The most turbulent season in Chelsea‘s modern-day history could end as so many have before this one: with another trophy.
Chelsea will return to Wembley on May 14 to contest the FA Cup final against Liverpool after beating Crystal Palace 2-0 in Sunday’s second semifinal, courtesy of goals from substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount. They may even have a new owner by then.
New York-based merchant bank Raine Group are expected to identify the preferred bidder from a shortlist of four in the next few days. Once the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport approve the chosen party, the Premier League will complete the requisite ownership tests — chief executive Richard Masters has said the quickest previous completion was 10 days “but that’s not to say that record cannot be beaten.”
Recommended Reads- Rescuers and Medics on Site of Explosion in Kyiv’s Outskirts – Mayor
It is therefore feasible that Chelsea’s first piece of silverware in the post-Roman Abramovich era could come at the earliest possible opportunity, the climax of a hugely uncertain two-and-a-half-month spell that began with Chelsea’s last visit to Wembley, February’s Carabao Cup final defeat to (coincidentally enough) Liverpool.
he mere fact they have this opportunity is testament to the job manager Thomas Tuchel has done in navigating a season of which Sunday’s victory was Chelsea’s 54th game in all competitions. By contrast, Crystal Palace have now played just 37.
Expectations are palpably lower at Palace — this was only their second FA Cup semifinal since 1995 — and Tuchel possesses a squad with much greater depth as a result. But Chelsea have had to negotiate an unprecedented spell ever since Abramovich hinted that his ownership may be evolving before UK government sanctions restricted the club’s ability to operate as usual. Travel plans were thrown into chaos, contract talks frozen, the club shop closed for business.
Abramovich’s first statement — attempting to avoid a sale by passing “stewardship and care” of the club to Chelsea’s charitable foundation trustees — came the night before facing Liverpool in February, a game they went on to lose 11-10 on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Now, Chelsea will face Liverpool again with, they hope, their ownership mess in the rearview.
“We gave everything in that final, as you know, and it was a big match that went until the very last penalty,” said Tuchel after Sunday’s semifinal. “Of course we were unlucky and lost it.
“We want to turn things around. It will not give us the Carabao title back but we are here. We were here last season in the FA Cup final, we are here again, and that means an unbelievable lot to us because the FA Cup is the most prestigious, the most traditional cup in the world maybe, played at Wembley.
“There are not a lot of bigger games to be part of. That’s why we are grateful and we will be well-prepared because we play against one of the strongest teams in the world, which have outstanding form given the results. We will try to make life hard for them.”