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Chelsea cancel Champions League ‘meeting’ with Real Madrid amid club sale and sanctions

Chelsea face Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tonight with the Blues looking to bounce back immediately from a humbling 4-1 defeat to local rivals Brentford.

Thomas Tuchel has done a brilliant job keeping his team focused while situations away from the pitch continue dominate the headlines. Roman Abramovich’s attempts to sell the club are currently ongoing but appear close to a conclusion by the end of the month with a new owner.

Chelsea have made it to the final of the Carabao Cup and the semi-finals of the FA Cup despite the on-going off-field drama. Although it remains to be seen whether Saturday’s display was a mere blip or something more worrying.

The sanctions brought against Abramovich by the UK government continue to cause the club the biggest headache. As the Russian’s assets were frozen, Chelsea were unable to trade normally meaning they were initially unable to sell tickets or negotiate transfers and contracts, although the former restrictions have since been relaxed.

Fans were allowed to buy tickets for Wednesday’s clash with Carlo Ancelotti’s men thanks to a change in the license granted by the government, allowing the club to sell tickets for all cup games and away league games.

Either way, Tuchel will have been working tirelessly this week to ensure the focus remains on the task at hand with Los Blanco’s visit on the horizon. But an unexpected effect of the sanctions has been felt on the day of the match too.

It has been a tradition at Stamford Bridge for members of the rival boards to meet before the game and enjoy a meal together to discuss business and keep up appearances. But as reported by the Spanish outlet Marca, the usual meeting will not go ahead as a result of the current “process”.

 

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