Rio Ferdinand suggests Chelsea's new owners are too involved

Rio Ferdinand, who spoke with Thomas Tuchel just days before his sacking, suggests Chelsea’s new owners ‘tried to influence player selection, want Edouard Mendy out of the side – and to play “4-4-3″‘

  • Rio Ferdinand has criticised Chelsea’s recent sacking of manager Thomas Tuchel
  • Ferdinand said he met Tuchel days before and said he was happy to be there
  • He suggested new Blues owner Todd Boehly is too involved with the club
  • Ferdinand urged Boehly to stay out of managers’ way and backed Graham Potter 

Rio Ferdinand has criticised Chelsea’s sacking of Thomas Tuchel after meeting the German just days before he was dismissed as Blues manager.

New owner Todd Boehly relieved Tuchel from his duties after Chelsea lost 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League and moved swiftly to appoint former Brighton boss Graham Potter as his replacement.

Ferdinand, speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, explained the situation as ‘surreal’, before questioning Boehly’s involvement with the managerial side of the club.  

Rio Ferdinand has criticised Chelsea’s decision to get rid of former manager Thomas Tuchel

Tuchel was sacked as Chelsea boss last week after 18 months in charge of the London club

‘It’s a big thing with a manager being sacked and the way it happened,’ said the former Manchester United defender. 

‘I met him and did an interview with him just prior to that about his Chelsea team and the way it’s structured and his plans going forward. It was just really mad and it was surreal really when I heard the news coming through because the way he was talking to me on and off screen was like he was delighted to be there.

‘I’ve spoken to people behind the scenes and from good sources it was as much a surprise too the coaching staff as it was to everyone outside. The staff had spent a lot of time speaking to the owners and from what I’m told Tuchel and his team had never had as much engagement with owners at any point in their careers.

‘There’s hands on and there’s too much. From what I hear they were getting their noses too into things that should be left to a manager.’

Owner Todd Boehly has been accused of getting too involved in the managerial side on things

Reports surfaced last week of Boehly drawing up plans to play 4-4-3, as well as trying to impact player selection in the matchday squad.

Ferdinand slammed Boehly for his reported actions, claiming he didn’t blame Tuchel if he distanced himself from the American. 

‘Can you get away with one extra player on the pitch?’ the former defender joked. ‘I’ve heard those stories, they’re trying to influence even player selection and when you get to that point you can start to understand why a manager would have some pushback.

‘Tuchel, the personality and character he is, he wouldn’t have accepted that, some other characters will do as new owners say but Thomas Tuchel isn’t that guy.

Former Brighton boss Graham Potter was appointed in Tuchel’s place soon after the sacking

‘Why let him have the money if you knew you were always going to get rid of him?’

Potter was appointed on a five-year deal the day after Tuchel left the club, a move that comes with risk given the former Brighton boss’ lack of experience at the top level.

Ferdinand queried if the owner’s involvement with the team would continue, before giving his full support to Potter.

‘There are a lot of wild opinions being said behind the scenes with formations and individual players that the new ownership want out of the team,’ he said. ‘I think [Edouard] Mendy would have been one of them in terms of kicking the ball. 

‘I don’t know if an owner should even be talking about that, the manager is there to deal with that. You employ people that are professionals in that area. It will be interesting to see if they have that involvement with Potter.

‘I think it’s a clear understanding of football. It has to be. It’s very different in American sports teams. I don’t know any other business that allows someone at the helm to spend that money and then let someone else run it. 

‘I hope it works out for him, I really do.’ 

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