Pulisic delivers ‘honest’ assessment of Chelsea situation

Joe Williams
Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic runs off to celebrate

Christian Pulisic says Chelsea players are currently going through a “crazy situation” at Stamford Bridge after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government.

Blues owner Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian-Israeli billionaire was then sanctioned by the UK Government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven his links to Vladimir Putin.

The Blues must operate under strict Government licence, with Abramovich unable to profit from Chelsea’s sale.

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New York merchant bank the Raine Group is overseeing the sale process, with bidders continuing to wait to discover whether they have made the shortlist of candidates.

Chelsea have been in good form while the ownership situation has been unfolding but Pulisic admits it will be “nice to have a break” with the US men’s national team before returning to finish the season.

“It’s been a crazy situation, to be honest, but we’ve been able to focus on our game and just worry about playing over there,” said Pulisic, who is currently on international duty with the United States.

“I’m just excited in general to come play with the US national team because I love this group of guys and I love this team and it’ll be nice to have a break, see something a bit different, and then I’ll be ready to go back and finish off the season strong.”

Meanwhile, Muslim community leaders in Chicago have called on Chelsea fans to reject cancel culture and embrace “decent man” Tom Ricketts and his bid to buy the Blues.

Chicago Cubs owners the Ricketts family are among the suitors locked in the bidding process to succeed Roman Abramovich as Chelsea owner.

Family patriarch Joe Ricketts was accused of Islamophobia in 2019, calling Muslims “my enemy” in leaked emails.

Chelsea fans have voiced their concerns via the social media hashtag ‘NoToRicketts’, while also raising issues with the club, though Joe Ricketts has no role at the Cubs nor in the bid to buy the Blues.

Ahmed Rehab from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has hailed Tom Ricketts’ response to the 2019 scandal, and has now urged Chelsea supporters not to write off the Cubs’ owner’s candidacy.

Rehab explained how he met with the Cubs hierarchy in the wake of those 2019 leaked emails, and the steps the Chicago baseball side’s chiefs have taken since to prove their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“We became aware as everybody did about Joe Ricketts, the father, making some pretty problematic anti-Muslim statements,” Rehab told the PA news agency.

“We were very offended, and immediately reached out to the Cubs at the time, Tom Ricketts and Julian Green, and they both responded.

“They came to my office here in down town Chicago and we brought other Muslim organisations to the table for this meeting.

“We were very clear and very stern in our rebuke of Joe Ricketts and his statements, and the association to the Cubs.

“They distanced themselves, they apologised for the remarks, we went back and forth and we put together some concrete steps to show in action both the Cubs and the Ricketts family a genuine position on diversity and inclusiveness.

“I’m not going to buy into this fad in the world of cancel and destroy on a mistake. If one persists with no regret on a mistake and doubles down, that’s a different story.

“But if you’re someone who has made a mistake, and in this case it wasn’t even Tom; it was problematic but to be fair it was one step removed.

“And then for that person to do all they can, do all the right things. We had expectations as to what the right things would be and that’s what they did.”