Chelsea managers Emma Hayes and Thomas Tuchel sat down to lunch with new owner Todd Boehly at the Cobham training ground on Friday ahead of their respective Wembley cup finals, with Hayes reporting that the American billionaire seems ‘passionate’ about the club. Hayes, who will lead out Chelsea Women ahead of kick-off at 2.30pm on
Chelsea managers Emma Hayes and Thomas Tuchel sat down to lunch with new owner Todd Boehly at the Cobham training ground on Friday ahead of their respective Wembley cup finals, with Hayes reporting that the American billionaire seems ‘passionate’ about the club.
Hayes, who will lead out Chelsea Women ahead of kick-off at 2.30pm on Sunday against Manchester City, with 50,000 fans expected, was upbeat about their meeting.
Her nails painted Royal blue for her Wembley date, she tucked into a light meal across the table from the new owner, who said how enthusiastic he was about embarking on his English project after his consortium agreed to fork out £4.25billion for the club following sanctioned Russian Roman Abramovich’s asset freeze.
Although Boehly has turned up at both Kingsmeadow and Stamford Bridge to watch matches in recent days, he hadn’t been introduced to the managers until today. The new owner hopes to be at Wembley for both cup finals.
“I had lunch with Todd. He watched the girls train, had a really lovely couple of hours with him,” said Hayes. “He was delightful; really passionate. He’s just a normal down-to-earth guy who’s really passionate about Chelsea, loves Chelsea.
“He’s as ambitious as we are, and it is a perfect fit. I saw him at one of the games he went to at Stamford Bridge… but he was upstairs and I was downstairs!”
Everyone at Chelsea is desperate to dot the i’s and cross the t’s so the club can get on with the serious summer business of making new signings – something prohibited until the ownership is resolved.
It’s especially urgent for Chelsea Women, who – after the cup final – lose the experience of Ji So-Yun, Drew Spence and Jonna Andersson… while other players (including striker Beth England) are said to be eyeing up opportunities of more regular starts at other clubs.
Of Sunday’s showpiece, Hayes said: “I soak it all in. I’m so lucky – I get to lead my team out again at Wembley. Amazing. I do enjoy it, although game days I hate because there’s nothing for me to do on game days until kick-off. It’s painful waiting for the kick-off!”
Reflecting on last weekend’s Women’s Super League victory – the third on the trot – Hayes called it “so special”, although she was completely dehydrated at the of the 4-2 win over Manchester United in the hot sun in front of well over 4,000 fans at Kingsmeadow.
Chelsea’s men take on Liverpool in the FA Cup final at 4.45pm on Saturday, with the Reds favourites to win – an underdog situation that always seems to suit Tuchel.