs fans over sale protests planned against the Ricketts family

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel backs fans over sale protests planned on Saturday against Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family – after 80-year-old Joe branded Muslims ‘my enemy’ in leaked email

  • Protests are planned at Saturday’s game against Brentford at Stamford Bridge
  • Thousands are concerned about views held by some of the Ricketts family
  • More than 20,000 have signed an online petition against a Ricketts takeover
  • In a leaked email Joe Ricketts, the 80-year-old father of the family, branded Muslims his enemies
  • Thomas Tuchel says the potential new owners ‘have to face the consequences if you are responsible for these kind of quotes’ 

Thomas Tuchel has supported the right of Chelsea fans to voice their objections to the Ricketts family as potential owners of their club.

Protests are planned at Saturday’s game against Brentford at Stamford Bridge, with thousands concerned about controversial views held by members of the family, owners of the Chicago Cubs and one of four groups trying to buy the Blues.

More than 20,000 have signed an online petition against a Ricketts takeover, citing a leaked email in which Joe Ricketts, the 80-year-old father of the family, branded Muslims his enemies and discriminatory remarks made by his sons Pete and Todd.

This, they claim, will tarnish the club’s image.

‘You have to face the consequences if you are responsible for these kind of quotes,’ said Tuchel. ‘If one of the consequences is that the fans protest you have to deal with it.

‘I hope the fans remember we have a team challenging in three competitions in a crucial moment of the season and don’t distract them in their approach to the stadium or during the game. We have enough to deal with at the moment.’

Tuchel admitted he knew very little about any of those left in contention to buy the club from Roman Abramovich, who has been forced to sell because the British Government froze his assets in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Nor is he keen to meet any of them.

Thomas Tuchel has supported the right of Chelsea fans to voice their objections to the Ricketts family as potential owners of their club

Thomas Tuchel has supported the right of Chelsea fans to voice their objections to the Ricketts family as potential owners of their club

Joe Ricketts, the 80-year-old father of the family, branded Muslims his enemies in a leaked email

Joe Ricketts, the 80-year-old father of the family, branded Muslims his enemies in a leaked email

‘It’s better not to be involved,’ said the German. ‘I cannot change anything.’

Tuchel is delighted his captain Cesar Azpilicueta has triggered a clause extending his contract by one more year, but it is still not certain that the 32-year-old will stay. 

After a decade of service, some people at the club are prepared to grant Azpilicueta his wish if he wants to leave. There is interest from Barcelona and he may feel it is the right time for his family to return to Spain.

‘Winning every title and having this change of ownership, it could be that it feels for him like the end of the story here,’ said Tuchel. ‘But it does not necessarily have to be like this. We have the contract now, we can rely on him and make him stay.’

Andreas Christensen looks set for Barcelona when his contract expires in June. 

Tuchel is delighted his captain Cesar Azpilicueta has triggered a clause extending his contract

Tuchel is delighted his captain Cesar Azpilicueta has triggered a clause extending his contract

Centre back Andreas Christensen looks set for Barcelona when his contract expires in June

Centre back Andreas Christensen looks set for Barcelona when his contract expires in June

‘We heard the same rumours,’ smiled Chelsea’s head coach. Antonio Rudiger is also nearing the end of his contract, unable to sign a new deal until the club is sold, and his agent has also been spotted in Barcelona.

‘I would try to meet him if I was any other club,’ said Tuchel. ‘He’s still our player. We still think there’s a good chance he stays once things are solved.

‘At the moment, our hands are tied. Fair enough if it’s true that he listens to other offers, but I am still confident.’

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