Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admits he feels sorry for rival Chelsea’s manager Thomas Tuchel after the London club were left with an uncertain future on Thursday.
The club were going to be affected by sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich.
Guardiola said he was unclear about the implications of the action brought about by the UK government.
He was unwilling to delve into what it might mean for European club champions Chelsea.
Long-time Chelsea owner Abramovich was one of seven Russian oligarchs facing new measures after Thursday’s announcement, and the impact on Chelsea looks to be significant.
Abramovich, who has previously been photographed with Russian president Vladimir Putin, has had his assets frozen.
The decision was made in the wake of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Chelsea have been granted a special sporting licence to be able to continue trading as a football club.
But measures have been placed upon the club, including a ban on selling tickets, with only season-ticket holders permitted to attend matches.
Guardiola said he did not “know exactly the reason why” the sanction had been imposed.
But he said he understood the consequences for Tuchel and his Chelsea playing squad would be challenging.
“Of course with the position for the manager, for Thomas Tuchel and the players, it’s uncomfortable, and I feel sorry for them because they’re there to do their job as well as possible,” Guardiola said. “For the rest, I don’t know, I have to wait.”
Chelsea beat Manchester City in last year’s UEFA Champions League final.
They sit third in the English Premier League this season, with Guardiola’s team in a title battle with Liverpool further up the table.
Speaking at a pre-match news conference ahead of Manchester City’s trip to Crystal Palace, which does not take place until Monday, Guardiola gave reporters something to think about.
He acknowledged that Premier League managers and head coaches are often asked about subjects in which they lack specialist knowledge.
“We are the face of the club, we’re here every day, and you ask freely whatever you want, but you have to understand there are subjects we don’t know,” the Spaniard said.
“We don’t have a one-hour lesson to speak or talk about what you’re asking for.
“I’m empathic enough to put (myself) in the position of the manager of Chelsea and the players. It must be an uncomfortable situation, but it was this morning’s headlines and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”