After a short and focused search, Chelsea have appointed Graham Potter as our new head coachreplacing Thomas Tuchel who was sacked yesterday (Wednesday) morning.
Chelsea ended talks in short order with Potter, selling him on the vision of a long-term project at the club, and getting him to agree to terms for a five-year (!) deal. That’s the longest contract we’ve given a manager since a five-year deal for José Mourinho in 2005 (he made it two and change).
Potter’s contract with Brighton & Hove Albion had a variable release clause, reportedly around £16m, which Chelsea activated. At least three members of his backroom staff are expected to join him, including long-time assistants Billy Reid and Björn Hamberg, and “recruitment specialist” Kyle Macaulay, and possibly a few others, too (goalie Ben Roberts and first-teamer). coach Bruno also left the team with him), bringing Brighton’s total compensation to north of £20 million. We are definitely making a big bet here.
Chelsea Football Club is delighted to welcome Graham Potter as our new Head Coach!
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) 8 September 2022
A mixed footballer who spent a decade in the lower leagues, Potter went into coaching in his early 30s and made a name for himself during a remarkable 8 year spell in Sweden, taking Östersunds FK from the fourth tier to the first in five years, and reaching the Europa League knockout rounds a few years later, in 2017-18, recording a 2-1 win at the Emirates against Arsenal, even.
He made the jump to England after that, leading Swansea City to 10th in the Premier League in his single season there, before joining Brighton in 2019 in a £3m transfer. They finished 9th last season, their highest ever placement. He seems to have a knack for leaving teams at their zenith, taking them as high as it is possible. (Östersunds and Swansea have both been relegated since his departure.) Unlike most head coaches, he has never been sacked. (You just wait, buddy!)
A compensation figure was told to @OfficialBHAFC for Graham Potter and staff is £21m +. Chelsea have invested heavily in the Brighton model this summer.
– Simon Stone (@sistoney67) 8 September 2022
Potter is expected to get back to work quickly, and could be in the dugout for Saturday’s game away to Fulham. We have some early-season malaise to turn around, before thinking about anything too long-term.
Welcome, Graham Potter. Let’s win some things!