Portsmouth-born Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount trying to stay focused amid Stamford Bridge turmoil brought on by government sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich

Portsmouth-born Mason Mount has admitted it’s been hard for him and his Chelsea team-mates to focus on their jobs amid the off-the-pitch turmoil at Stamford Bridge.

By Mark McMahon
Friday, 11th March 2022, 12:01 pm

This week the government sanctioned the reigning European champions’ owner, Roman Abramovich, for his close ties with Russia leader Vladimir Putin.

That leaves the oligarch’s bid to sell the London outfit in limbo, with the embargo slapped on the club blocking that process.

It also prevents Chelsea from agreeing new contracts with players, making signings, selling match-day tickets, operating their merchandise store – and puts a curb on their away-day spending.

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As a result, main shirt sponsor Three has asked for that deal to be suspended, while partners Nike, Hyundai, Parimatch and Zapp are also considering ending their association with the club.

With all that going on in the background, Mount & Co did well to retain their concentration on what matters on the pitch as they ran out 3-1 winners at Norwich on Thursday night.

The former Fratton Park season-ticket holder was on the score sheet at Carrow Road and set up team-mate Trevoh Chalobah for the Blues’ opener.

Yet, afterwards, the 23-year-old England regular admitted it was hard not being affected by the predicament the club suddenly finds itself in.

Portsmouth-born Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount Picture: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Mailonline quotes Mount as saying: ‘It's not been easy, of course. We see what's happening behind the scenes and everything that's going on – it can be hard to focus.

‘With everything that's happening off the pitch, for us to stay focused and stay on the ball to win this game (against Norwich), I thought we were brilliant.

‘We just need to focus on what we can do on the pitch – that's our only goal.'

Speaking to the BBC, Mount, who contract at Stamford Bridge runs until 2024, added: 'You can't really avoid it as there's a lot going on. We have to focus on what we do on the pitch.

'We had a game today (Thursday) and that was the only thing we could focus on.

‘We did that so now it's about Sunday. You try not to look too much into it.’