OFFICIAL: Chelsea Announce Graham Potter As New Head Coach

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Graham Potter has been appointed as #Chelsea’s new head coach on a five-year contract.

 

Potter will take charge of Saturday’s trip to Fulham after agreeing to succeed Thomas Tuchel.

 

Chelsea moved swiftly to land Potter after calling time on Tuchel’s reign on Wednesday morning.

 

Potter quickly emerged as Chelsea’s clear first choice with former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino among the managers also considered.

 

The speed at which the process moved, though, convinced some at Brighton of that fact and that Potter had been in Chelsea’s sights for some time.

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Potter impressed in talks with co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali on Wednesday having been given permission to talk to Chelsea earlier in the day after they agreed to pay his £15m release clause.

 

And negotiations were finalised on Thursday to make the 47 year-old the first managerial appointment of Chelsea’s Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital era.

 

Potter is expected to bring a number of members of his Brighton staff with him to Stamford Bridge, including coaches Bjorn Hamberg and Billy Reid plus assistant recruitment chief Kyle Macaulay.

 

After saying his farewells at Brighton’s training ground to players and staff left saddened by his departure yesterday morning he arrived at Chelsea’s in the afternoon.

 

Potter will take Chelsea training for the first time tomorrow.

 

While Tuchel lasted just 100 days, Potter is someone Chelsea’s owners are planning for the long-term with and believe is a better fit for them and their vision for the club.

 

They also wanted to appoint a coach with a track record of developing a team and improving young players which contributed to Potter’s appeal.

 

Potter has done that in his previous jobs at Ostersunds and Swansea and continued that trend at Brighton.

 

He was appointed Brighton head coach in May 2019 after they finished that season 17th.

 

He has led them to 15th, 16th and ninth place finishes and leaves them in fourth place, having introduced an eye-catching style of play and in a healthy financial position after improving a string of players to the extent that the Seagulls have been able to bank significant sums for them.

 

 

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He will be reunited with one of them at Chelsea in left-back Marc Cucurella who moved to London after a year under Potter at Brighton in a deal worth up to £62m last month.

 

Yves Bissouma, Dan Burn and Ben White are among others that have moved on for big profit after flourishing under Potter.

 

Potter has received assurances that he will given the time to make things work at Chelsea in line with the contract that runs until 2027.

 

Chelsea are sixth in the Premier League and have made a miserable start to their Champions League campaign, with Tuchel disposed of hours after their humbling 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb, his 100th match in charge on Tuesday evening.

 

Tuchel’s coaching staff will continue to take charge of the team in the interim with a match against west London rivals Fulham on Saturday.

 

Sportsmail has revealed that Chelsea sacking Tuchel will cost the club £15m – with £13m going to the German and £2m to his coaching staff.

 

It is understood that the German was one of the Premier League’s top earners, on a salary in the region of £13m a year.

 

Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane were also candidates on the Chelsea shortlist for a new manager, as co-owner Todd Boehly looks to make his mark on the club with his first appointment.

 

The club statement:

 

Chelsea Football Club is delighted to welcome Graham Potter as our new Head Coach, joining us on a five-year contract to bring his progressive football and innovative coaching to the Club.

 

Potter is one of the most exciting coaches in the game, starting his journey in Sweden before bringing his talents to the English game over the past four seasons. The 47-year-old is educated to degree level in disciplines beyond sport and has combined these experiences to forge a collaborative, forward-thinking approach while developing attacking and winning football.

 

That has been in evidence during his time at Brighton & Hove Albion, where he achieved that club’s highest-ever league finish last season. Along the way, he earned praise for his winning brand of football on the south coast, while proving flexible in tactics and formations to be a step ahead of opponents.

 

On making the move to Stamford Bridge, Potter said: ‘I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club. I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of. I would also like to place my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for allowing me this opportunity and in particular Tony Bloom and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club.’

 

Todd Boehly, chairman, said: ‘We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea. He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the Club. Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful Club. He has had a major impact at his previous Clubs’ and we look forward to his positive impact at Chelsea. We look forward to supporting him, his coaching team and the squad in realising their full potential in the coming months and years.’

 

 

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Behdad Eghbali and José E. Feliciano, co-controlling owners, said: ‘Graham is a football innovator and winner on the pitch and a leader off the pitch. He has deeply impressed us with his ideas and approach to football. We are thrilled to partner with Graham to build a winning team, one that embodies the culture of collaboration, innovation, teamwork, player development, and a commitment to excellence on and off the pitch. We are fortunate to have Graham and his team as our partners in that journey.’

 

Potter, 47, will take charge of the team immediately.

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