18 March 2022

Emma Hayes says Chelsea Women carrying on as normal amid off-pitch uncertainty

18 March 2022

Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes says her side are getting on with daily life as usual despite the uncertainty surrounding the club’s future.

Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Blues owner was then sanctioned by the UK Government, which claims to have have proven links between the Russian-Israeli billionaire and Russia President Vladimir Putin – something Abramovich denies.

The 55-year-old has had all of his UK assets frozen apart from Chelsea, who are able to continue operating under a strict Downing Street licence.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Women’s FA Cup clash with Birmingham on Sunday, Hayes said the off-field situation has so far not affected her squad’s day-to-day business.

“I think for us we just get on with our daily life, it hasn’t affected what we do daily,” she said.

“We’re still able to train, we’re still able to play games, we’re still able to travel, so in terms of what’s different for us it’s nothing really.

“It’s just the conversations that are going on throughout the media, I think it’s more for you guys than us.

“To be honest with you, we just block it out and get on with what we’re doing.”

The sanctions imposed on the club also affect ticket sales, with Chelsea fans no longer able to purchase tickets to attend games, something the Blues boss is hoping will be sorted out quickly.

Hayes said: “We’d love to have fans involved, I think that’s something that I hope the Government can sort through because I don’t think they need to penalise the fans for that.

“But I totally understand why they want to make sure that the funds are going into some neutral place and I don’t know what’s so challenging about setting that up, but let’s hope they sort it out quickly.”

Friday is the final day for offers to be submitted to purchase the club, and potential bidders so far include, among others, a consortium which has seen Sir Martin Broughton and Lord Sebastian Coe join forces, as well as the Ricketts family who own the Chicago Cubs, and British property tycoon Nick Candy.

Hayes said: “Of course we want an invested owner, not just someone who can afford to keep funding the club at a top level, but someone who’s invested.

“I’ve said all along we’ve got to be patient and give those in charge the time and space to make the right decisions and I think we’re just at the beginning of this process, I think this will be ongoing for weeks.”

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